Friday, November 30, 2012

Robben Island


Okay, I know most of you have watched the movie Invictus, so therefore you should kind of have a faint memory of what Robben Island is. Robben Island is a small island off the coast of Cape Town and used to be maximum security prison that held most or all of the black political leaders during the apartheid era. It is mainly famous for once imprisoning Nelson Mandela for 18 years. You can imagine how excited I was to go see this place where the previous president of South Africa and a man of struggle was held. I studied about his life before he became president and the fight he gave towards the government during apartheid, and it was incredible to finally be able to visit the place where he was imprisoned.


This is Nelson Mandela's cell, where he slept and studied every book he could get his hands on. He was and still is a brilliant man who was on a mission to get his people freedom. When we got in front of his cell, we all lingered around just for a while to even try and get a glimpse into what it might have felt like to live here for 18 years day in and day out. They were not allowed to socialize with others and they were forced to eat foods that were often times not even edible. The only way Mandela could communicate with others was when they all were able to go to the bathroom, working in the limestone quarries, and by secret letters hidden within small objects. Nelson Mandela is a hero to his people, especially because he never gave up on them for more than 27 years.


It was a tad bit windy on the island, but nevertheless it was a interesting experience Hopefully next time we can get a guide where we could understand more of what he was saying, welp TIA.

Always, Allex

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Little Piece of Home

I am staying with a host family this week and living with my Aunty Des feels a little like home. It reminds me a lot of my grandma's house back in the States and it's really comforting considering we have been living in hotels and now we have home cooked meals. She even calls us her "babies", which makes Gini and I giggle every time she says it. She is a wife, a mother to two, and a grandma to three. well five including Gini and I.. She works at the Navy base and loves cooking. Which is both good and bad on my part because the food is delicious but I'm fairly sure I've gained about ten pounds just looking at her food. Every day we get to talk and she tells us a little bit about her life. We enjoy each others company very much. 

On Sunday we became VIP pass holders and had a private tour of the South Africa Navy base. This may or may not have been one of the coolest things we have ever done before! Not to mention, the tour guide was extremely good looking (in my defense, he was in uniform). Normally people are only allowed in the main area where the helicopters land, however, Gini and I were able to go up and down the decks and even see the operating room. It is definitely a once in a life time opportunity to do something like this, so I thank God for such a wonderful time with these Navy men and my family. I don't want this week to end! 

Always, Allex

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Because I never do anything risky

um.. I don't know how to put this..
but, I went bungy jumping off the world's highest bungy bridge!!!
yes, this girl went bungy jumping! 216m!
and I have video to prove it for all those who want to see it back at home!
for now these awful quality photos will do.  enjoy, and KNOW that I am a changed woman.
I would like to have a cool nickname when I get home, so I hope you have a few in mind
by the time I arrive back on California territory.. "Miss She's So Cool I Want To Be Her"..
or something like that. you get the gist.


Always, Allex

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr.


Meet Kwazi.
He is a big kitty.
His fur is a bit rough,
but he is very nice.
Nice kitty.


Always, Allex

Friday, November 16, 2012

Blessed

I made a video about the different things that I did with Walk in the Light, the organization I worked with, however, my internet usage here isn't that great so the video will have to wait until I get home in a few weeks. But I would like to share a few words here just describing how much of an impact they have made in my life. 

First, my team, that I had the privilege of working with, were and are the most amazing people of God. They consistently encouraged and supported me, loved me and comforted me during the tough times, and uplifted me towards God every chance they had. We had such a great group dynamic and we had such a huge heart for the community of Haniville. We loved the people there and wished we could stay for a few more months. It seemed like we were finally beginning to build relationships with them and then it was already time to leave. We were starting to get a taste for how the community is run, how Walk in the Light plays a role in helping the community, who the people are, and how we could empower the people to see that they can make a change in their community. All good things come with time of course, but I simply just wished we could have stayed a little bit longer. 

I am going to miss talking to Tracy and hearing her input during our devotionals in the morning. She somehow always knew just what to say and we understood how wise and knowledgeable this woman of God really was. She was actually quite brilliant, patient, and had the heart of gold when it came to helping the people in the community. She always put people before her and she truly cared for our team and even made sure that she was at the banquet to say her goodbyes to us. I have met many great and loving people at Walk in the Light, but she will be the one who I will miss the most. She has taught me many life lessons and her words inspired me to grow more in my faith as well. Thank you for everything Tracy.

I will miss the women workers who, even though they mostly spoke Zulu, always brought laughter to the group. They taught us so much about the community and how we can best love them. I will miss Snash, the man of God who sang beautifully at church but at the same time could tease me about how I didn't really know how to chop wood. His huge smile and sarcasm will be missed greatly. I will miss Phindile, who opened my eyes to the realities of the community, who was there to translate, and who was there to welcome us to any situation. She too has a heart of gold for the people in the community. I will miss the youth group who was loud, funny, silly, Godly, and overall welcoming. It was incredible to be with a group of students where we could come together and fellowship. To be brothers and sisters under Christ and give Him praise. Those moments in the chapel where we played ice breaker games and shared sermons will be missed. And lastly, thank you to Bruce who started this organization. Even though we didn't get to know him that well, he was doing all the behind the scenes work on running this organization. Without him the community of Haniville would be nothing. Thank you to Walk in the Light for providing a place of service for us and a platform for God's will to be done. I am so blessed to have worked with my team and with the people of Walk in the Light. I am forever grateful and I hope to come back again.

Always, Allex

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Shenanigans

Some fun activities that have been keeping me busy over the weekends!



So ever since I could remember, my dad was a huge fan of paint-balling.. and still is I might add! I always thought it was super cool because of all the pretty colors he had for the paint balls. Yes, I am a girl so I would naturally be more attracted to the color of the paint than the actual sport itself, but I think I do deserve some points for actually participating this time. And better yet, it was extremely cheap to play in South Africa! It was a few solid hours of adrenaline pumping and almost peeing my pants moments of paint-balling. It was scary and I shot quite a few people, unfortunately I never got hit! Probably because the tires and every other stable object became my best friend, but thanks to Chris, he shot my ankle at the very end of the game because he knew how badly I wanted to get hit. I needed the real paint-balling experience, so I couldn't just walk away without getting one hit! So thank you Chris, you are a true friend :) 


We also had the opportunity to go to a water park in Durban called Ushaka! It is pretty much like a baby version of Sea World, except the ocean view is way better in South Africa, sorry San Diego. We got to see a dolphin show, go down super scary high slides that let me tell you.. give you the worst wedgies ever!, and got to relax down the lazy river. Those are usually one of my favorites. Other than that, the weather was perfect and the beaches were beautiful. Every time we visit a beach I get so nostalgic and it makes me miss home even more. Although the Pacific Ocean does not have anything on the Indian Ocean. So step it up West Coast and California.. be ready for a tanned Allex in December! 


Always, Allex