Posted by: haleymulf | March 31, 2009

T.I.A.

ok-rock

Oklahoma Rock

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic here in South Africa. Midterms have come and gone and now the second quarter classes have begun. UP has a strange system for adding and dropping courses. I ended up dropping three of my four classes for technical reasons and I added three more. Two of these had already been taking place for two months, but I was allowed to enter with the signature of the teacher. At OU I don’t know exactly what the system would be but I’m almost positive you can’t add any courses after a certain date, which is not two months into the semester. In any case, I do have to catch up to the second quarter module of both of these classes. My other class, Human-Environmental Interactions, which focuses on South Africa, is just a quarter course so I have nothing to catch up with there. Needless to say I have been reading books and writing papers like crazy.
ele1In my last blog I commented on my vacation that was coming up. I spent one week driving up the Eastern Cape through the “Wild Coast” and the “Hibiscus Coast”. The first two days we stayed at Addo Elephant Park. It is a national park and is home to over 300 elephants among other animals. This is also a game park that has the “Big Five” in it. I think I have never been happier than I was when I was watching the elephants. It was definitely somewhere that I will never forget about. After Addo we continued up the coast to several places on the beach. My favorite was probably Hole in the Wall. This is one of the best attractions along the east coast of South Africa. The resort was down a dirt road that took half an hour to get to even though it was only 15 kilometers from the nearest town. It was surrounded by a small village which made the beach seem almost private. On the way back we took three women that only speak Zulu to hole1the nearest place to get buckets of water… almost 45 minutes from their homes. When they got out of the car they couldn’t say thank you, but you could see the gratitude in their faces and I could tell by the way they were speaking to us that we definitely had made their day. Every day the women have to get up early and walk for miles to reach water that is suitable for drinking. It seems almost crazy to believe. The last place we stopped at was a small town called Umzumbe. It was right on the beach as well but the best part was the backpackers. We stayed in a tree house in the middle of what seemed like a small jungle. There were trees everywhere around, and the first morning we were woken up by monkeys jumping on the roof and climbing through the trees around our tree house. This went on for about an hour. All in all it was a great trip and it was nice to see the beautiful aspects of South Africa.

ele-2

 In other news, Tuesday there was a taxi strike in Johannesburg which is about 30-45 minutes away from Pretoria. The government wants to regulate the mini bus, or taxi, business by requiring the drivers to get permits. This is causing the city buses to become more popular to the people and therefore take over some of the routes of the mini buses. The taxi drivers became angry and spent the day assaulting people that were in buses and getting out of buses, police pointing and occasionally shooting AK 47’s at the taxi drivers, and the destruction of many buses. One of my roommates was in Jo’burg when it happened. Unfortunately buses and mini buses are the only ways of transportation from Jo’burg to Pretoria, so she was stuck there. TIA is a term we frequently use… this is Africa.

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Responses

  1. Haley I’m so proud of you and am truly happy that you get to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience. There are not to many weeks that go by that I’m not bragging on you or Emily. Keep updating this blog it’s fantastic. Also want to remind you that there is not a spell check on my end of this blog so forgive my bad spelling….don’t skip your English classes! ha

  2. Okay, Haley, I have to admit that I just now read all of your blogs — OMG! How wonderful! Your writing, your passion, your experience — all of it!

    Not only am I thrilled for you, I am so proud that you are representing our country and our gender to the people you meet there. I could not personally chosen a more perfect example. Can’t wait to hear more, especially about the election process.

    We just happened to be in NYC when they gave Mandela a ticker tape parade. I was so excited to actually be at a T-T parade, but then when I saw him, I fell apart. I had not been ready for such emotion at seeing this gentle soul who had been through so much.

    Stay safe — love you lots,
    Donna (and Tom) he is in session, you know.

  3. Hi Haley! We just received your postcards. I gave Olivia a big hug for you – you won’t believe how much she’s grown! I brought the card for the office today and everyone was excited to hear from you!

    We can’t wait to have you back home but we are thrilled you get to enjoy this experience. We can’t wait to hear all about it and see all of your pictures.

    We haven’t thanked you for the beautiful elephant. That was sweet of you to think of us! We were teasing that you sent one with the trunk down – are you trying to send bad luck to our party??? 🙂 JK We can’t wait to have you home wo we can go out for fajitas and ice cream!

    Love,
    Brent, Emily and Olivia


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