Independent living, host family and shared living spaces is my life as a volunteer since I am traveling. In Humewood, PE it’s no different. The apartment is large and I’m well taken care of. This post is about my habitat.

What makes living here a little different from the other places I’ve been to is that it’s a house of this dutch. We speak the same language and that does create a “home” feeling. My first impressions (gained in 2 weeks) are just fine and what my hostess has extra, are the many ideas and initiatives she comes up with. Together she lets me discover a piece of South Africa. And there’s no denying it, both can enjoy some food and a drink. That’s more or less binding us. I mean, the first night in PE we were already sharing a fish platter. Every morning I open the curtains and have sideways view of the Indian Ocean.

The location is great. Not only the Indian Ocean but looking down into the street, it shows a lot of amazing images. It may not be a view that I necessarily find a muse but it does evokes a certain imagination. I can not stop my eyes being drawn to the black women. Specially HOW they are dressed. Everything is very clearly accentuated and also little concealing. It’s like a fully loaded shopping bag where the cauliflower threatens to fall out. The bum is even more prominent. I’ve been told it’s not about breasts, it’s about buttocks. They have to be more voluminous.

My niece once explained to me and showed me how to twerk. Kiki, twerking gets a very different dimension here. Just google bum south Africa phenomenon.

In PE we have load-shedding which means that at times during the week the electricity is shut down. There is also a water shortage. The utilities are on a voucher here. Some kind of prepaid subscription.

However, this limitation in the facilities has little influence on the cosy dutch homely feeling. Once I was surprised when coming home in the dark. But with my wakawaka, candles and petzl I enjoyed another drink.

Every day tasty food is being made. Last time I even enjoyed a “hutspot” and meatballs. And when there is no cooking, we take a bite out. It is almost a joke or ridiculous knowing the price you pay for some food.

Friday I am having a weekly drink. Thinking at first that this week’s drink was with all the volunteers, but it seemed like a staffmember drink. Was I promoted to staff? It didn’t stop at just a drink on fridays.

I’m still enjoying a weekdrink that lasted all weekend. Going out with ready4life, family and partners to cape st. Francis. With a little luck, I discover some of the xhosa culture. During the weekend I observe some roles most hierarchist. The Matriarch and eldest son. I see mostly family! and it’s nice to see it up close. The weekend is especially festive and cozy. It’s about cooking, eating (meat) and drinking (alcohol).

The next initiative is going to Addo elephant national park with my housemembers.

What a great experience! Finding animals in their natural habitat. They are not cared for, they search and find their own food and water. Predators and prey live side by side and animals must fear for their existence. You will also find the bones of the animals that didn’t make it.

A steel cage (car) is the protection we have during our tour. The animals should be given space, so above all do not stand in the way. I feel an elevated heartbeat when an elephant came right at us and passed ten feet apart to find another tree. It seemed like he kept staring at me, and wanted to say “are you talking to me?” We drove a little backwards! Impressive!

In the park I felt as if I ended up in the lion king. I saw the real pumba the wart hog and this one actually ran away with its tail like an attene when it was chased by a zebra foal. That’s a little different than with the tail between the legs.

This park, triggers my very vivid imagination. What a beautiful image I’ve seen.

The word that comes to mind is initiation. That’s how I experience these past two weeks. A ritual before I belong to this tribe this house.

I am very fortunate living at a place like this. My own room as it is. The area challenges me to discover. The people around me showing me around and my hostess does her very best making me feel very welcome and even at home. I have my post ” Displaced ” still in my mind.

With my post displaced “still in my mind, it feels great to get back into the street I live, to open the door, up the stairs, eventually closing the door of my room behind me again. It seems so recognizable!

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