Thursday, July 29, 2004

Just call me "Hottie"

cape town, south africa

I’m doing volunteer work with an organization on campus called SHAWCO. I get picked up at 3 on Tuesdays, with about 10 other volunteers, and we go to one of the settlements and visit a home for kids with severe mental and physical disabilities. It’s hard to describe what its like but it’s already one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I spend a couple of hours playing with kids that have conditions ranging from mild cerebral palsy to some that are nearly catatonic. All of them have been abandoned by their parents because of their disabilities and they live together in a tiny little 2-room building. I spend Tuesday evenings at an orphanage for children in a different settlement. These kids are happy and healthy for the most part, they’ve just been orphaned because of extreme poverty or AIDs. I spend a couple of hours here just playing with the kids. They love to dance and sing and the boys especially love to wrestle. It’s good times… Its like being 8-years-old again. I spent most of last Tuesday, pretending to be a WWF wrestler while 8 little boys tried to take me to the ground. Apparently, my new blonde hair makes me look like a WWF wrestler named “Scotty-Too-Hottie”, so that’s what they all call me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


cape town, south africa

Right... so after a few too many drinks and some coaxing from the girls, Nick and I decided that it would be a good idea to bleach our hair. After picking up the stuff from Clicks, we got ourselves good and psyched up and started mixing the chemicals. 30 minutes later, Nick's hair is looking slightly more blonde than it did before and me... My hair was somewhere between an orange and a carrot. Fully rediculous. After toughing out one day at school and funny looks from people that weren't sure if they recognized me, I stopped at a local barber shop to see if it could be fixed. This guy seemed very convinced that he had the solution to my problem. "120 Rand and I'll fix all your problem". 1 hour later: Yellow. Full-on, Hulk Hogan-esque, bright yellow hair. I look like I'm growing a crop of Saskatchewan wheat on my head. I also look like a 16-year-old surf punk from SoCal (no offense to my friends in SoCal). I'm thinking about playing the part all the way and start talking like Bill and Ted. Interjecting in my politics tutorial with comments like: "That Mandela bro was a pretty gnarley dude huh?"

Maybe not.

On the brighter side, I went out on my first rockclimbing trip with the mountaineering club and everyone just assumed I was this hard-core adrenaline junkie from America. Must have been the accent...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

African Penguins???

cape town, south africa

Orientation week is nearly over and I can finally get into a regular routine. My first week here on the Cape has been great but there’s been so much to do and so much to organize before school starts on Monday that I’ve had no time to relax. My courses are all registered now and I’ll be taking politics, history, and even some introductory Swahili. I’m living in a small house with three other exchange students: Laura is from Washington, DC, another Laura is from near Yorkshire, England, and Julie is from Germany… Yup, just me and the girls. Life is sweet eh?

I’ve also seen a lot of the region in my first week. I’ve been to the Cape of Good Hope, the South-western most point on the African continent, seen penguins on the beach, and survived my first ride in a mini-bus taxi… more to come about that later.

For now I’ve got to get off this computer and down to the Pick-‘N-Pay to grab some meat and a case of Castle Lager for our big Brai tomorrow night (South African BBQ).

Oh ya, it’s 23 degrees and sunny. I love African winter.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Don't drink and fly

cape town, south africa

So after barely making my flight out of Vancouver thanks to traffic and my genetic disposition to pushing the clock, I finally made it onto the plane an determined never to be late for another flight...

not to be...

I had an 8 hour lay-over in London so I caught the Underground from Heathrow into town. It's July 1st, Canada Day, and after a little sightseeing I run into a guy wearing a Canucks jersey! As I walk past the guy, I see a HUGE crowd of people wearing hockey jerseys and waving Canadian flags. The police had the street blocked off and it was the biggest Canada Day party I'd ever seen! I met a whole bunch of people from all over Canada who were in London for all sorts of reasons. There must have been about 5 or 6 hundred people. There was a pub on the street called the Maple Leaf and they were selling nothing but Molson Canadian and Sleemans! Ya, so after about 3 hours, I'm on my second case of Canadian, am wearing a paper hockey helmet, and singing "Oh Canada" at the top of my lungs with a bunch of strangers from home. It was great! Finally, someone asked me what time my flight left and I was too drunk to care (or panic for that matter). Fortunately, this guy named Tim from Vancouver introduced me to his Austrian friend Bianca who was kind enough to lead me to the Underground station and make sure I got on the right train.

Heathrow is a BIG BIG airport... it's even bigger when you're vision is blurry and your feet aren't working properly. Thanks to the kindness of strangers I managed to get to my flight just as they were finishing up boarding.


Saturday, July 03, 2004

What do you mean its raining??

cape town, south africa

I made it. I'm finally in Cape Town after 30 hours of travelling. It's 10 degrees and pissing rain! What's up with that? I'm in Africa! It's supposed to be like 100 degrees here all year isn't it? Turns out Wintertime in the Cape is a lot like April in Vancouver. I only have a couple of minutes before this Internet connection expires so I'll tell my amazing Canada Day story next time.

My address for the next 5 months is:

79 Albion Road
Rondebosch, 7700
Cape Town, South Africa

Feel free to send letters, country music, and Canadian Beer.

You can also call me from North America on my cell. Dial this from Canada or the US:


All the best to everyone back home. Enjoy the sun, you'll miss it when its gone.