Thursday, May 27, 2010

birthday in cape town

I had a wonderful birthday last Friday, one of the best birthdays I’ve yet experienced. I got to spend the afternoon with my Bonnytoun boys. Mark, Max, and I took the class on a trip to Company’s Gardens in Cape Town to have a picnic, and go on a walk… then to the neighboring Iziko Planetarium to see a program on Table Mountain. We walked around the museum for a little while after the program ended, and had an all-around lovely time. The boys loved it, and I loved it. It was a beautiful, warm sunny day, the gardens were beautiful, and we had a clear view of Table Mountain. They sang happy birthday to me, and I told them goodbye. I am going to watch a soccer tournament at Bonnytoun House tomorrow, but that was my last real time of interaction with the boys – on my 22nd birthday. I had so much fun packing into the little bus with all the boys, driven by Mr. Williams, the educational director. Whenever we passed a group of girls, the boys would all turn and look and get excited. It was pretty funny. Whenever a popular song came on, the bus would break out into a sing-along (the song “Down” was a highlight of the trip).

Company's Gardens, where we picnicked. See Table Mountain in the background.

Some of the boys talking to Mr. Williams (on the far right). I tried to get a picture with none of the boys' faces in it, so that I could include it in my blog. This was the best one I could get, because whenever the boys catch a glimpse of the camera, they look and pose. So, notice the two blurred faces.

I spent the evening with all my friends in my program. They made a Thanksgiving feast, and had us all dress in Halloween costumes for it… A little combo American holiday celebration. I’ve also talked a lot about how much I love Thanksgiving, and my wonderful friends took that into account in the planning. Mark and Nick’s birthdays were both on the 20th, the day before mine, and I love sharing my birthday with other people. Our friends also took us to see Wayne Brady live at a casino nearby on the night before my birthday.

Nick dressed as Nopi, our favorite security guard, for "Halloween." We have all grown close with Nopi, and he is having us over to his house in Fish Hoek on Sunday to say goodbye!

I am surrounded by so many people who care about me here, and loved spending my birthday both with the boys at Bonnytoun and my friends and roommates. I also got emails and facebook messages from all the people I love at home. I usually don’t like my birthday very much, and I don’t like the obligatory birthday wishes and gifts that I often find insincere. But, this year, I felt very loved on my birthday, and the celebration was genuine, and not too extravagant. It was perfect. I am thankful that I was able to spend my birthday in South Africa, and even though I spent the day with people I have only known for a few months, they are people that I have grown to know very well, and care about very much.


  1. Sounds like a great day. I hope that this is just the first of many days of freedom for "the Bonnytoun boys," even if they have to wait a little while to get there.

  2. I'm so glad you had such a GREAT birthday! Sounds fabulous! Love you!

  3. Lisa --
    Sounds like you had a PERFECT birthday. I have enjoyed reading all your posts and was particularly moved by your reflections on South Africa and East Tennessee.
    As the enthusiasm builds here for the World Cup I've been thinking of you even more than usual. Sarah went to an exhibition match of the Argentinian team in Buenos Aires last week and the US team just played it's sendoff match against Turkey here in Philadelphia on Saturday (we couldn't go because Joey had his own soccer game to play in!!). We have decided to cut short Emily's graduation luncheon on the 12th so that we can watch the US play its first game. Oh, the excitement is building!
    Lots of love to you. Be extra safe in the next few weeks.
    xoxox, Aunt Carrie