Street Smarts

This morning Fareed took us to placement at 7:45, as always. It was an exciting day for children and parents all over the country, because it was the first day of school. Summer break is now over! Fareed got a phonecall while driving and hungup with a huge smile on his face and shared with me that his 5 year old boy was the only one who did not cry when his mother left the school. He said, "He make me feel like a proud parent." It was adorable.


Sitting in the front seat, I learned a bunch of new cultural lessons. All of the boys and girls we passed wore school uniforms, but there were several boys in hats. Fareed told me that this signified that they had "been to the mountain." Had it not been for my cultural lesson, I wouldn't have known that "going to the mountain" means that that this boy has become a man. Women don't really knowwhat happens at the mountain, except that their boy is circumsized and often times the same blade is used from person to person, further contributing to the spread of HIV. When the boys begin wearing hats to school, you must respect their newfound manhood.



I also learned a lesson in street smarts on this drive. Fareed told me that many of the vans, like the one we drive in, have names of tour companies on them when they are not actually tour companies. These taxi drivers fake the names of tour companies because police rarely pull these vehicles over since their papwork is usually up to date.
When it came time for placement, about 12 nursing students came in to observe he hospital because they're working to form some kind of funding proposal. They were all students at UCT. Because our nurses are not the friendliest bunch, I took it upon myself to welcome the girls and help them out as best I could, which consisted of comparing this facility to one in the US, helping them feed the babies, and making them feel welcome. (I would have liked for someone to do that for me on my first day.) I'm glad they weren't aware I knew nothing about nursing. haha I should be, right Jenn?

After placement, we came home, ate a curry dish and hopped straight on a ferry to Robben Island (The jail where Nelson Mandela spent a big portion of his life.) I will update about that as soon as I have free time. It was AMAZING.

Off to the hospital..... xo