Shopping for Vuvuzelas

3/4/11

7:50pm SA

11:50am AL

Ah, what a nice day…another nice day, after MANY nice days…I will be GOOD FOR NUTTIN when I get back to Montgomery! The Snymans allowed Tim and me to sleep late this morning…8:45…it was GLORIOUS and greatly needed. But Tim slipped out of the room, only to slip back in and tell me to GET DRESSED as we have PLACES TO GO. Whoa. No rest for the weary. Fortunately, it was Charlotte’s day to be the “program director” (or day planner)!

WE started the day be going to the Flea Market where we bartered for jewelry and Vuvuzelas! There were so many unique people there and it was delightful to visit with them. The South Africans, we have found, have been courteous and kind and very accommodating across the board (at the church and out and about). Many of the folks made it thru Apartheid without bitterness. Others, tho, like places that we in the south are familiar with, still hold onto old hurts and perceptions. The potential for more political mess is still there, but the folks just live life to the full “today”.

The market was fun…no pressure from the sales folks like in some parts of the world and you still get to haggle with them which was interesting. We did make a few souvenir purchases. Peter took some great pics. He has been wanting to achieve to the Picture Of the Day…which he finally did today (note facebook) Then we grabbed some lunch (well, Charlotte grabbed our lunch while Tim and I were shopping and Peter was taking photos) and headed to the park. Their city park features large, very old trees from all across the world. The park is also beautifully maintained. The strange thing was, that amidst all the beauty, were the homeless guys sleeping on the benches and sidewalks. It was very sobering. What more can I say?

Then we jumped in the car and headed on to the paper store, only to realize that it had closed. So we went to THE MALL of course. WE are getting ready to go to Lesotho and Swaziland and I needed a few more tank tops…charlotte took me to a place that was much like Old Navy, so bargains abounded. Then, Peter decided to take an impromptu view of the city (me thinks he was lost) then one more drug store errand and back ‘home’. ACTUALLY, peter and Charlotte have made this feel like “home”…they are very gracious hosts (and feed us very well)

Asher had some friends over for Pizza…then Charlotte made some delicious spaghetti. Since then, I have been uploading pics (finally had to stop putting them on MY computer as I have almost filled up mine with PICTURES…so I have moved to fill up Tim’s (I need to learn about some type of internet sight that I can upload them too…any ideas, my 7 blog followers?)

Another busy day tomorrow as Charlotte and I go to a paper store to make purchases for the Art Worship Workshop at the Church tomorrow…Prayers appreciated. I am sensing that God wants to plant a seed here in Cape Town of worshipping Him thru the arts…I can only hope that I can have a small part in that.

Sunsets, Ceres and a hug fest (Tues-Thurs)

3/3/11 Thursday

11:40pm SA
3:40pm AL

Thursday is over and I am getting way far behind on my journaling. First things first (whatever that means).

Tuesday (3/1) evening – Wednesday (3/2) night:

Tim and I went with Colleen and Walter (Snyman) to watch the sunset on Shelley Point. It was a rather cloudy evening but the sunset was “nice”. “Nice” meaning that it was not out the ordinary…just hazy due to the clouds. I took a picture and was pleased. We began to walk back to the road and up to the house when Colleen and turned around. The hazy sky began to turn orange…and as we waited it grew oranger and oranger until it looked like the whole sky was on fire. (pics will be on fb) It felt ‘prophetic’.

What I mean by that is that it felt like God was speaking to us saying: YOU ALMOST MISSED IT. It ‘was’ beautiful, but you were satisfied and began to walk off…but THEN you turned around and were absolutely STUNNED by the spectacular show! I will never forget that sunset. Never.

We did go back to the house and had Red Bush (Robosch) Tea. It was quite good. Then off to bed. The next morning we had another good breakfast and a nice long conversation. We were so blessed by Walter and Colleen. They both truly modeled servant leadership. We were waited on constantly. It was very humbling….

Tim and Colleen and I went on one more walk and saw our seal lounging again on the boulders! This time, however, I had the camera! We also found several very cool sea shells (unbeknownst to us we also brought home several lovely sand fleas…they died a slow bleachy death, tho, at the hands of Peter and I!)

We cleaned up and had a quick lunch then jumped in the car for the 2-hour trek home. Our vacation from our vacation was needed and truly enjoyed!

Charlotte cooked a wonderful oriental beef meal and a scrumptious carrot cake…We WERE losing weight but that trend may be ending. Then we skyped with Ham and Jonathan…that was fun on both counts…Ty’s skype is Friday!

