Friday, January 27, 2006

"Compliments on the New Year"

So I walked into church the Sunday after I arrived back from my travels over the holidays and went to greet those who were around (as usual). One of the guys from the church stood up, shook my hand and said "Compliments!" I wasn't exactly sure what he was talking about, I even thought maybe he just likes my skirt or something, so I just said "Thank you very much!" and continued on greeting. Not too long after that I heard many more people greeting each other saying the same thing and I finally clued in that that's what they say here the first time people see each other after the New Year has come. Now even at the end of the month, people I meet who I'm seeing for the first time since are still giving me compliments on the new year to which I now emphatically respond "Thank you, compliments to you as well!"

New Years Eve

What was I doing on New Year's Eve? Celebrating with my fellow missionaries at our annual Prayer Meeting in Johannesburg, of course. Don't be fooled though, it was only grape juice, I promise. We even climbed on the roof of the conference center to watch the fireworks. Unfortunately some of them were headed straight towards us! Never a dull moment

At the prayer meeting we had an auction to help raise money for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. Among the more prized possessions to be auctioned off (ie. chocolate chips, pop tarts, m&m's), we (the journeymen) pooled our money together and paid $150 to see our supervisors, Paul Cline, Tim Cearley, and Robert Fortenberry do the Hokey Pokey in front of everyone. I think we got our money's worth. Compliments to Stacie for the pic.

Cape Town, South Africa

What a way to start a trip. After waiting at the airport for 3 hours for our rental cars, we left the airport only to run into a slight problem with one of the cars not even a mile away from the airport. This is us, who don't know the first thing about cars, trying to see if we can find the problem. We ended up driving the car the wrong way down the interstate to the gas station we had just left, to wait for the guy who rented us the cars. Another 3 hours later, we were back on our way. Guess that's what happens when you go low-budget

The infamous Table Mountain seen from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

Just in case you were wondering what it looks like without the clouds on top

Christmas day...after church we began our trek down the cape peninsula. This is just a snapshot of what we were seeing as we drove

First stop, Boulder's Beach to see the penguins

Chillin' on the beach

Next stop, Cape Point, all the way down to the tip of the peninsula. The lighthouse was nice, but the view was even better

See what I mean - here's the whole group

This was up next to the light house. Interesting that I'm closer to nearly everyone else in the world (geographically) than I am my own family!

We got back from our adventures a little late so Christmas dinner consisted of pizza for everyone else and falafil for me. Wasn't anywhere near as good as mom's, but at least it was a little taste of home

The day after Christmas, several of us took a hike up Chapman's peak. What we thought was going to be an hour round trip ended up being about 4 hours, but it was well worth it! Here's the view overlooking Hout Bay

Another view from the top - this one overlooking Noordhoek beach

They certainly do take their street (or step) naming seriously

Who in their right mind would take a taxi like this? Or maybe that's what they're counting on - people not in their right mind!

Carmel, me, Crystal, and Shawna posing just before putting our lives in the hands of a cable car

Cable car transporting people up and down Table Mountain

Here's the view from the cable car at the top of the mountain

Nice ehh?

This pic is now serving as my desktop

Yes that's right, I even got eat SUBWAY! I was thrilled...I ordered a pizza sub with green peppers, onions, black olives, and of course I had to ask them to turn one of the pieces of cheese around since they never put it on right - even in Africa. This mall that we were in was amazing and even had a touch screen computerized store locator!

Early Christmas celebration at the Cline's

We had a very nice spread of food, to which we all contributed a dish or two, for an early Christmas dinner

The whole gang

We even had a little white elephant gift exchange (as well as a few real presents)