Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This Week in Town

Finally I have recounted my adventure up north to Pretoria/Johannesburg and this weekend is so much quieter. Yesterday, as with most days I prowled the beach and promenade just below the condo. The beach isn’t very wide here and the sand is a bit gravely and there is a rock shelf too. When there is a low tide we can play in tide pools, where I have seen some fish that you can buy at an aquarium shop, anemones, hermit craps, sand crabs, rock crabs, and assorted other rock clinging life… I never tire of watching the waves crash against the rocks… but I’m sure that to some- one crashing wave looks much like another. I did get a nice shot of a butterfly, a rock crab, the Durban skyline and I got a nice little bird in the last few days.

Butterfly,A Crab

Durban ZA skyline 7-11-09, A Little Bird

Last night, (Friday), we were invited back to the Consulate Generals home for informal cocktails and dinner with some representatives of the DOE (Dept of Energy). I was fun to go back under less formal/stressful conditions. Jill Derderian was fun to talk with and a wonderful hostess. Many of us talked about our adventures in Africa and the animals we’ve seen and where we found them. Dinner was on a Mexican theme, vegetarian and beef enchiladas, a lime scented couscous, beans and a corn soup that was spectacular. I think one of the guys my DH works with is going to ask for the recipe. Hope so. Dessert was flan, brownies and sorbet. After dinner the ladies; Jill, myself and several others went to look at her quilts. She has 5 hanging in the entry/stairwell and one in the dining room. I took some pictures this time with my iPhone, but the lighting was not ideal… I do have one I can show… CG's Quilt, the rest will have to wait until I can get them out of the old point and wait camera.

At the Consulate’s July 4th, party the Consulate General, Jill Derderian’s speech had 2 Zulu quotes in it that I particularly liked. I’m sure we have something similar in English… but they are way too wordy.

“Umuntu umuntu ngavantu” -means ‘a person is a person, because of other people’ and “Inkosi yinkosi nagvantu”‘a chief is a chief, because of his people’.

Today we went into the downtown area of Durban to visit the Victoria Street Market, which is mostly small shops owned by East Indians, and one of the malls downtown. We really didn’t find much. I was told there was fabric in the Victoria Street Market, but we didn’t find any. I asked the DH where he found some of the stuff he bought before I got here so he took me there. It was at the African Art Center, I bought 2 more pieces!!! I think I have about 40 yards of fabric now!!! When we got back to the condo, I sent the maker an email. I have plans to visit the shop on Monday and she has information about a quilt guild meeting on Tuesday. I’m thinking if I go and take a stitch I will be an “International Quilter!”

On Sunday we went to the harbor with friends. There are shops and good food there, as well as some touristy stuff. It was interesting to see more of the harbor since I get to see lots of ships resting just off shore. We now know that they are biding their time in friendly waters, because of the pirates up the western coast. I usually count the ships in the morning and again in the evening, and as it turns out I am not the only one. Some days there are as many as 20 and as few as 5, and Monday, I counted 28 out there.

Today, we went on a tour of a US destroyer that is in port here in Durban, the USS Arleigh Burke. They are conducting a joint training exercise with South Africa. It was a nice tour with lots of information. I got a couple of nice pictures,the Navy's idea of 'uploading'USS Burke  uploading and the ships tower USS Arliegh Burke tower, and one of Durban from the harbor, Durban Harbor City. My DH had to go back and work the evening on the ship, and it was said spouses can’t go. Well not so, but I’m glad I stayed in. We saw more of the ship and were much warmer in the morning.

The seas out there are rough today. Rough Seas It was supposed to rain today, but we have a good chance of that the rest of the week here…. It is winter here!!!

As always there are more pictures on Flickr, , if you are interested, and please leave a comment either here or on Flickr, I want to hear what you like too. More later!!!

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