Shawco & Soccer

The past week or so has seen Cape Town turn into more than just a vacation spot for myself. It has been really nice to have a routine with classes and keep the weekends for spending money on cabs to get in or out of the city. My classes have been fairly interesting thus far! Almost everything taught so far I have learned before in Madison, but once we get into more case study situations with my history classes, they will be much more exciting! We actually had our first case study in my African genocide class today and I must say it was not the happiest of lectures I have been too, but nonetheless very interesting.

This past weekend we had SHAWCO training, which for me consisted of playing a pick-up soccer match on the rugby fields with other people who were doing the sports (soccer) SHAWCO group. Tomorrow is my first session that I will be attending so I will let you all know how it goes in due time. The afternoon consisted of another braai at on of our landlord’s friends’ house. Andrew lives with his two siblings in Nyanga Township about 10 miles from where we are here. It goes without saying that the food was phenomenal and the people were extremely nice. My favorite part of the afternoon was the 3v3 soccer tournament in the street outside his place. The goals were old school desks about 2x2 feet and we used a volleyball. One boundary was the fences of houses and the other a barbed wire fence enclosing a community center. My team, consisting of Shawn and Katie (housemates) were the second team to play against some guys from Nyanga. Again, it goes without saying that we got our butts handed to us but we faired the barrage of shots and ended up losing only 4 – 2. Win or lose, playing with the locals was exactly what I had been dreaming of doing before coming on this trip.

Sunday was a pretty chill day/afternoon as I watched movies all morning on my computer. Finally someone had the energy to round up some people and get taxis to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens under Table Mountain. There was an outdoor concert consisting of some local hits that was similar to Alpine Valley, for those of you who have been there, but underneath Table Mountain and in a beautiful forest. I could have spent the entire week there if I was able to. We relaxed all evening with crackers, cheese, humus, fruit, bread and wine. There was a snake farm there that was allowing people to put snakes on their shoulders. Jugal, a friend of mine, were lucky enough to get the snake on our shoulders after waiting in a line with a bunch of kids, ha.

This week the Champions League started in Europe. The Champions League, if you are unfamiliar, is an annual tournament consisting of the best club teams in Europe that play throughout the spring until the final, which is in Madrid this year. I went to my usual Scrumpy Jacks Pub to watch with many locals who I am slowly getting to know.

Yesterday I had tryouts for the men’s social team for the soccer club. I don’t know why they were really holding tryouts for the social team, but apparently we have weekly fixtures against other teams who come to UCT. We are also given kits (jerseys) and have weekly practices. It seems a little more intense than I hoped, but everyone else who was there was in the same boat as I, therefore were pretty chill about the whole process. Either way, playing soccer is going to be brilliant!

Speaking of soccer, I have to get going because every Wednesday a bunch of us from the house and surrounding houses meet at the park outside of the Kwikspar grocery store. After that, more Champions League! I think soccer is taking over my life… and it’s not even the World Cup yet!


ps: the photo uploader thingy isn’t working right now so I will try to put pictures up asap!