My life here has developed into a semblance of a routine and there really isn’t much to tell. School is busy and interesting; I continue to grapple with the small nuances that make this an African university and not an American one. Life at Tuksdorp, my residence, has proved to be no different than sort of living in the dorms and sort of living in an apartment with several people. There has been drama, first spats, and realization of the length of our stay, in addition to the constant battle to keep the kitchen cabinets closed, as they don’t shut properly and annoyingly swing open a lot. It’s hard to contemplate that it is February. Valentine’s Day didn’t feel quite like Valentine’s Day. V-day in the summer just doesn’t mesh in my mind the way “February+cold+obnoxious materialism+ cut flowers+ winter is almost over= Valentine’s Day” does. But it was John’s birthday and the girls in House 8 dolled up and took him out to dinner. I think he liked it. I know I sure did. But, then again, I am a girl and I like dressing up, regardless of who notices and doesn’t.

This past weekend most of the exchange students and the heads of residence went to the Free State to spend the weekend in a little town called Clarens. I loved all the art galleries, the trail horseback riding, strenuous hiking and general relaxing outside of Hatfield/Pretoria. There isn’t much to do in Pretoria– there are malls, movie theaters, the union buildings and Hatfield square (which is Melrose Place, SA style. ick.). So to get out of town is something I enjoyed immensely. But I will devote another post to the trip soon.

I have been a little homesick, it was pretty bad last week and the week before but it seems I am getting better. All I wanted to do was sleep and I kept seeing doppelgängers on campus and dreaming about people back home. The doppelgängers were/are the worse. The back of people’s heads seem so familiar and then people look at you weird because you are intently staring at the back of someone’s head. Or doing a triple take as someone walks past. Not normal behavior, to be assured. It’s funny because a lot of the doppelgängers are people I don’t even hang out with or really like from back home. They are just familiar and thus comforting. Hopefully the number of occurrences will go down and I won’t turn into the “staring-girl” of TUKS.

The homesickness subsided by the end of last week and the trip to Clarens reminded me of why I was here and how much there is here to fall in love with and enjoy. I still miss everyone terribly but it’s a dull ache that is only noticeable with I talk about home with my roomies.

I’ve got a busy week academically this week but I promise to post all my pictures by Saturday or Sunday. Of Clarens, my Mamelodi trips and general pictures. There are so many it will probably take five hours at the internet café to upload them all. Oh well, it beats watching white rich Afrikaners get drunk at Hatfield square.

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