Tuesday, May 13, 2008

we're here!


where to begin? the flight from Norfolk to DC was hell. it was a really small plane and felt like a rollercoaster the whole time because of the bad weather. the flight was running late so when we got to DC our next flight left within 30 minutes of us getting there. THEN came the 13 hour flight to Johannesburg. yes, i sat next to a big, harry, musty man who hogged the arm rest the whole time. everytime i had to use the bathroom i had to climb over him. seriously, CLIMB. after awhile i stopped saying 'excuse me'. crystal and ashley were in the 2 seats in front of me and they got a kick out of that everytime. i didn't sleep much at all. i watched three movies: p.s. i love you, just add water (sucks) and music within. we got to Johannesburg and found out they lost our luggage. EVERYTHING except my bag of donations for the school. weird. so we have all been in the same clothing since we left the airport sunday. it is now tuesday night. cape town is 6 hours ahead of home. my roommate is ashley and we're a perfect pair. we like to sleep in. everyone was up for breakfast this morning and we caught a few more Z's went down to eat then cam eback upstairs to nap until we had to leave haha.

today we walked downtown (about 15-20 minutes from the house) to the Stepping Stones school where 3 girls are working. on the way we saw a man laying in the road with blood coming from his head. i didn't look for long but i did see that his eyes were closed. the ambulance men weren't doing anything for him, they were directing people to walk around him. of course a crowd was forming but we just kept going. you couldn't tell what happened, i assumed he was hit by a car though because there was one parked behind the ambulance....

we got to the school and met the kids (ages 2-6). i wanted to squeeze all of them! but i only managed to get my hands on a few. they were too cute. we walked in and they treated us like celebrities. it was so cool. i hungout at a table with 3 kids doing a puzzle and taught them to say and give "high fives" and "low fives". then one girl came up to me and had her arms out so i bent down and she reached up and grabbed my cheeks! so i grabbed hers. it was funny because when i was little (and even still today) everyone called me a cabbage patch kid and said i had "chubby cheeks"; so one night my mom was putting me to bed and i grabbed her cheeks and said "you got chubby cheeks too mom" haha so that made my day, even though i was wearing the same clothes as yesterday without a shower. then all the kids sang some songs for us. i have pictures and video but my cords are in my luggage. i'll upload them asap.

the school is a part of the District 6 museum, look it up.

we went to lunch at this really cool coffe shop/restaurant called Special 38 (House of the Rising Sun was playing when we walked in and that put a smile on my face, not to mention the painting of Jim Morrison on the wall). after lunch we went to the Rape Crisis Center where 2 girls will be working. we met the counseling coordinator Joyce. and heard about the center and their role in the neighborhood. i was so tired by then that i admit, i wasn't listening to everything she said. and she speaks fast haha. but it was nice.

then we went to the townships. i can't even attempt to spell the name of the place but i'll look it up and tell you later. these places finally made me feel like i was here. i don't even think you could call these "homes" shacks. they are so small and close together, no electricity, no running water, there are out-houses randomly around the areas. the market is a long strip of fruits and veggies and clothing, then we went by the meat market........i might become a vegetarian. the smell was so powerful and the sight of blood and guts and heads all over the place just made us appreciate our Wendy's and Subway. there is a McDonalds downtown, btw.

after that we went by our drivers house. his name is mpatomi (mmm-puh-too-me). he lives in the townships but a "nicer" part. we met his son and daughter and wife. outside we played with some neighborhood kids who had these spinning tops and they taught us how to use them....well they let us try, we weren't that good. one kid was a pro at it, he spun it on the ground and picked it up and put it in my hand, it was still spinning. we were so amused and entertained by this little wooden thing on a string. it was awesome and they were so cute. they wanted to take a picture with us before we left then as we drove away they blew kisses. we all have new boyfriends.

then we went to one of the beaches here. i can't describe how beautiful it was. i took pictures and video. thats the only way i can let you know how amazing it was.

we stopped by the airport on the way back. our luggage is supposed to be delivered by 1030 tonight. it will feel so good to take a shower and put on clean clothes! i feel so gross.

the weather has been great so far.

tomorrow we are going to the other work sites (including my high school) i can't wait!

we're about to go back to the guest house. i can't wait to post pictures!

i love you :)


kelder3 said...

hey sweety i hope I did this right....I set up a google account nd reopened this....i loved your blog...now Im a blogg...er....too....I blog....you blog...we all blogg....what is a blog though...I dont know....but...cogito ergo blog....I think, therefore I blog....or something...

man...a guy on the street with a bleeding head....I dont like that....the story about the kid pinching your cheeks was cool...hey......you like kids huh!!! so cool....I miss you so much and so does mom....im gonna see if this works, then ill teach mom how to do it...im so damned proud of you....and i love you so much....your blogee....dad

kelder3 said...

wow...looks like I did it,,,cool...im a blogger...now I might set up my own blogg.....wonder why I would do that though....I love you....did I already tell you that/?

elleninmate said...

Hi Katie,
Wow it is so great to hear what's going on with you. Sounds so exciting, did you get your clothes? If not take those crayons and let the kids draw on your outfit and it will look like a new one! Don't forget to keep hydrated, rest, stay upbeat and don't forget what a great thing your doing for all those kids!
You rock!!
Take Care
Ellen (mom's inmate at the Asylum)

mom and dad said...

i am so very proud of you! i cant wait to hear from you everyday to see what awesome adventure you had!
i love you up to the sky and back!!!!!!! oxoxoxoxoxoxo

Beth said...

I'm so enjoying reading your blog. You are doing so many amazing things. I can't wait to hear more about it when you return home. You are doing such a great thing for these kids. Did you ever think you'd be a teacher like your parents? I'm really proud of you. See you when you get home.
Love you,