Thursday (3/3): I will try the abbreviated version to a wonderful day. Let about 9:00. Met folks at church to go on our Road Trip to Ceres. Ceres is a quaint little town about 2 hours northeast of Capetown. It is in a mountainous region known for its fruit production: pears, apples, nectarines, grapes and plums. It is also the home of a new church plant, which is why some representatives (Carl and Susanne, Florres, and Benni) from lighthouse were going to visit: simply to connect. Tim and I just tagged along.

The ride up thru the mountains was nothing short of stunning. Along the way we saw VAST farmlands, cattle, sheep and vineyards. WE also saw MANY baboons in and alongside the roadways!

We were the meet the Ceres church folk at a local camp ground. We winded thru the little town, noticing all the flowers in the yards: hydrangea, crepe myrtles, a multitude of perennials and A HEAP of roses…roses were growing everywhere…in the yards of the rich and the poor! We finally made it to the camp ground where we were greeted by Sonja America (yes, that is her last name) along with a few other church members. They brought in quite a spread of food, most of it being traditional South African food. It was a wonderful feast. We also drank Passion Fruit Juice, which was grown and packaged right there in Ceres (the place was RICH with fruit!) Then, as we waited for the other men to arrive for our Ceres Tour, we explored the camp (note pics on facebook!) I enjoyed sitting in the shade next to the Olympic sized pool as well as jumping on the underground trampoline!

Woo hoo! The other church members arrived and so we caravanned to the local dam, which was on private property….the land was stunning, mainly rocks but the formations were unbelievable. This place housed South Africa’s longest zip line…however, no one would tell Peter how to actually GET to the little platform. He did however, shed his t-shirt and cell phone and jumped into a natural pool The water was BLACK but CLEAN. He and Mr. America played for a while, while the rest of us took pics and laughed at them.

Then onto the local primary school where several children (maybe 75ish) had stayed behind, like they do everyday, to eat. Ceres church members have been going over there 5 days a week to feed the children. I HATED that Tammy missed this one. Peter gave greetings in Afrikaans (they supposedly spoke no English) and then I shared the story of Zacheaus with them. Then, before the kids could eat, they “had” to hug each one of us…that was the funnest LINE I have ever been in. After they ate a handful of 12 and 13 year old boys were sitting outside. I knew that they didn’t speak English, but HEY, I decided to give it a whirl. “Do any of you speak English?” I asked. The heads shook “no”. I continued: “Do any of you understand English?” Again, the heads shook “no”. Now, I am blonde but I am no dummy. “YOU GUYS DO speak English!” The just looked at each other with sheepish grins. “SO,” I continued, “How did you learn English?” Finally one of them spoke up: Television! “Ok, so why won’t you speak it?” Silence. “OH…you have no one to practice with!” They nodded. So, I plopped onto the dirt and said: “Well practice with me!” They did, slowly but surely and it was, by far, the sweetest part of the day!”

We then road thru the neighbor hood where many of the children from the school lived.  They were small houses (kitchen and one other room) all painted bright colors and MANY with ROSES planted in the yards.  Tho they were obviously very poor, many of the folks fixed up their yards with pride.  I think it is a Ceres thing!

After leaving there we went to a local fruit packing plant and learned that on Fridays, they clean it out, set up chairs and are ready for church on Sunday! YES, this is where the Ceres church meets…all 40 of  them! It was a joy. We sampled fruit and chatted with the workers and meandered until we realized the time. We hugged our new friends good bye and wished them God’s blessings.  Then, Peter loaded all of us.

Carl drove (slowly! Obviously he had been informed of my cliff issues) and we sat back and enjoyed the breathtaking and ever-changing view. The sun setting changed the colors not only of the skies but of the fields and the mountains.

In quick order we were home by 9:00 where Charlotte fed us, shared her Chinese Tea (in her Taiwanese family heirloom tea-china) and we were off to bed.

I am determined to post this, but I will soon be asleep. Pics from today will be posted tomorrow. This camper is whooped!

 

Vacation from Vacation

3/1/11

6:00pm SA
10:00am AL

Sunsets and seals

AH, just woke up from a nap and now preparing to go watch the sunset.  “Preparing” means that I have to get out of this bed, look out over the pool/lawn/flowers and put on some shoes.  Somebody has to do it.

WE woke us yesterday (Monday) morning without an alarm clock.  That was the first time in days.  It was wonderful.  I was able to fix a latte (my new morning favorite) and sit under the thatch hut at Peter and Charlotte’s and have an extending quiet time.  I feel like God is speaking in so many areas of my life/our lives that I haven’t had a chance to listen.  It was nice to do so in an unhurried way.

