Sorry for the delay. You will however enjoy this update so much that I am sure all will be forgiven. Those that know and love me well won't be suprised to hear that in the first guest house I stayed (colonial chic- easing me in gently) I left my passport, IPOD and book in the safe. I realised this minor fact when I had been taken to the VSO office, nice one Clare.
I stayed in Melville-it reminded me of Melbourne and I had a strong sense of deja vu. Later compounded when I realised I'd been here with REACH on a night out. VSO confidence bashing courses (note: tongue in cheek) and just about everyone telling me Joburg is the most dangerous city on earth someone stilted my progress to go for a walk. My constipated shuffle/whilst trying to look confident was met with odd stares. A group of men commented on my hair: lesson one: throw preconceived notions out the window- they are all a load of bollocks. They were white men, sitting enjoying lunch. Not black rural villagers as I imagined. I thanked them and continued my shuffle. I need not have worried- dichotomous nature of the place meant I passed designer art galleries, kooky coffee and book shops not gangs ready to inflict violence on me.
I began to relax; so much so I went to a Mugg & Bean- a familiar haunt from Reach. I was so relaxed I spoke to people and that is how I came to have lunch with Ahmed the Lebanese -recently divored-hairdresser, and Craig. Not sure what he did, aside from drink Smirnoff Ice for breakfast. This winner combination resulted in a free flowing conversation covering abortion, divorce, infedelity, drugs, sex and race. All before 12 miday and merely 4 hours since I stepped off the plane. Yes, I have definately arrived. Perhaps I shouldn't admit to getting a lift to the local supermarket to buy a sim card; but I did, it was fine and I'm still alive. Gut instinct told me it would be ok, and it was!
for those texters of you my new number is: 0833440929. let me know you have it.
I have to go- waiting to meet my NGO rep. Finger crossed
Love to all