Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Updated pictures and bumps in the road

The last few days have been both wonderful and very stressful. The interviews I talked about in my last post were certainly the high point of the week. Yesterday I interviewed Myrtle Witbooi, the General Secretary of the union and we talked for almost 2 hours! It was a wonderful interview and she is certainly an inspiring woman. She has fought tirelessly for her fellow domestic workers and tears came to her eyes when she spoke about retiring. I will write more in the next couple days or perhaps after I have finished writing my huge paper(which is due on the 7th,if you were wonderfing). Those were the good parts.

Now,the bad parts: first of all,last weekend I apparently left my USB drive which has all my research for this paper on it, at an internet cafe. It's gone for good so I had to rewrite my work and get new copies of articles. Not a huge problem,but stressful the week before the paper is due. Bigger issue: I may have talked about my food problems before but if not: I have some sort of intolerance to all gluten products and various other foods and because EVERYTHING here has gluten in it,I have a really hard time finding much to eat,or even to make at home. I visited a doctor who agreed to test me for celiac disease-a gluten intolerance which wears away at your stomach lining when you have gluten and the only cure is to not eat it. Today I heard back from him-I'm negative for that. So we're back to the drawing board on what's wrong with my silly tummy. It's more stressful than it sounds it honestly makes me miss Portland with all it's restaurants and stores catering to people with finiky tummies,like me.

But aside from those few bad things,life is good here in Cape Town! In talking to my parents about their upcoming trip here I've realized that I have really grown accustomed to living here. I even consider it MY city, going so far as to offer my parents, who are seasoned travlers, advice and recommendations about clothing and safety. Things that seemed like a big deal when I got here, like the fact that you really don't go out at night if you don't own a car, now seem like normal life. I even find myself considering all the wonderful artwork that's sold on streets here to be kitshy and touristy,when really I'm just used to it,and I have to be reminded that it's beautiful and unique. I know when I get home I'm going to have a bit of a hard time adjusting to being in the United States,but I'm looking forward to it because I know it will only reenforce the amazing experiences I've had here.

Well,that's enough deep reflection for one time.I've added a few pictures,so check them out!

Lila's travels



  1. Lila, My heart goes out to you on your travails, but it sounds like you're adapting well. I hated to hear about the loss of your research work. Make a resolution to keep your work on TWO thumb drives from now on, even though you have the extra hassle of syncing them daily. Then you put them in two different places, or a companion keeps one of them. Just a tip from an old I.T. Dude!

    Give your mum and dad big hellos and American-style hugs from me. I hope the remainder of your stay is glorious! Once that paper is turned in you'll feel relieved, and I'm sure your parents will bring some good edible relief to your tum-tum!

  2. Hi, sweetie! Ah, how one comes to appreciate Portland in absentia. We definitely eat well here. It's the hardest part of going to Iowa for me.
    Here's hoping your paper comes out well, despite bad luck and problems.
    We love you and miss you, and are looking forward to your return. Just got back from Moms' Weekend at OSU -- Max is beside himself. He misses you so much.
    Be safe, honey, and be well. I guess you're just surviving on fruits and vegetables at this point. Maybe some rice.