Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Things I like about South Africa

Rachel here.  There have been quite a few... "difficult" adjustments that I have had to make with my move, but today, I'd like to take a bit of time to tell you about some of the wonderful luxuries of South Africa (all the more reason to visit, right?) 

1)The movie theatre experience.  For one,  movies cost about thirty rand, which equates to about $3.50 in American dollars.  It's a much more realistic pastime here than the 15-20 dollars you inevitably spend for a ticket, popcorn, and drink.  The icing on the cake, though, is this beautiful little concept they have here called reserved seating.  Essentially, you go up to the little computer kiosk and reserve not only your ticket in advance, but the actual seat in which you will sit!  It's like going to watch a play and having assigned seats!  Then, you can just waltz on into your movie five minutes before it starts because you've already reserved your seat!  

2)The public restrooms.  I'm not saying that all public restrooms in America are bad, but I've realized just how much I hate them since I've been here.  Every time we're out somewhere, I always sort of mentally brace myself for the filth and mire I'm about to encounter, only to find that they're clean...very clean!  I can feel myself tensing up at each bathroom trip, only to find that I had no need to do so!  I started wondering why I was prematurely reacting this way, and I've come to realize that it's because I've made a habit of doing that in America...and rightly so...because oftentimes, public restrooms in America are just disgusting.  When I was at the mall the other day, there was actually a lady cleaning the bathroom while I was in there.  Not like with a gross mop and murky water.  She was cleaning the sink and wiping up the excess water...doing all the little things that make the bathroom experience GREAT!  Now, as far as the actual toilet goes, I'm a bigger fan of American toilets than the ones here, but the public restroom experience here has been much more enjoyable than most in America.  

3)Last, but certainly not least, is Butler's Pizza.  It's essentially the price you would pay for Pizza Hut or Dominoes.  It's fast food pizza...but it tastes like heaven in your mouth.  I'm a huge fan of the Thai chicken pizza.  I can eat an entire medium pizza by myself.  The medium isn't the biggest medium I've ever seen, but it's still a pretty hefty dinner, if you ask me.  They have amazing topping choices at Butlers, one being something called a "peppadew", or at Butler's, endearingly titled, the "Butlerito."  As far as I know, peppadews do not exist in America yet, because they only native to South Africa.  Basically, they are these little chili peppers that are sweet.  They are D-elicious!  So, the Butler's Experience (as I'd like to call it) is the following: You call and order from a delightful array of choices on their menu, they deliver it to you, the delivery boy has on a bow tie and a cummerbund (it is Butler's after all), you pay the pizza boy your 100 rand for your two medium pizzas (about 10 dollars, tip included), and then you open the box and stuff down delicious goodness into your face as fast as humanly possible.  Fast food pizza in South Africa beats America's fast food pizza any day, hands down.  

I promise to all those who visit, I will facilitate all three of these experiences for you so you can enjoy some of the many luxuries of South Africa!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reception number 4

Well, there's officially no more celebration of our marriage!  We had our last celebration at Stellenberg (our church) on Sunday afternoon!  It was a little different than the previous ones, but rest assured, the same spirit was shared in that one as in all of the other ones.  It was interesting to read our vows yet again.  It's funny because during this reading, I found that there were quite a few spots where I'd seen I'd already fallen short.  But on the bright side, I am already blessed to have wonderful memories attached on both sides of how we have kept our vows.  

It's amazing to think that this Friday we will have been married for a month!  It has been quite a month, with lots of traveling, etc.  and it's nice to finally be getting settled down.  

I just wrote my best friend in America,  Erica, about a verse that we both have taken solace in, and I wanted to share it with the rest of you.  "But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.  I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill.  I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me."  ~Psalm 3:3-5

According to the information above the Psalm, David wrote this when he fled from Absalom, his son.  I can't imagine being in the position David was in.  Lot's of uncertainty and very few people on which he could rely.  His own son was trying to pull off a military coup! situation can hardly be compared, but sometimes it is difficult because I feel like my situation has lots of uncertainty with it.  That Psalm really encouraged me because it reminded me that each day, God gives us the strength to make it through the situation which he has ordained for us.  With that mindset, I have been able to make more of each day, enjoying smaller activities such as cleaning, reading, and setting up our house. 

