Day 5, Johannesburg

Originally published 1/6/18


Morning 5 was spent quietly with our host family, since it was very warm outside. Makgotso and I chatted about her work as a special needs teacher. She works with younger kids, the majority of whom have Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She’s very passionate about her kids and her work.

Nkuli, Jackie, and I sat outside in the shade and had fun talking about our families, our boyfriends, our universities, and comparing Jackie’s and my experiences with American culture and traditions to Nkuli’s experiences with South African culture and her family’s traditions.

In the afternoon, Jackie and I went out grocery shopping with Makgotso and Timothy. I could spend hours wandering around the grocery stores here. There’s a lot of familiar items: dairy, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, snacks, etc. The brands and packaging are different, but a lot of it is familiar. There are a lot of fun snack foods that I’m looking forward to trying, and all the fruit I’ve had is so fresh and delicious.

In the afternoon, we went to a community park to sit in the shade and chat. The park had a lot of green space and play equipment and there were kids and families everywhere. We’re apparently having unusually warm weather here in Johannesburg, but in the shade with a breeze, it was lovely.

After the park, we helped prepare dinner, and then while Makgotso was finishing it up, Nkuli took Jackie and I to meet several of the neighbors. Dinner was pasta with vegetables, creamed spinach (hands down, the tastiest thing I have eaten in South Africa), and my contribution to dinner: roasted sweet potatoes.

Dessert was banana cake with almond ice cream, and after finishing our food, we watched Trevor Noah, a South African comedian. Though I’d heard his comedy before, he is somehow several times more funny while in South Africa, watching him on TV, joking about South Africa. I’m going to be sorry to leave my wonderful host family tomorrow! It’s been so much fun getting to know them and experiencing South Africa the way they do: as their home.