Finetastic Adventures

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The End of Lock Down

Well, the date has finally arrived. Tomorrow is the end of our three month lock down period in which we are not allowed to leave our community. It's exactly three months since we were sworn in as PC Volunteers; in some ways it seems like longer and in some ways the time has flown by. Whatever, it's here and it coincides with our wedding anniversary. So what better way to celebrate than by being allowed to travel. Especially since Alyssa is now here and we plan to spend ten days 'on the road'.

Alyssa arrived here a week ago, the same day that our supervisor left for the UK. It was a great coincidence; she was able to get a ride from the Joburg airport from our super's husband since he had to drive to the airport anyway. It not only saved Alyssa the bus fare but the hassle of getting to Pretoria to the bus station and finding a bus to Polokwane. Plus she got to meet our supervisor for a brief time. It was so great to finally see Alyssa after six months! And she is happy to be back in South Africa. We've kept pretty busy. Dave and she have played basketball a couple of times; we've walked to town and all around town center. So many fruits and vegetables are in season and available at the street vendors, and they are so cheap. We've made some great meals and are eating sumptuous fresh fruit. We spent last Saturday at the jazz concert which you can read about in Dave's blog entry. Alyssa also spent time working on her research project which she has begun in Mauritius. It's just been great having her here.

South Africa goes on summer holiday from mid December til mid January, so we haven't had much work to do. Our clients went home in late November so we worked from home from the beginning of December. We brought the wireless router and laptop home from the office and have been able to get online from home, which is so great. But no one is really around for us to contact about our projects, so we'll just wait til after summer holiday. We do have our Peace Corps IST (in service training) in mid January, so we'll just have to be patient about completing projects.

This isn't the first time we have been in the southern hemisphere during the Christmas holidays, but it still amazes us how it just doesn't feel or look like Christmas as usual. It's not just the hot climate; it's the lack of all the hype surrounding it. Few decorations, very little Christmas music. And the stores keep their usual hours, closing at 5 PM during the week and 1 PM on Saturday. The stores in town don't open on Sunday and the mall is still closing at 1 PM that day. The city has been crowded, but it's been that way since we arrived in September. I must say, we've enjoyed the lack of attention to the holidays.

We are excited about our upcoming vacation. We've rented a car to drive south on Friday towards Free State and KwaZuluNatal (KZN), where we'll do some pony trekking and hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains. After a week we'll leave Alyssa at the Durban airport for her flight back to Mauritius and Dave and I will head to a beach backpackers where we'll spend 3 nights with other PCVs for New Year's Eve. Then we'll drive back to Polokwane. Fodder for a future blog.

Otherwise things are going along smoothly. We feel very comfortable here and are constantly surprised at how many people recognize us when we are out and about in the community. Everyone continues to be so friendly and helpful. We look forward to 2007 in our adopted home. Our wish to all of you is for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy year ahead.

By the way, we've posted some new photos here.


  • Glad you are able to spend some down time with Alyssa and hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve. Wishing you guys all the best for a productive and healthy 2007. Love to you both,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:00 PM  

  • Hey, great pictures...who's that bald guy who looks like David? And playing bball with Alyssa...I'll bet Alyssa schooled you, Dave, but good! I'm glad you had a community Thanksgiving feast...looked good but we missed you here. Have a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous, Rewarding and Peaceful secular new year! Love, Dean & Debbie

    By Blogger Dean, at 11:34 AM  

  • We really enjoy reading about your adventures and viewing the pics. As the new calendar year approaches, we wish you can attain all the goals you are attempting, good health, and much happiness.
    Roger & Rocille

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:04 PM  

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