Monday, July 17, 2006

A Weekend in Adelaide

Five weeks come and gone. This trip continues to speed on, and I am starting to say some goodbyes. It feels like I just arrived, but the calendar says otherwise. I'm just not ready to say goodbye yet!

This weekend I went up to Adelaide, a quiet town 60 miles north of Grahamstown, where my friend Rowan teaches. School only starts today, so the school and town were not yet buzzing with kids. I do enjoy Adelaide, but I don't think I could live there. Too quiet. Nevertheless, I had a fantastic time with Rowan and his friends.

I arrived Friday afternoon and sat down to a cup of tea with Rowan's friends, the Kloppers. I tried not to get in a sparring match with Tiennes, the only person I've ever met outside the US who likes George Bush! Geraldine, Tiennes, and their two daughters are great friends with Rowan, which is fabulous in such a small town like Adelaide. Friday night, Rowan and I hopped off to the Hotel bar in town--the only place to go "out" in Adelaide. I was the token American, but also the token "new girl" in town. Oh dear. A bunch of farmer men who really need to get out more!

Saturday proved a delightful day of socializing and teas. I have to remind myself to drink water, as I am continually drinking tea. We went to dinner at a small farm just out of town, and the company was jolly at ten people, three dogs, and two cats. Nights like these make a vacation truly unique. A bunch of friends sitting around a hookah, smoking some fruity concoction with no nicotine and apparently little tar. All of us nonsmokers did this first "anti-nicotine" round before the serious ones started! It's a shame I didn't bring my camera for evidence. We all ate and chatted and laughed until we ate at 10:30pm, not heading home until a sleepy 12:30am.

When I left Sunday, I just didn't want to acknowledge that it was goodbye with Rowan. Thankfully, there are cell phones that help us out! The drive back to Grahamstown was full of contemplation and conversation with Rowan's parents, who generously picked me up. I just sat back and admired the landscape, reminding myself how lucky I am to be here.

This week I am spending time with my two very good friends, Kerry (and her hubby Craig) and Jayne, as I am only in Grahamstown Monday-Thursday morning, when I head to Nieu Bethesda for the weekend.

On Wednesay I am off to Mary Waters High School in Grahamstown, where I will meet with the teachers and hand over the catalogue lists of the 14 boxes of books Lab School donated for them. I don't know if any books arrived yet, but I hope the post offices on both ends don't disappoint us all!

Life in South Africa continues to inspire my writing, and I keep at it! I've done quite a few poems and my daily writing log is sporadic but consistent. I need to sit down and start a travel essay, but I imagine Nieu Bethesda will be a good place to start. The town is tiny, tiny and the stars are unhindered by light and pollution. I am heading to Nieu Bethesda specifically to write, as The Owl House is a place of continual inspiration for me. Those of you who have read or seen Athol Fugard's play The Road to Mecca will understand. Photos to come.

All my love,


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