I think this week was my first week really feeling at home. The work week was long, but we haven’t had much to do on our side of the agency… I’m still hoping it will pick up. I did get two of my own projects to work on though, which is a nice step up. I’m coordinating the agency cricket tournament (which I’m also playing in!) and will be working on a presentation for one of our clients. I’ve finally had the chance to work with the creatives on the other side of the agency, and I get to meet some of the other people in our agency that I haven’t worked with yet.
At the end of the week, I got to go with Justin to a photo shoot with models, which was actually a fun experience. The toddlers modeling were ADORABLE, and it was fun to see how the photos for our ads are produced. I’ve met with the photographer a few times, and he’s awesome to work with, so that was a nice way to end the week. One of my other co-workers talked to me this week about setting up some times to have dinner with our other co-workers so I can see how people in Cape Town live, and even have a Cape Malay dinner. I was so shocked at their kindness, and especially to find out that everyone had already gotten together to talk about taking me in and making me dinner. I can’t wait to take them up on their offer and get to know the people and different cultures I work with better.
I decided to skip the work bar this week and hang out with some of the other students here, which ended up being a really fun night. I met some other students from Cape Town who we’ll hopefully go out with again. The locals here continue to amaze me with how outgoing and accepting of others they are.
Yesterday Justin invited me to get the real rugby experience with his friends and our co-worker, so we went to the pub early, and I got to watch what happens when an entire COUNTRY is rooting for their team to win (it got ugly at a few points). I barely understood the game, but we ended up in a tie (which I guess means we won?!). I’m still working on learning the ins and outs of rugby, but I finally got to wear my SA Rugby shirt and hopefully I’ll be an expert in no time! I felt so lucky to be able to see how the people here really support their team, and it made me feel like I was back at school supporting our Spartans :)
Today we went to the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront because the weather was really crappy, so we couldn’t really go on a bus tour like we were planning to do. It was a nice relaxing way to spend our Sunday, and pretty much our only option for activities since the city closes down for the weekend and nothing is open. We also went to the theater in the mall, which was actually a lot like the theaters at home, and then Emily and I bought some paintings from the craft fair. I got a simple but really nice painting of the cable car on Table Mountain, so now I REALLY have to climb it soon. I also finally found some ornaments for Mama Newton, so hopefully she’s excited about that :)
I’m getting used to our crappy accommodation – the leaking shower (which is an understatement), the lack of laundry facilities (I had to wash my clothes in the shower this week), the freezing flat, no dishwasher – but I’ve been trying to spend most of my weekends out of the apartment, and spending my days at work bundled in clothes.
I definitely want to take back with me the sense of community and genuine care for others that I have found in Cape Town. I’ve never felt so welcomed and cared for by people who barely know me or have only known me for a few weeks. I really feel at home in the city and with everyone I’ve met, and I can’t wait to see what the next two months bring. The longer I’m here, the more I realize how similar my life is to the lives of those here. There are obviously some differences, but it’s comforting to see that people here are just that – people. They aren’t really South Africans to me – not to discredit their amazing heritage, however – they’re more friends than anything.