Still Sicky – Stellenbosch, South Africa

This is some kind of a reminder to take better care of my health. I get it! Loud and clear. Now can I please get well? I have done everything right. I have been sleeping three quarters of the day and eating groves of oranges. I have been scarfing down the veggies and sipping up the soup. I think I have worn a path from my room to the washroom I have been ingesting such large amounts of liquids.

Again, I am so thankful that the hostel is so empty. The receptionist said she has never seen it so dead and I am glad because this affords me the luxury to run around in my pajamas. Between hauling soup & water to my hideout and transporting massive amounts of tissue from the washroom to sop up my never ending boogie faucet I used to call a nose, I am just too weak to be bothered to look presentable.

The poor cleaning lady won`t even come near my room and I don`t blame her. I fear I am becoming unhealthily attached to my ever-growing snotfarm as I have caught myself thinking up pet names for the white balled up wads in my delirium.

Anyway. I did make the 30 step trek to the Mugg and Bean coffee shop across the street because I heard that a little sun and exercise would help my immune system. I tucked myself into a lonely corner so as not to infect any of the other patrons and ordered the only thing that would contribute to my recovery…more tea. But honey came with it so I was really happy now! It`s the little things really.

I people watched and listened to the music when I noticed something strange. There were groups of school kids walking by in their uniforms (yea, they have to wear them here) and they were all either white or black. Even tho they go to the same school, it seems there is no mixing. I wondered if it was just me but the more I watched the more I noticed that colors kinda stick to their own here. I am not used to this at all.

Stellenbosch is a university town which seems pretty rich compared to some of the other parts I have seen so far. I don`t feel unsafe here at any time of the day and there doesn`t seem to be quite the extreme between wealth and poverty. It was quite a shocker when I was driving out of Cape Town to see the miles and miles of shanty towns by the side of the highway.

I was horrified by the thousands of shacks crammed in like sardines not 1 foot between them. The 7 foot (that may be generous in some cases) square boxes were constructed out of wood, metal, cardboard, old street signs, plastic, you name it. There were only gaping holes for windows and the doors in some cases were just a dirty sheet. Surely no one could live in these conditions – how could this be?

Where years ago seeing this kind of monstrosity would have been too much for me to handle overwhelming me with guilt and despair (ie. my first trip to mexico when I was 20) – now I feel intensely motivated and determined to do something about it.

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