Monday the 10th of May 2010 – 21.44h
My first weekend in Cape Town involved spending Saturday afternoon at the beach, spending time with my fellow volunteers, going out for some drinks on Saturday night, making a nice list of places I want to visit over the next 3 months in Cape Town (the list is long) as well as watching the end of the premiership season on television in a bar.
For all those who expect to see me with a nice tan when I am back in Barcelona after three months in Africa, you are mistaken. The weather at this moment in time is very frustrating. In one single day you can get sun, rain, clouds, wind and to say we have had cold days is an understatement.
On Saturday it was hot enough for us to spend the afternoon on an amazing beach (the sand was so soft and the views were mesmerizing). I was amazed by the lovely beaches in Menorca last summer as I had never seen anything better, but this is on another level. I didn’t manage to get a swim as the water was really cold and I am not sure if I would have had it been warm, with the amount of white sharks loose in the ocean surrounding South Africa. I am trying to be convinced to go shark diving in a cage but I don’t think I am courageous enough to have a white shark a few metres away from my face.
On Sunday the weather conditions changed considerably. So much so that whilst watching the Manchester United – Stoke City game on TV, we were unable to watch the last 20 minutes as the TV we were watching lost it’s signal due to the weather conditions, it was just raining. Another aspect which highlights how I am currently living in a third world country. It didn’t really bother me as the premiership title had already been decided by then but it would have been really frustrating had the title gone to the wire in the last 20 minutes. I am crossing my fingers that this doesn’t happen whilst the World Cup is on.
I was also warned by my fellow volunteers that if it rained the next day, on Monday, work would be cancelled as we wouldn’t be able to coach the children football as the weather conditions make the playing surface dangerous for the children. I was praying it wouldn’t rain.
During the weekend I also witnessed some “crime” in South Africa for the very first time, or that is what I assume. There are these mini buses which are so called “taxis”. They are dirt cheap and a good alternative to the public transport here (which is very unreliable) as well as the real taxis if you want to get your way round Cape Town. They are really old white vans, blasting music and travelling around Cape Town breaking all road rules. There is a guy shouting out of the van the destination the van is going trying to convince any pedestrian to hop onto the van if they want a lift along the journey they are taking. They try to fit as many people as possible in the van (although it is a 15 seater I have seen about 20 people in the van at one time).
We used a mini-bus to take us to the beach on Saturday. On the way back home from the beach we stopped in the centre of Cape Town to let two people off the van, they were white tourists. As they got off the van I looked out of the window, and to my amazement, they were both in bare feet. I can only imagine that they were on the beach, took their shoes off, and their eyes off their shoes, and got them taken away from them. A bit silly really.
On the Saturday night we went out I also saw a couple of men arrested on the main street called Long Street (where it is all happening) for reasons I am unaware of. It is good to see that the police are being strict and it could be due to the World Cup coming up shortly.
Finally and most shocking, on Sunday, walking past a corner shop I saw the headline of a newspaper which read, “Man finds head of dead baby”, something you just wouldn’t even think of in Europe.
Tuesday the 11th of May 2010 – 20.29h
I am hoping that tomorrow I will be able to publish another post about my first day with the kids, a truly enjoyable day.