September is drawing to a close and time seems to be speeding up as it often does when- well, when you are having fun! Feeling settled and acclimatizing to my new Atlantic Ocean scenery the possibilities seem as wide as the sliver of ocean that I can see as I peer between 2 tall apartment buildings. So this is what it is like to live in the city…
1. The Promenade. Out the gate, to the left, and 20 steps to the coastal walkway that parallels the rocky coast of the Atlantic. The promenade, as it is know, winds its way through Sea Point, Green Point, all the way to the Waterfront. People of all shapes and sizes, dogs, boot camp, families, couples, and a slew of characters dart along at all speeds. Waddles, sprints, hops, jogs, and saunters dabble down the bricked path as waves crash and sea spray coats your skin. The sunsets are stunning and I often find that I am called to the walkway as the sky changes and melts into the sea.
2. Heritage Day. One of the perks of living abroad is the opportunity to celebrate new holidays. One of the bummers of living abroad is not getting to celebrate those holidays that you are used to at home. One of the perks of living abroad is meeting an amazing group of ex-pats that want to celebrate the holidays of your homeland with you. Saturday September 24th was Heritage Day or as it has now been coined National Braii Day. A braii for those of you who don’t know is a barbeque. On Friday, the GRS office shared our heritage in honor of this communal “hang out, eat a lot, drink and be merry, play in the sun day!” Such a nonsequitor to learn about people’s lives and families in a professional setting; refreshing.
3. Table Mountain. This past Saturday a few GRS colleges, my roommate, and I decided that we would climb Table Mountain. A step and rapid ascent and descent on a beautiful sunny day; felt like summer. On such a beautiful day there were bound to be numbers of people making there way up the hour and a half stair stepper. Determination, heat, views, and a ‘don’t stop moving’ attitude willed us up the mountain as we dabbled in the quintessential trail chats. What is it about the air on the trail (pure) and the meditation of putting one foot in front of the other that lends you to meaningful and significant conversation? I am convinced that this is at least a portion of the reason that I am in love with nature- because it brings me closer to people. Irony. An hour and a half or so up, and you stand victoriously overlooking Cape Town. An hour down and you are suddenly submerged by the land that you had seemingly conquered. What a city…
4. HAART and the TAC. Cape Town is infinite in culture. With book fairs, boat shows, semester at sea in town, and film festivals there is so much to do that I feel spoiled. On Tuesday night I went to go and see a film that highlighted the Truth Action Campaign and the fight for and initiation of Highly-Active Antiretroviral Therapy Treatment in South Africa. For many years in South Africa there was ambiguity, uncertainty, and denial about the roots of HIV, it’s connection to AIDS, and the means to prevent it from spreading as well as how to best support people living with HIV. I watched recent image after image of South African politicians and citizens look Science in the face and say “No!” “No” to the existence of the virus, “No” to the fact that it lead to AIDS, “No” to the fact that as many as 600,000 people were suffering from HIV and none of them with treatment. A humbling and contemporary story; contemporary and astonishing. I think that we forget that denial, ignorance, and the need to educate and the need to provide wholesome information escapes us because we are in 2011…but ignorance is ever living, ever present, and something I definitely obtain-even in my own field of work.
I may have found a bike. Now onto the scoooooooter, yippee!