Sunday, August 9, 2009

More info on Richmond

Or as I am going to begin calling it, R-Town, which--after 1 hour of mediocre research--looks like a pretty quiet little desert town. One vital aspect of Richmond appears to be the rift between Afrikaans whites and "coloureds," which in South Africa is an acceptable and quasi-official term for people of mixed white and black heritage. I'm told that both soccer and rugby are huge in the area; and Bloemfontein and Kimberley--both big rugby/soccer spots--are only about 2 or 3 hours away by car.

Spent today hiking up near the top of Table Mountain, which looks out over Cape Town and the surrounding area. Pretty treacherous on the way up (the trail was called Skeleton Gorge) but we luckily found a route down that was a bit easier (with a name like "Nursery Gorge Trail" how can you go wrong?). Aftewards I went to the local pro soccer match which was playing today, Ajax Cape Town vs. Orlando Pirates (out of Johanessburg). Nobody would go with so I was there alone, but I made friends with a couple of local guys who showed me where to buy the cheapest tickets (it's about $2.50 to get into this massive game...35,000 fans, huge stadium) and where the best places to watch were. The stadium was packed full, and by my estimate it was about 98% black fans. Everybody was going crazy with the horn instrument famous here, called the Vuvuzela. Got to see a sick goal, see the stadium erupt, and made it home in one of the local taxi vans they pack to the brim (it cost about 80 cents for the long ride back into Cape Town...yesterday two friends and I paid $15 for the same ride in a swanky private taxi). Then tonight our boss Janks organized a big interns indoor soccer night; we rented out one of the futsal gyms at University of Cape Town and had a couple of hours of hard play. Yours truly almost scored a ridiculous volley but, alas, it went just the dismay of the three fans watching.

Leaving for Richmond on Wednesday (we're told...things have to be flexible around here)...until then loading up on entertainment for the desert, maybe another fleece for when its cold and also doing our "site-specific" training tomorrow and Tuesday. I think they're going to run through a primer on how we're supposed to do the Programs work they're hoping we're successful with during our year out there. Should be good stuff...

Here is a google map I created that has Richmond plotted, in case you're interested in seeing exactly where I'll be. Its basically right between Cape Town and Johanessburg, right smack dab in the middle of the country. In a sweet, really exciting desert!


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