Cape Town

July 20, 2008

Thanks for the comments, family!

Aunt Kathy,
Some pictures are to follow.  We traveled to Cape Town yesterday and I saw the most amazingly beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes!  Pictures don’t do justice, as usual, but they get the idea across!

Aunt MA,
To tell you the truth, I can’t really tell much difference between the South African and British accents.  They are very similar and like with the British, some people are easier to understand than others!  Almost everyone in Stellenbosch speaks English and Afrikaans (probably everyone, actually, because mainstream classes are taught in Afrikaans but anyone attending university is sure to speak English as well).  I’d also bet that many people speak another language or two- likely another South African language like Zulu or Xhosa (maybe as a home or regional language- SA has 11 official languages in total) and probably a European language.  Also- there are tons of other international students here and they all speak almost perfect English.  They’re very humble about their English skills but they speak very, very well and are eager to learn.

So far as the aggressive people, I plan on getting some mace this week.  The gym starts classes in the next few days and one of my friends said they offer a self-defense class in a week or two and we are planning on attending.  To this point, the aggression has injured my body much less than my psyche.  I want both to be safe but I expect the latter to be the most difficult to protect.

They have EVERYTHING here!   They have a wide variety of toiletries and makeup and home furnishings and I want for nothing.  The food so far has been amazing.  The “fast-food” is pretty crappy (they have a McDonald’s but that’s it for American chains, they have a lot of street side shops and the student center has probably 10 places that serve mediocre “South African” fare.) but the real restaurants are delicious!  Yesterday in Cape Town I had an amazing vegetable bruchetta at an open-air cafe on the harbor for $9.  Ocean side dining for less than $10!!!

I have no idea what is up with the kitties!  I haven’t found anyone to ask.  They’re actually about 50/50 with and without tails, but they are definitely strays so I don’t know that anyone would have had a chance to catch them and remove the tail on purpose.  I’ll ask my South African History professor, I’m sure he’ll be amused. =)

Cape Town has the hugest squirrels ever, just look at that little chubber bunny!  Leave it to the Americans to ignore the beauty of the Company Gardens in favor of the squirrels. (The Company Gardens were first used to grow the fruits and veggies needed to replenish the ships stopping at Cape Town on their way to the Far East.)

Mom, a Bird of Paradise flower in real life.  Towards the end of the season and full of bugs, but still!

Table Mountain from the Company Gardens (When there are clouds they call them Table Mountain’s table cloth, ha.)

Cape Town from Signal Hill

Table Mountain

Veeery cold Atlantic Ocean!

Thanks for your support!  More news and pictures soon!

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7 Responses to “Cape Town”

  1. Martha-her mom! Says:

    HEY!!! Is that actually YOU touching the Atlantic Ocean in bare feet or did someone photoshop you in there?! Now that I think about it, I KNOW it wouldn’t be you; I just took you to “our” Atlantic ocean, and you wouldn’t go near it with your big toe. So, I repeat…HEY!!!
    Is the bird-of-paridise the “one” for this trip?
    I’d enjoy pics of store fronts and town streets and farmers’ markets…

  2. Kathy Fatheree Says:

    I have sent your blog to a dulcimer player friend of mine, who sent it to her daughter in Tennessee. She home schools’ her 2 boys. They are thrilled for these “lessons” !
    I was talking to Jimmy about you being here, he asked if they talk with a “click”, I laughed and said THEY DO< and Jessi is going to learn how to do that!!
    Be safe, Love A. Kathy

  3. Josh Says:

    jess! this blog is great. the content is fascinating, your perspective is very openminded, and the writing style is clear and informative. i love it! im very much enjoying reading about what youre seeing and experiencing, so keep updating! best of luck with classes and ill see you soon.

  4. jessicakania Says:

    Nah, mom, not the Bird of Paradise… it grows so many places it doesn’t fit the bill. I’ll start choosing when spring comes and things bloom!

    Thanks for passing this along, Aunt Kathy! I love the idea that someone is learning something from me and that I’m maybe just a little helping to spread some culturally relevant material. Tell Jimmy “Molo bhuti!”

  5. Cuz Greg Says:

    Jessica,

    This is very facinating and your writing style makes me feel like I’m there with you. What great experiences you are having! Thanks for sharing!!

    YFC

  6. janet Says:

    OMg I totally forgot how fat the squirrels are in Cape Town!

  7. janet Says:

    Oh shoot, I just realised my blog address was wrong too. Here it is again- would love to hear back about those Knysna questions! Janetandseanenglish.blogspot.com

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