I have not been able to get to posting of late. It is symptomatic of my troubles staying connected of late.
I am referring to the internet. It has prevented me from staying in touch with Fred, family, and friends across the globe. Using the campus wifi sparingly (there is a monthly data limit for students), I am able to sneak off a few emails here and there, but on the whole I have been pretty cut off. Additionally, it has happened right as I need to finish filing taxes, FAFSA, and other financial aid bits and bobs.
On the flip side, this has encouraged me to put more effort into fostering my connections here. I have spent more time sitting at the kitchen table chatting with housemates. I got to more meetings and spend more time in fellowship with the absolutely beautiful people I have met there. I have even forged some acquaintances on campus, which makes the campus a friendlier place for me.
And then there is studying. The academic load can be pretty fierce. I feel as though I should be doing more studying than I have been. Taking notes for one of my classmates with a learning disability has provided the necessary motivation to review and summarize my archaeology notes. Some Afrikaaners I have met on and off campus have supplied some opportunities to practice some of the random sentences I now know in Afrikaans...
Kom gerus binne. Jy moet in die park nie slaap nie.
(Please come inside. You do not need to sleep in the park)
Ek wil jou waarsku. Ons is studente aan die universiteit van Kaapstad.
(I want to warn you. We are students at the University of Cape Town.)
Rivetting. Maybe I am somewhat ready for the quiz I have to take in the next hour.
Over all, I am happy. South Africa is an amazing albeit intense place. People are very friendly. There are incredible extremes in wealth and poverty, urbanity and natural splendor, hot and cold (both in terms of air temperature and interpersonal connection). And yet many people I meet are quick with a smile, ready to laugh, inquisitive, and generous.
Alright. I know I have promised some write-ups on registration and life in Cape Town. Soon, I hope.
At least this guy is always smiling:
Sorry for the dearth of pictures as well. My days are such where it is neither prudent nor practical to carry a camera around. I do hope to go and tourist it up in the near future, and I will make sure the camera comes along to capture something vicarious for the lot of you.
I mentioned burning crickets because of the wildfire. While most national news outlets are content to focus on the domestic trifles and ignore the rest of the world, there is a wildfire burning in Muizenberg, about 12 miles south of me on the cape. There have been some reports in international news agencies of a wildfire ravaging Cape Town. European friends have received calls from family making sure their children are not becoming South African charcoal. The fact that few if any of us Americans are receiving such calls leads me to believe that such reports are not getting to the U.S. Just in case, however, the fire has not torn through the actual city. While the air is smoky and the plume to the south is horrendously huge, I have not been in any immediate danger. Besides the fact that the fire is now mostly under control, there are wealthier suburbs between the fire and me, so you know it will not reach me...