Day 43 – New Beginnings

Posted 15 July 2010 | Journal   

Damn. My Bluetooth adapter (and the USB port it was in) have broken, which means I can’t connect my phone which means no internet which means…NO BLOG! Okay, let’s not get too drastic. I’ll try and figure out a way to overcome it. In the meanwhile, I’m sure it’ll be good for me not to waste time online like I have been doing.

I said goodbye to my housemum in the morning and gave her a gift. For the short time I was there, I was treated like a king. She would lay the table in the morning with freshly brewed tea and our sandwiches for the afternoon. In the last few days before I left she even prayed with and for us.

Just to say farewell to the supervisor now. I found her at her house and sat down. I wasn’t in any rush, I’m free. We had a really good conversation. I’m proud to have been in the company of such a great woman. It’s really amazing to find someone grasp the purpose of faith, and our conversations never fell short of a discussion around belief and love. As she said: “I have struggles. I won’t call them fights. They’re challenges.”

I found a combi waiting at the taxi clearing. It was empty, so I hung around before jumping in. As if planned, the driver then drove around the whole of Mamre – giving me a nostalgic tour of a place I’d grown to love. It’s amazing how spending 6 weeks somewhere can have such an effect. I drove past some of the volunteers playing with the kids and smiled. Meanwhile, I was on the phone to my mum, who was on holiday somewhere else, explaining to her what had happened.

Walking in Cape Town a free man, what’s the first thing you do? Sit down at a market stall and let them go wild with your hair of course! I didn’t even ask for cornrows, the woman showed me some pictures and I was indifferent. So she said “I know what’ll suit you!” and she pulled out a picture of some dude with cornrows. I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t really know what I wanted, so away she went – tugging at my head with some force and speaking to her fellow ‘stylist’. I was massively concerned about the whole thing, and the reason was simple. One in every two people that walked past looked and stared. And I mean stared. They gawped at me. Some laughed and carried on. But hey, a light skinned guy getting his hair braided isn’t the most common thing. I would never do it in the UK, I used to look down on light skinned people with braids/dreads etc. But hey, this place changes you.

I ate at the Eastern Food Bazaar on recommendation, and I was pleasantly surprised. One of my favourite dishes in the UK is Tandoori Chicken leg, so I ordered it with chips and a garlic naan (freedom treat?). It was a really nice, scrumptious meal. I then headed to the National Gallery to enjoy an array of quite powerful pieces.

Meeting friends and some new people, this time at the Waterfront, we watched the rather mundane semi-final between Germany and Spain. I rushed to my new home to enjoy my first night there as a resident. And I did enjoy the double bed!

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