Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2 more days

I'm back in Cape Town after visiting Kwa Zulu-Natal for 2 weeks with my parents. We leave South Africa on Thursday, which is pretty hard to believe. I started crying on the plane last night as we returned from Durban,just thinking about leaving the city. I've never left a place I lived in without knowing when I'd be coming back (I was too young when we left NY to really comprehend it). It's really difficult. Cape Town isn't a particularly beautiful city, it's not particularly easy to get around, and the food's not that good,but still,I don't want to leave. I've made a connection with this city that goes past the wonderful domestic workers or my family in Langa. It's past the crazy minibus taxi system and the inability to travel the city after dark. I like that it's not a perfect city,that there's a lot of problems with it. South Africa is such an interesting place. I can't wait to come back here. When i get home I want to start looking at UCT or research opportunities that can bring me back here with a purpose. I hope that I make this much of a connection with Vietnam next fall,but I'm not sure I will.

I'm ready to go home,despite my sadness about leaving South Africa. Having such a hard time finding gluten free food makes it much harder to live here,but if I came back,I'd find a way to make it work. The next few weeks will be crazy busy,just how I like them,and they'll help keep my mind off missing Cape Town. I'm headed down to Corvallis for a week with Max to get over jetlag and relax in the sun,and then on June 9th I fly to New Orleans for a week for the Interfaith Worker Justice student intern training and conference. It's my first time to New Orleans and I couldn't be more excited!

Tons of pictures will be posted when I get home,don't worry.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

42 pages...

2 hours ago I turned in the final copy of my Independent Research Project. It is 42 pages long and I think my best research. I'm really proud of the result and hope something can happen with it outside of my grade for this semester. When I brought it in to the domestic workers union/COSATU office they were so grateful that I did that. They said I was only the second researcher, out of all of the ones that had interviewed them over the years, to bring the final product back to them. I told them that I really wanted to not just take their stories and leave,but maintain and strong connection with them and the organization. I think a few of the workers and the COSATU administrator/gender coordinator that I spoke with are going to come to my presentation on Saturday. We all have to present our findings to the class/the board that grades our papers. I'm so excited they will be coming to hear me,although it puts a lot of pressure on me. Another exciting part of giving them my paper: Myrtle & Hester are on the International Labor Organization's board and are working on the next ILO convention and said they want to use my paper at the convention!!!!

It feels great to be done after 3.5 long months. Now all that's left is presentations the next two days and then 3 days of evaluation. My parents arrive on Sunday night-I'm going to Langa to celebrate mother's day with my mama there,then heading to the airport to pick my Mom & Dad up. The next 3 weeks will be spend showing my parents around Cape Town, introducing them to the folks I worked with on my project, and heading up to Durban and Umfolozi park again. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm happy to share my paper if anyone has a particular desire to read it. If so,just email me and I'll send it to you.