Day 21

I’m not sure what the Mother Nature thinks is so special about June 25, but this morning was the prettiest sunrise I’ve ever seen. Pictures featured in the photo gallery. I spent the drive to Khayelitsha watching the beautiful pink sky and also speaking to our third (yes, THIRD) new driver this morning, Nomalady. This was one of the first times I’ve seen a woman driving a car in South Africa so hooray for gender equality!

Unfortunately, this dry spell at the clinic is really dragging on. We arrived this morning and spent half the day filling out paperwork, you know, the normal grind. But when we took our tea break this morning, we saw that Maci had a new puzzle book filled with crosswords, sudokus, etc. Most of the afternoon (after the paperwork was all done) we spent solving said puzzles as a group of six– an interesting task. Unfortunately, in line with some days last week, today was rather anti-climactic. However, we did spend some time today planning our shark cage diving trip… details will be covered tomorrow!

When we returned home, I hit the gym, talked to my mom on the phone for a while, and went grocery shopping with Morganne– also rather anti-climactic. BUT after this grocery shopping, Morganne took me into what may very well be the cutest stationery shop I’ve ever seen called Fabricate. Thank goodness I had my hands full of groceries because otherwise, my wallet would’ve been in trouble. Big time. Before we left, I headed down to Pick n Pay (imagine Kroger vs. Whole Foods (Woolworths)) to purchase one of those puzzle books for myself… I was missing my sudoku fix.

I returned home, whipped up some cauliflower noodle and veggie stir fry, hung out with Austin, Charlie, Morgan, Sarah, Morganne, and Tess, and am now headed off to bed for tomorrow morning, we have a 6am wake up call for shark diving. Xhosa word of the day is “sister” (or daughter, little girl, etc.): sisi.

Day 10

Following a crazy day yesterday, today was a bit more tame. First of all, we woke up to a torrential downpour. Though we always need to celebrate the rain (we are in a severe drought), this stuff was crazy. Upon arrival to the clinic, the nurses were saying that today would be absolutely empty because of the rain, especially in the post-natal side where checkups weren’t necessary. They said that, frankly, they didn’t want to see anybody because it puts the baby at risk of getting sick if they’re out in the rain walking to the clinic. With that being said, Nikki and I completed paperwork for a grand total of one patient today. Two mothers were “on deck” but didn’t seem to want to give birth any time soon and the nurses were pretty much all socializing at that point. Two of the Connect interns in the physical therapy department had taken the day off anyway so with some permission from the sisters in charge, we called an Uber and scooted back to the CBD around 10:30.

Because we work five days a week leaving at 7:20 and most places in Cape Town are closed on the weekends, the one demographic of restaurants we have been missing out on is, my personal favorite, brunch. So what better way to use a rainy morning off than pursuing a delicious eatery along Bree St!? We headed to Jarryd’s and absolutely chowed down. Pictures of this straight-up feast can be found in the gallery. Major highlight was the split dish of pancakes that were ACTUAL cakes. With full stomachs we made our way to the waterfront and treated ourselves to a manicure at the K Spa (cheap and great service, would recommend).

One gym trip later, I went to Truth Coffee Roasting with Tess to catch up on blogging (oops) and enjoy the (former) world’s best cup of coffee! I’m not sure if it’s the steam punk-themed interior or the bright cheeriness of all employees or the delicious coffee but I can’t rave enough about Truth. It is absolutely deserving of all the hype and still remains relatively tucked away along Buitenkant St.

Morganne, Tess, and I made our own dinners like strong, independent women and feasted on dumplings, roasted vegetables, buns, and samoosas, all from pre-made Woolworths containers. We divided and conquered, each watching our own Netflix shows in different areas of the apartment and are now ready to crash. The Xhosa word of the day is “early”: ekuqaleni. This one has a palate click on the Q that I’ve been trying to master… we’re making progress.

Day 5

This morning got off to a slow start, with Tess, Morganne, and me (roommates) lounging in bed as we listened to the blissful sound of rain. In a city where day zero of a drought looms within the next year, rain is always a feat to be celebrated. Morganne and I zipped off to the local grocery store, Woolworths (very similar to Whole Foods), and picked up more of their incredible premade meals… from samoosas to wraps to soups to pies they have it all.

Around 11:30, we took off for Old Biscuit Mill, a shopping hub in Woodstock (suburb) that turns into a huge food/craft market on Saturday mornings. Food stalls were spread throughout the market offering selections from curry to paella to baked goods to pho and every cultural dish in-between. After a few rounds, I stuck with some Korean glass noodles and a grilled chicken seaweed burrito (“edo”), both of which were absolutely fantastic. This market is a must for any visitors and I place I hope to hit up every Saturday from here on out. The craft booths boasted beautiful jewelry, vintage clothes, and stylish bags and nearby shops provided an array of fashion, spices, and kitchenware. My wallet shed a few tears at the good ol’ Biscuit Mill.

We returned home to bask a little bit more in the glory of rain before heading upstairs to work out in the rooftop gym room (no machines, just mats and space). As sunset approached, we loved getting to squat, jump, and stretch all while looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Cape Town skyline. Pictures to come. Morganne and I stayed out on the rooftop deck reading as the sun truly set, providing a wonderful viewing point for the ~golden hour~.  Up there, I finished “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas which I cannot recommend enough. If you don’t believe me look at the list of awards it’s received: William C. Morris Award, Michael L. Printz Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and the longest for the 2017 National Book Award. Published in only February of 2017, this novel is simply incredible and also a very quick read.

Returned from the rooftop to whip up some delicious dinners / bran muffins (Woolworths mix for the win) and now we’re all laying in bed watching movies until we fall asleep. Xhosa word of the day is “delicious”: nandi.