Charlotte has been taping American Idol so we watched it for a while BUT PETER (!) came in and announced that his father and mother would be picking us up in an hour in order to take us to Shelley Point, 2 hours away where they own a beach house.

We quickly packed and were shortly on the road.  It was a beautiful drive (as is EVERY drive in South Africa).  We saw cows, sheep and many open fields on the way (according the Walter and Colleen these fields are covered with flowers during other parts of the year).  WE stopped at a little store and purchased some meat pies (like stopping a buying a bucket of chicken) as well as another stop at the Pic n Pay, a grocery store.

This was my first time in the grocery.  It was very similar to ours and the prices were very much the same as ours.  Tim and I explored around and found the juice aisle.  They have MANY varieties of juices and juices blends (most without the added sugar).  We have really enjoyed drinking them as well as the sparkling varieties: appletisers being a favorite.)  WE also had to find the Robucsh (or Red Bush) Tea.  It is wonderfully rich in flavor and (supposedly) a super-food full of antioxidants, etc.  We will be bringing that back as well!

We soon arrived at a private gated community with many VERY nice homes: all white with black or thatched roofs.  Thatched roofs are very popular and plentiful here and I rather like them.

Upon our arrival we met Ian and Belinda (a Hoda Kobe lookalike), a young couple that had stayed the weekend in their very nice home.  WE shared our meat pies with them as well as coffee (normal).  They were fun to chat with.  After they left we sat on the porch and chatted a bit and then I finally had to take a nap.  I am not sure how long I slept (2 hours? 3 hours?) but when I woke it was time to go watch the sun set.  We barely made it but the tail end was gorgeous…ALMOST as pretty as the sunset in Pike Road!  Then we took a long watch on the beach.  Colleen spared with a little dog named Porche and we all chatted back and forth.  We stopped at a pair of benches that a man had left there in memory of his 2 sons, both of whom had died in separate tragic accidents.  They left Tim and me there while they went to prepare supper. (we are OFFICIALLY spoiled….Charlotte began the process and now we are getting a bit rotten)  We were able to stare at the stars for a while (we found the Southern Cross, again, and with it the Three Sisters.  We took some time to pray together and just sit and think.

We made it back home and Colleen cooked AGAIN: A wonderful eggplant/mushroom/olive concoction over pasta.  It was delicious.  Walter finished telling the story of how the Lighthouse church began and before we knew it, it was time for bed.  We slept soundly all night.  Tim was up before dawn and off on his own to witness the sunrise.  He got back just as I woke about 7:00 am.

Had another wonderful quiet time and then we were called to breakfast.  I am really enjoying this yoghurt/muesli/and fruit business.  Sooo good!

Tim and I then put on our bathers (bathing suits) and took a long walk.  The coast we had walked on last night was all sand…much like the east coast.  But this morning we went in the either direction.  It was rocky and sandy, with lots of large and small boulders just off the coastline.

Tim noticed a small seal lumbering up onto one of the boulders so we stopped and watched him for a while.  I climbed over and around some of the boulders to get closer.  (I was bout 20 yards from him)  He was like a puppy just stretching and turning and scratching.  It was so fun!

We collected lots seashells (which Tim quickly culled) and finally made it to the lighthouse on the Point.  We were able to get a better view of the seagulls and the Oyster Catchers (endangered black birds with long orange beaks).

The views are stunning in every directions: sand, boulders, mountains, birds, beautiful homes, etc.

WE were gone quite some time so we headed back and swam in the pool for a while.  I had seen some decaying lobsters on the beach so asked if we could go get seafood.

YES!  WE got in the car and took a shortcut on a long very dusty dirt road.  (AGAIN, the views were beautiful in every direction! I stopped and took photos of the sheep, the boulders, the quaint houses.  Then when we arrived at our destination, I took shots of the adorable homes, the colorful fishing boats as well as the unique townfolk.  We ate at a local restaurant, on the porch, over looking the sand/ocean.  The food was even better than the view.

AS if that weren’t enough we stopped on the way home for dessert and coffee.  (I don’t want to eat again any time soon!)

Another nap and here I am.  Admittedly spoiled but resting a bit.  The sunset is calling and I must heed!

3/2/11 11:55pmSA…the sunset was PROPHETIC but no time to write now…will do so tonight…uh oh…off to the rural areas of South Africa…PRAY