The guest house we are staying at is a garden oasis. The compound was made by buying up old Dutch houses and converting it to a guest house club area. It has the wildness and living story of the Stewart’s house but a distinct vibe that reminded me of Anna Septon’s (high school girl from South Africa) house. There are three main houses and lots of guest cottages in the compound as well as the gardens, pool, and dining area. All around the compound is an electric fence. The girls are in one house with a old chandelier and the weirdest bathtub. Ms. Stevie (my old neighbor) would have loved the place and it was just her style just more weathered. There is a great patio area with a fountain and lounging place. The boys have their own large house and Dr Leedy is in the third more motel like house. Madi and I are in a cottage by the pool that is so picturesque. Austin and Nik are also in a cottage. The area we are in is the second nicest area. The houses look like winter park quality but surrounded by giant gates and fences. We have to peak into them to see. There aren’t any sidewalk on the streets and it was kind of errie to have no one walking about because it is a beautiful day outside with the weather and nice houses.
Breakfast is provided every morning from 7-9 in the dinning house. It is eggs, meat, yogurt, and assortment of bread every day.
The first full day is a chill day so we could get adjusted to the time. We woke up for breakfast and then I met Schiley to walk to church. It was in the same area where we went to dinner at the the night before. We were 10 minutes late to church because we were a bit lost. There was a baptism of two kids during the mass. A little boy and little girl. So cute. It was a small church but they had a projector for the words and the songs. The last song was in a native langue but the rest were the same as a regular mass. The priest was a kid priest and exploded then mass and was most excited to see the littles. The church was in the fancy part of town but it wasn’t a fancy church at all. South Africa is not mainly catholic. A very different world of Mexico and Peru. It was 40% white people.
After church, we walked back and changed into comfy clothing. Madi and I laid out in the sun to warm up and then the whole group gathered at 1 to head to lunch and the mall.
On our walk over to a different part of town, we stopped at Kung Fo Kitchen and we all had cheap Asian food. Madi and I sat with Dr. Leedy and the whole table split a bottle of wine. Also at our table was Schiley, Ziqi and Miranda. Schiley talked about campus free speech with us but in his very hard to hear low voice. Ziqi and Miranda didn’t say much at all. It was really fast service in my opinion for feeding 20 people. Our group is 10 of our Lombardi class (missing Ariana after she transferred to Columbia last year) and 9 of the class below (Gilly couldn’t come because of medical issues and there was another girl who left after the first year).
Once we had all finished paying (they tip 10% in SA and the tax is included in the price), we continued on our walk. There was supposed to be a flea market at the mall but apparently it wasn’t happening and the mall had closed by 3 too because it was a Sunday before a holiday (May Day). May Day is like their Labor Day and didn’t have anything to do with flower crowns and dancing around the maypole.
A fruitless journey but it got us out of the compound. We walked a bit to a grocery store Woolworths and people picked up things for sandwiches. We returned just before it got dark and played cards on the girls porch. It was cold after it was completely dark and chatted the night away. Mihael and I decided not to low key talk anymore so that is a bummer but for the best. Nik played the very out of tune piano for everyone and it was so nice. He really knows how to play and has a large number of memorized pieces. All of the boys eventually gathered and trey brought his speaker and we enjoyed an assortment of people’s South Africa Spotify playlists.
All of the girls and Dr Leedy ordered pizza in and the boys went over to cook pasta.