Stockholm- A Culture Capital

Stockholm- A Culture Capital
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Buon Giorno ay Buon Natale!

I have left the beautiful warmth of Africa and have entered into the historical and culturally rich city of Rome. After a fiasco at the airport with flight delays, half my family missing their connection flight and everyone but lucky old me having to wait several days to track down their bags I made it into Rome safe and sound. We have spent the last few days taking in the sites of Rome like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Trevvi Fountain and so on, eating at numerous Italian restaurants and having more bread, pizza, and pasta than I usually have in a month and browsing the millions of side and backstreets full of shops along their cobblestone paving. We spent Christmas Eve shopping and enjoying a Christmas market at the Piazza Navona and then spent hours in line to get entry with our tickets to the midnight mass at St.Peters Basilica in the Vatican to see the Pope get attacked, fall down, and then deliver a service. The church was more than impressive, as are all of the enormous building hewn from stone.

Christmas day I read an entire book and we spent a fair amount of time relaxing before going out for dinner and drinks before touring some sites around our hotel. We have done a lot of walking around Rome and will be leaving for Florence in the morning for more history and great food.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cheers Africa!

I write this in my empty apartment waiting for the laundry to finish so I can pack the last of my things. This is my last morning in Africa and I am sad to leave this wonderful and diverse place. My last few days were spent all over the map. I had my very last day of CELTA on friday and I got all my reports and said fair well to the school. Then after boutique shopping and lunch with classmates I dressed up and went to the South African production of CATS, which was excellent and my first cats experience. After that we went out on the town and stayed up until sunrise which we watched over the ocean at mouille point.

Then next day we spent laying on the beach and taking the taxis all around to shop in the malls and shopping in a giant Christmas market on one of the main roads. Still sleep deprived at this point I went sand boarding sunday morning for a 7 hour experience in the dessert. It was fantastic! These dunes were between 15 and 20 some meters high and you climb up the shifting dunes of white sand, wax your board and strap in bare foot to fly down the hills in the dessert. The sun and the heat was incredible but it wiped nearly all the energy out of me. Then I had a farewell braai on the beach with the lovely locals I had met while I was here and then passed out by midnight. I am not happy to leave Africa and dreading the cold weather. I had a final brunch of colada french toast dipped in coconut milk and rum with bananas and now I am counting down my last hours.

However I am on my way to Italy to see my family for the holidays and I am extremely excited to see them again and to be with my brother for his first time in Europe.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

For the Love of Africa

It has been over a week since I have updated the blog and a lot has gone on! Since my stolen phone escapades I have been working very hard on my CELTA course and today is my very last day. I am a certified CELTA graduate and will be waiting for Cambridge to send me my official certifications. It has flown by and I will miss it.

Along side my course I have also been keeping very busy, I went shopping again and saw New Moon at the mall which was a must. It was great to get some American media. I also went to a party in one of the South African townships. This particular street party was held in an area with less shacks and more walled houses. They erected a stage in the street and had a handful of local african talent performing. They were also launching a ghetto vegetarian restaurant and I had my first ever soy curry while I was out there. After that we went to an intimate little club called Fiction who had live DJ's mixing their own electronica, my favorite being a mix of the super mario bros theme song.

We had a public holiday on wednesday here and I took the chance to go paragliding with my wonderful classmate Barbara. The paragliding was AMAZING and I would love to take it up as a hobby. It was shorter than we expected and so at 1 o'clock we decided we would climb table mountain and made it to the top of the 3500 ft mountain through Platteklip Gorge and then after a break on top made our way back down. We then went for all you can eat sushi and had Sheesha at Mesopotamia, a restaurant with live belly dancing and music.

Then yesterday to get into the Christmas spirit I went to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens for a night of candle light carolling put on by the local rotary club and sang our way through 16 odd carols while lounging on the grass of the garden's amphitheater. I have even more planned for the days to come and I am very sad to be leaving the amazing Country and City behind.

Love you all and hope your Christmas season is well
Mac Putici

Monday, December 7, 2009

TIA- This is Africa

It has been a while since I have updated the blog here and I apologize, I have been fairly busy. So my first and second weeks of teaching have both gone very well, there have been up and down days but overall I am loving the teaching and the course is a lot of fun. I have to date taught 5 separate lessons and we had our first major assignment due today, so only 4 more lessons and 3 more assignments and I will be complete and ready to teach. As of tomorrow I will start teaching intermediate level students instead of the elementary level. This will be an interesting transition, it will be more in depth meaning about words and form and less developing of the basic skills and knowledge of English.

Otherwise I have managed to make some friends and begin a social life. I went with some class mates and as well as some locals last weekend to hike on table mountain. We did not make it to the top (or even near) but it was nice, and then we took photos on the Rhodes memorial and had a braai-which is what South Africans call a BBQ. This was accompanied with some wine and cheese and deep conversation late into the night. I have also went to some art galleries featuring South African artists and students over the last two weeks. I don't know if I will want to leave here in two weeks, it is going to be so hard to go back to Canada especially because of the recent blizzard.

Other highlights have been my birthday! I am officially not a teen anymore and so I went out for a fancy dinner on my special night and then went to a few clubs after. I couldn't stay out too late though because I had to teach in the morning. I also ate my first pot of worms! They looked terrible but they taste and feel quite good in your mouth. If you want a visual look up mopane worms. Then of course the World Cup is being hosted here next year and the draw was on friday here at the convention center. There was a giant street party in Long street and they closed it all off for pedestrian use only. We went there and partied and I had my iPhone stolen from my pocket. That was more of a 'lowlite', but that is how life goes. The phrase TIA or This Is Africa is something locals say about all of the chaos that happens here, but that is just how it goes.

Otherwise the weather is great and life is good here in Africa.
Love and miss you all!
Mac Putici