Thursday, September 25, 2014

Getting Settled

I have now been able to have about a week of perspective on the very beginning of my YASC year, and I am happy to say that it has been very busy, while I am trying just to take everything in and smooth the transition as much as possible.

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First off, I have to say I was very wrong about feeling adjusted to the time. This weekend I think I was still feeling the effects of the jet lag, which made it very easy to sleep through the rowdiness at camp! The camp was the first ever event like it put on by the Green Anglicans, which is the team that I am working with at the Church in Southern Africa. The campers (I feel like I was a camper even though I was staff) represented three different Dioceses in the Western Cape; Cape Town - which has become my adopted diocese, Saldanha Bay, and False Bay. Everyone was exposed to and learned about what challenges and problems the climate is facing and some of the ecosystems that are close to where we live. The team was also able to clean up the beach and surrounding areas to join in the Climate March held  in NYC this past weekend, and then plan strategies that can be implemented in their own churches and dioceses to raise awareness and action for climate and environmentalism. By far the biggest take away I had from the weekend was being able to get more comfortable in the South African culture and have a ton of laughs and a good time. I showed the campers a simple card game I remember playing with my cousins and grandma as a kid called golf, which was quite the hit! Guys stayed up practically all night just to play it. I was also given a Xhosa clan name, Madiba; you may recognize it because Nelson Mandela was referred by it on a regular basis, a huge compliment in my book! The Rotary camp, where our camp was held, now boasts the largest labyrinth in South Africa, and our group was the first to break it in. At 3km it was by far the longest I've ever done and the best workout I think I will ever get from walking prayer!
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I hope many of you are familiar with the UN Climate Summit, if not, please look it up and familiarize yourself with it. This is the chance for the most influential leaders in the world to make a difference in the way we are acting on the changing climate and to take a stand for our planet. In a parallel effort, the Green Anglicans were able to be a presence for support while a letter and petition were presented to the South African Government to change the practices in regards to the climate. We were one of many groups there to talk about the demands to the people with direct decision making power, and were presented with many talks about how we are affected, what is happening, and what needs to be done in order to green our planet.

And I got to see the penguins and seals in Simon's Town, I am beyond excited about that!
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As I have had a little time to get situated, I am excited to fully join my Green Anglican team now for our regular work!


Arrived in Cape Town

Displaying IMG_0628.JPGI am sorry that I have not posted for a while, I was kind of on a nomadic style, couch surfing at multiple friends' houses and apartments. I was hoping to get an update out, but the whirlwind around me and constant movement didn't allow my life to sit down and control my thoughts onto a blog page. And now it has taken me a while to get my laptop connected to the internet. Anyway, I would like to thank those people again, that housed me and took me in between moving out of my apartment and all the way up to my flight. I am very grateful for your hospitality and the space, time, food and laughs we were able to share together before I undertook this journey.
And what a journey it was to get here. The longest flight I have ever been on is Minneapolis to Amsterdam, which my family took last summer on our way to Oslo to start my mom's sabbatical there. Well this time it was the first leg again, but the shorter of the two. I spent 20 out of 24 hrs in the air to get here, I arrived in the night, was so absolutely tired that all I wanted to do was fall into bed (even though it was just about 2pm Minnesota time) and here I am so confused about what time it should be and when I was actually sleeping that I actually almost already feel adjusted to the time!
I am delighted to be here already, it has been a long time coming and feels great to actually step foot in South Africa! I was able to wake up this morning to some tea and breakfast in the house overlooking the harbor and all of Cape Town. It is just a beautiful view from our house, and I get the same one out of my window from my room!  I am sure I will be posting much more soon, when I can get reliable internet, and I am told I will be hitting the ground running with a camp this weekend, stay tuned!