By Terri van Iperenburg, 4th yr year Social Work student at Avans Hogeschool (ASH)
I’m back with my blog a day later than planned but no worries. I had a very busy week this week packed with fun stuff but also being confronted (AGAIN) with why I find it so hard to be in a foreign country and not just being at home where it is safe and I know how a lot of things are going to work out!
So I will describe once more how my week has been (hope you are not getting tired of the way I’m writing, because I have no idea how to do it otherwise, if you do let me know). So last Monday I was really happy to be in Cape Town and just happy overall that I was doing quite well with everything here. That day I worked at school a lot, mainly on my ”meesterproef” (the test that involved my African fabrics) and I was very confident in my work and everything that I had done that day.
So the next day I decided to go with my boyfriend to his internship and help out and see what he was doing on a daily basis. So I went to a school to help provide PE classes for the youngest groups in the school. I loved playing around with the children. But when I arrived in the morning I had no idea what was going to happen that day and what my task was going to be so I offered to play with a small group of children and a coach from the organization PS4L (which my boyfriend is involved with) assigned me to play with bean bags. Now you think alright I can play with bean bags and show 8 kids how to work with them, but it was definitely harder then expected. Because we arrived a little later because of traffic, the first class had already started and I had to make up my own games with the bean bags. I had no time to think because the first group of children was already there, ready to do something active because DAMN the energy those kids have is insane haha). I am very lucky I have some experience with improvising and making games up from scratch from my very little time with scouting, because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. But I made up some balancing games and other small things every kid was able to do, so I was happy and I had fun and so did the classes, and that was my goal for the day. Because the children live in some difficult circumstances at home and this is the place they can play and learn. So I wanted to give them a fun experience (because I was just there for a day, otherwise I would have made some big plans to teach them some things through sports or even have them make contact with some theatre games).
After that it was time for my ”meesterproef”. I was ready and prepared and was having a lot of fun during the conversation with the teachers over Skype, but I heard that I failed the test. A 4,9 to be exact. I was so bummed I couldn’t even listen to the feedback the teachers wanted to give me and asked them to send it to me over email. It came as such a shock that I failed this, because I thought this was something I could nail and was soo good at! So I cried and felt bad about myself because if I couldn’t do this how would I be able to write my thesis, I was going to fail that to obviously. Those were the thoughts going through my mind and I wished I was home just being in my normal environment. Being with my amazing family, because they Always make me feel better. My little sister I missed at that moment because she comes to my room when I am sad, sits on my bed with me and we drink a cup of tea and talk a little and she tells me all the fun things she does at school and with her soccer games. I missed my big sister because her singing Always makes me brighten up and just talking to her about simple things makes it easy for me to go on. And the most important person in my life: my mom. OMG how I missed my mom at that moment, because she gives me the space to be myself. Even if I yell of cry or am mad, she accepts it and talks to me to the point where I believe in myself again.
I was soo glad Pepijn was with me, because I could get some comfort and don’t get me wrong, everyone here is soo amazing to me and wants to help (and they do a lot of the times) but with this I felt so awfull I was at the point of going home again. But thank everything that my roomies in Cape Town and Pepijn got me up and we enjoyed our evening where I didn’t have to think about all the shitty feelings I was having at that moment. So yeah honest moment there, kind of hard to go back to the rest of the week now haha…
On Thursday me and Charlotte decided to do a date day together. We slept in in the morning because we both seemed to need it (and of course sometimes you have to let yourself enjoy some time to sleep haha). In the afternoon we went to an old movie theatre called: Labia Theatre. I can’t describe what it looked like, but the atmosphere was really good and the old tickets and the old way of decorations I felt like I was in a different time! We saw the movie A Star Is Born. WOW that movie… Can’t really say more about it then go see it for yourself because it is definitely worth it! After the movie we went for some late lunch at Plant were we chatted about the movie and soo many other things. I love our talks Charlie thanks again for the amazing day!
The next day was date day 2. We both wanted to do a walking tour through Cape Town about the Apartheid period. It was very interesting to hear all the stories that a city went through, not so long ago, which is what keeps being shocking to me that it ended in 1994, and still happens in many other countries in the world off course! The tour guide we had made the tour soo good, because she didn’t only tell the story from Cape Town, but also shared how her parents experienced Apartheid and stories she heard through the years of how families were devided and all the strange things the government did to identify if you were a white, coloured, asian or black person (look up the pencil test, you will be shocked). After the tour we decided to walk a little more to chat about what we heard and after that we went home to end our date days with the Beyonce Homecoming documentary (soo random, but we both love her!)
On Saturday we went to see a rugby match where we sat on the first row! It was an amazing experience and I got to know the game a little better (damn there are a lot of rules involved, thanks Carmen for explaining everything to us haha). On Sunday it was Easter!! Because at home we eat breakfast together on Easter I decided to make a breakfast for my roomies here and boy it was a feast! We had some laughs and after doing the dishes, we all worked on school and did our own thing. Me and Pepijn decided to start planning our trip in July (AHH I AM SOO EXCITED) and figured out were we wanted to go. We are going to travel to Johannesburg by Baz bus which is a bus for backpackers who want to see South Africa thorugh different cities. So the plan is we will visit the following cities: Stellenbosch, Hermanus, Knysna, Storms River, Jeffrey’s Bay, Port Elizabeth, Coffee Bay, Port St Johns, Durban, Southern Drakensberg, Nothern Drakensberg (from were we will take a trip to Lesotho, because it is possible from there) and ending in Johannesburg. We wanted to go to the Kruger Park, but we figured it wasn’t realistic, because we have such a short time already, so we will do some safari’s along the way, because some people say itcan be just as beautiful! Yesterday we booked 6 accomadations for the first 6 cities we will be visiting, so we are getting there haha.
So now I want to work on my thesis again, because I really really really have to! But it was fun writing this and I know some things sound so dramatic, but I want to be honest about my journey here and everything I am going through in stead of just letting you know all the fun things I am doing, because as I said before studying abroad isn’t Always all fun and rainbows!
P.S. for all of you wondering why my title this time is wintering is coming, well, of course, GOT started again (DONT SPOIL ANYTHING). But also in The Netherlands, the weather is really nice and warm and here it is getting colder and rainier throughout the weeks, so yeah it is becoming sweater weather here!
Follow Terri’s adventures on her blog