Monday, July 12, 2010

i miss Saturdays.

It’s really hard to believe that I have been here for 42 days

This has been an unforgettable experience and I have learned so much about myself being here.  I have learned that I can eat pre-packaged sandwiches from a grocery store.  I have learned that grocery stores can be wonderful when housed inside of a department store.  I have learned that the vuvuzela is one of the worst inventions EVER.
  I have learned that I sincerely hate being micro-managed and find it is quite counter-productive to my work.  I have learned that having an intern and a team of staff to help you accomplish tasks can keep your to-do list very short.  I have learned that I enjoy eating sushi more than I thought. Multiple times a dayJ.  I have learned that whales swimming in the harbor right outside your hotel is, in fact, not the norm, which makes me even happier for having the chance to see them!

(I have a cute video of this but it won't upload...bummer)

I have learned that being away from a fiancĂ© and your entire family for over 6 weeks really sucks.  I have learned that people in Africa have a horrible view on Americans.  We’re apparently very dumb and ignorant.  I have also learned that working with Africans for 6 weeks will allow them to see that Americans, in fact, can be well-educated, smart and kind people.  This, I am truly happy about.  I have learned that Spain has a Queen, and she is very kind and made my day by shaking my hand and allowing us to have a picture with her. 
I have learned that everyone has a story.  You think your story is the worst, and then you hear someone else’s and you’re reminded that life always throws us curve balls and it’s really how you react to them that makes the difference.  I have learned that scars mean survival, therefore scars are beautiful.  I have learned that soccer fans are insane.  Insane! 

 Most importantly though, I have not learned, but been very much reminded that I am blessed in ways I never thought imaginable.  I have a job I love and get to travel with, which I also love.  I have family to miss and a fiancĂ© who supports me with everything he has and is and who is proud of the work I do (and also misses me like crazy when I am gone…which makes me feel very special).

Lastly, I have learned that Saturdays are in fact my favorite day of the week and I miss them oh-so-much!  Being on program and having guests arrive—go to a match—go on a tour—go home, then having more guests arrive—go to a match—go on a tour—go home, etc etc. can be a whole lot like Groundhogs Day (watch out for that step, it’s a doozy) and can really make you long for a normal Saturday morning!  A morning where I can sleep until I want, make coffee, watch The Soup and the Top 20 Countdown on VH1 (yes, I love them both), and just be.  Ahhhh **sigh**…these days will return soon…until then, I am going to soak up the remaining days here in the beautiful Mother City of Cape Town. 

See some of you very soon…

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I was finally able to take two half days off in the last week and was fortunate to go on two tours…one was in uniform and the other was UNIFORMLESS (which is amazing when you’ve spent the last 28 days in the same outfit).  My first trip is detailed down below because of the way the pictures uploaded....

My second little excursion was so much fun with my colleagues!  A group of about 6 of us were able to get one of our drivers to take us all up through the wine region so we could visit a winery or two and have some fun!  Back home my favorite South African wine is Spier, so I was thrilled that we were able to go there!  Their grounds are so neat and have a lot to offer…amazing local craft market, beautiful grounds, cheetah encounter & owl/eagle encounter area.  We had a blast walking around, seeing the animals, holding the eagles and (of course) tasting some wine J After Spier, we went to another winery (whose name I can’t spell) for lunch.  It was another beautiful day, we were able to enjoy lunch outside in the sunshine…

On my first tour I went out to see Cape Point and it was amazing!  What a beautiful part of the world!  I was with one of our MDEM (Match Day Experience Managers, which basically assist the guests on all tours and matches) Marney, and we had so much fun!  It’s a crazy walk up the hill to get to the lighthouse, but I wanted to walk it rather than ride the funicular (I hadn’t worked out in a while and needed to use my muscles) so we took the hike.  I had been told we might see some baboons when were there and I was so excited to see them when we walked back down, but the locals are right…these suckers are crazy!  I watched them take a sandwich right out of a lady’s hand and chase a man across the parking lot!  They basically think they own the space around there and get a lot of food from all of the tourists.  Needless to say, it was fun to see but made me a little nervous.  After we saw the lighthouse and the baboons we drove up the coast to the Breakers—a beach with thousands of penguins and other birds.  It was such a gorgeous day and it was wonderful to see the fluffy baby penguins with their mommas!  

Believe it or not, I have mostly been cooped up in the office, although this post doesn’t really indicate that. HA J

In other news, it’s only 13 days until I am en route to Atlanta.  Hard to believe so much time has passed!  The hardest part is yet to come in the next two weeks, but I have no doubt we’ll get through and make our client happy.  At the end of the day, that is all that matters.

That’s it for now…love from Cape Town!!