Some of you have asked what it is like living in Ocean View, the South African township that we now call our home. Here is a brief description of the area we live. We live on the corner of a street, and our house is on the property of the Methodist church. To the left of our house there are all other houses, and the neighbors we have met are so nice. People are always walking around, kids playing, people sitting outside their house, and they are very nice. To the right of our house are 'the flats' which would be the equivalent to the projects in the States. It can be a bit 'shady' over there, and you are often seeing people sitting out doing drugs, talking, listening to music, and just walking around outside yelling at each other. On weekend nights (Friday especially) it is very loud outside like there is a big party going on. It was a bit unnerving at first, but really we have found it to be safe. Our neighbors have even started to get protective of us, like shooing away some boys snooping around or reminding us to close our windows as we are leaving. We asked other friends who live in Ocean View about this and they said that people are very protective of each other and there will probably never be a problem while we are in the house, it's only when we are away that we have to be careful.
We haven't had many people over yet, but some. Our fiend Mike Jenkins has come to eat a few times, and last night we had a group of volunteers who are working with Living Hope (the AIDS organization I work for) over for a dinner, so that was fun. This week we are getting a bit more busy with Andy in our home, and we have dinners planned with other people at our house a couple other nights this week. We also have had a few people stop by to have tea or just visit. Hopefully we will have much more of that!
But honestly, we are REALLY excited to live in Ocean View for what happens on Friday nights. It basically turns into a party, which can be seen as good or bad, and we like to see the good. People are all over the streets talking, listening to music, eating food, and just catching up. A friend of mine, Bernedette, works for Living Hope as a support group leader but also has a 'take-away' business at her house - so she makes food and people pop in and buy it. We had some nibbles last Friday night, but this week we are going to save our appetites to have a 'gatsby' which is the three-foot long sub (not kidding) with french fries, hot dogs, steak, lettuce, tomatoes, and other fixins. It is 'hectic' as they would say here. Stomach aches here we come!
Lots of love,