Settling in with Openness

Back in Cape Town and the living is easy. Adjusting to another way of life without boda bodas and laughing and funny conversations with my Ugandan sistas.

IMG_1011

At my going-away party at the beach with Monica and her beautiful son, Victor

Fitting in at this hip café with Sublime playing in the background as I start to find my way around my new neighbourhood and reconnect with old friends. Returning to Cape Town after five years has shown me clearly how my perspectives and values have changed. I notice aspects of the city with different vision, especially the sheer size and beauty of the mountains surrounding me. I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have a view from my apartment of Lion’s Head and the ocean while knowing that Table Mountain is protecting me from behind. Yet, I didn’t forget the huge inequalities and vastly distinct lives between the rich and poor and how this can be so invisible and ignored.

IMG_1106

Majestic Table Mountain

IMG_1117

For the past three weeks, I have gotten carried away with a visit from a special someone, overnight hiking in the Cederburg mountains, a music festival by the river, school orientation and registering, and moving and settling into my new apartment.

CIMG1767

Hiking in the Cederburg Mountains

CIMG1822

Cute butts 🙂

I am now able to step back, take a deep breathe of air, and prepare myself for the next stage of my life. Last week, was a hectic time of unexpected change in my academic plans. I decided to change my studies from an Honours in Gender and Transformation to a Masters in African Studies. You may wonder, what is an “honours”? And that is exactly one of the main reasons that I switched. In South Africa, undergraduates spend three years to get their degree, then a year of Honours and then a Masters. The Masters in Gender studies is research only, which is why I was doing the Honours year. While, the Masters in African Studies is coursework and a dissertation and I can still take gender courses. It is also less expensive and less time (1.5 years vs. 2 years). I really decided this over a margarita with a new friend, Jessica who was in the same position as me, except she already had her Masters. Why is it that good, but quick decisions are often made over drinks? I remember that I decided to go to Guatemala after a fun night out with my friends.

I am looking forward to learning again in a university setting and trying new activities! This week I am going to start taking keyboarding lessons so I can start playing music and singing for the soul. We will see how it goes. I also want to start getting involved with organisations working in the townships and am eyeing one that offers yoga, nutrition, and gardening in schools. I have also been blessed to meet very inspiring and spiritually aware women during the past couple of days. An old friend entered my life and we have reconnected on a different level than in the past. She started an online magazine: unbrandedtruth.com that I am going to contribute to, which will allow my writing to reach a larger audience. I also met a lady who has connected me to a larger spiritual and wellness community in Cape Town. Exploring and accepting our inner selves with a group of loving and supportive people is something that I really missed in Kampala and am excited to get involved in.

CIMG1688

Not exactly a woman, hehe, but my friend Terry and I in Hout Bay where he is working with TrashBack to encourage recycling in townships

CIMG1676

I had quite a night out last night at my friend’s house party. It ended with me without my beloved IPhone. When I woke up, I was feeling so crappy and couldn’t believe how reckless I could still be at this mature age 🙂 I was feeling so anxious and dreaded the idea of going back to Vodacom to deal with this and buy a new phone. I convinced myself that it had to be at my friend’s house, the last place I saw it. But, when I went back there with a couple of friends in the morning, we looked in every nook and cranny and found nothing. I resigned to the fact that I would have to move on. I would have to send one of those silly Facebook messages asking for numbers. It was not exactly how I wanted to spend my Sunday. But, my prayers must have been heard, because in the middle of brunch my friend got a call from my number! I was so shocked and excited. The phone had somehow landed in the garden downstairs and my friend spotted it during cleaning. I feel so extremely lucky. Yet, the whole incident also made me see clearly how dependent I have become to a little piece of plastic. I allow it to rule my life and my contact with others.

If nothing else, I learned to let things go, especially material goods. As my meditation teacher told me: “If you can’t live without something, it controls you.”