Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November Highlights!

It's been way too long since an update -- I'm not really sure where to begin...I am going to share with you all a couple of highlights from the last month!
1. I was very blessed to be able to go and visit Robby, a good friend and fellow YASCer.

It was SO nice to see a familiar face and to be able to talk with someone who is having a similar experience as I am. Robby is living in Grahamstown, which is about a ten hour drive away (or 13 if you take the bus, which I did on the way home!).
We spent the afternoons at an after-school program, where Robby volunteers, helping kids with their homework and playing games. The After-school program is up in the mountains at an AMAZING monastery.
Here are some pics from the after-school program and the Monastery.

We spent Saturday night at the monastery and went to their church services in the evening and then Eucharist in the morning. I loved all of the services -- their chapel is a square room with big windows that over-look the mountains, with an altar table in the middle. The view is breath-taking and it was incredible to worship there. The morning Eucharist was full of so much life; You could feel the holy spirit dancing and shouting for joy! The children from the after-school program came to church, along with the wonderful woman who looks after the children. She lead the church in song and response while the Eucharist was being passed around the group. Three people played the drums and everyone sang and danced. I left the Monastery feeling renewed and excited.
While I was visiting Robby, I got to spend time exploring Grahamstown and meeting a lot of wonderful people. And, I got to hear Xhosa for the first time -- this is the South African language that uses a series of clicks while you talk - it was incredible to hear the children at the afterschool program speak so quickly with the clicks and the singing at church sounded so cool when everyone clicked at the same time. One of Robby's roommates made me a traditional Xhosa mean while I was - It was veggies. meat and beans-- it was delicious: check it out!

2. Before I left for Grahamstown, I went to the Grassy Park Golf day! Walking around on the gold course was fun (I was caddying for Fr. CLiffy!), but the best part of the day was learning to Braai or grill-out. Now, I know how to grill at home, but I am telling you it is much more intense here. First of all, when I think grilling at home, i first thing hamburgers and hot-dogs, but not here...they think, chicken, sausage, steak, prawns, etc. and in incredible quantities. The grills have a grate that you can close around the top and bottom, which is then used to flip all the meat at once -- no spatulas needed!

3. I returned from Grahamstown the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. For Thanksgiving, I lead the youth group in a program about blessings. We played games, talked about the meaning of thanksgiving, and wrote cards to people we were thankful for and ate pie! I spent almost all of the day baking apple pie and it was worth it! It was so nice to have a little piece of a traditional thanksgiving.

4. I've been learning more Afrikaans and am hoping to take a class soon! Some of the words/phrases I know so far:

Lekke or lekker -- good, nice, lovely -- the meat was lekke, I'm doing lekke, it was a lekke day

Hoe Gaan dit? How are you

Goeie More - Good Morning

Goeie Naand - Good Night

asseblief - please


  1. Emily, you are doing such amazing things and I love reading your posts!

  2. I am glad to see what you are doing on your website. I hope that you go on engjoying your stay in South Africa. Much love, Grandma Beal