Being in unfamiliar territory for the long haul can bring out the worst in a person.  I found that I have quite an impatient streak when I took my last trip to Boardmans.  For those of you who don't know, Boardmans is an upscale kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, decor store.  It's similar to like Pier 1 or something like that.  Well, I had a lot of trouble keeping my cool when I got what I felt to be below adequate customer service.  I had to leave the store and let Matt finish the transaction by himself!  I didn't know I could get so frustrated at something so simple!  

Last night, Matt and I were in the middle of a rather serious prayer when we heard water spilling onto our kitchen floor.  We rushed in only to find that our draining pipe on our washing machine did not drain, and it was draining onto the floor.  Now, we have the pipe sitting in our sink, when we wash clothes.  The washing machine has been quite an issue....two days ago, we broke a part on it and had to wash a load of clothes by hand in the bath tub.  I never knew wringing out wet clothes could be so tiresome!  

Well...that's about it for now.  Matt has been super busy trying to catch up on his work after being sick this past weekend...I'm sure we'll get a blog post out of him some time soon :)


Thursday, May 14, 2009

I can only imagine Pam last night...

You know, you cannot just start a season of a TV show and not finish it out.  Matt and I were overjoyed to find that we are able to watch the performances of American Idol online.  Many of the television show websites do not work in SA that work in America.  So...although we were going to wait and watch it at his aunt's house, I was just too impatient so we watched it on his computer.  Of course, Adam was PHENOMENAL!!!  And then there was Danny, who wasn't bad.  But Kris Allen!?!?  WHAT?!?!?!?!  

I can only imagine my mother, a die-hard Allen fan, jumping for joy last night, as he made it to the final two.  NO ONE saw that one coming.  But I must admit, he did quite an interesting rendition of Heartless.  I couldn't help but reminisce of times where my old roommate, Anna, and I used to have dance parties in our lounge, that song being one of our favorites on our play list.  

A few more updates.  Two days ago, I decided it was time for me to jump out of my comfort zone and go driving!  Obviously, this is quite an interesting experience due to the fact that they drive on the opposite side of the road here.  I drove from the church to Matt's parents' house, then from their house to our apartment.  It is not uncommon to see the windshield wipers going when I'm driving, even if it is a bright, sunny day, due to the fact that the turn signal and the wiper knobs are switched.  For those of you who know about my desire to have incredibly ripped biceps, driving is a wonderful way to get my arms in shape, as Matt's car lacks power steering.  It is quite a sight to see me trying to turn the wheel!

Learning to be a wife can be hard, especially when you are both the nurse and the culprit for sickness.  I may or may not have made Matt sick.  So, as I nurse his tummy ache back to health, I can't help but wonder...'I'm the only one who is cooking for him, so the choices for culprits are few...and it's probably me.'  So, my guess is that it was the soup that I made, and while we have leftovers, I'm not going to give it a second chance to find out if that was it.

Well, that's about it for now!  Will write more later!  


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Welcome everyone to our blog!

We hope that this can be a way that our friends all around the world can keep up with the happenings in our lives!  

This is Rachel writing right now, but we'll both be posting here.  I'm sure that the majority of the posts will be from me, though, because just as I have more words than Matt when I speak, I also have more words when I write :) 

Anyway, we are officially here, in Cape Town and we're in the process of making our apartment (or "flat" as they call it in SA), a little more enjoyable.  Currently, it's pretty much just the bare minimum...but with each passing day, we are getting more and more things squared away.  

I had my first trip to the grocery store!  It was very good, except I had to get over the fact that Mexican food is sparse and the little bit they do have is rather expensive.  I looked and looked for a can of black beans, but they were nowhere to be found :(  But I still managed to get quite a good array of food.  And I can't completely be negative about the grocery store experience...there were quite a few positives.  For example...when's the last time you've bought an avocado for 30 cents?  Or a pineapple for a dollar?  Yeah...never in America!  But yes, it's all rather cheap here!  Another random have to pay for your plastic bags at the grocery store, so it's a good idea to bring your own!  I thought that was kinda cool.

Anyway...that's about all the happenings on this side of the pond.  I promise to blog the excitement as it comes...and I promise to make it an engaging read for you, as well.  I just wanted to start the blog and I was too excited to worry about how enjoyable this post was to's really just word vomit, so don't read it as anything more than that.  But anyway...more to come!  I miss everyone much and I think of you all often!