Soo I never told you all about my homestay family =( Honestly it’s really hard to keep up with this blog thing. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to blogging and on top of that I have done soo much, I feel like I have to choose what to post or i’ll blog for hours… that’s actually what I plan to do today! So Oceanview is a colored community in Cape Town, it’s pretty small and you pass it on the way to the peninsula. Anyway, back in Feb we (CIEE students) were all assigned a family and a homestay sis or bro that was also a CIEE student. Of course I had the pleasure to get the crazy, Italian, New Yorker, Kristen as my homestay sis. Needless to say we had a BLAST!! Our family, the Delcarme’s, is the largest family in Oceanview. The couple, Abi and Diana, have 2 daughters, one is 21, Tamaron, and one is 17, Andrea. I was initially really worried about the whole weekend, I did not know how they would accept me especially with all the racial tension that I had felt since I first arrived in SA. Also, I was worried about little stuff like how I would adapt to the fact that most families did not have a bathroom sink (it’s a luxury apparently). Most colored people live in the Cape Flats which was where they were moved during apartheid. Before apartheid many lived in District 6, and the people of Ocean View lived in Simon’s Town, a beautiful little beach town.
Back to the Delcarme’s…they are such a warm, loving family and accepted us as if we were a part of their family. They had a party in honor of our arrival that weekend =) We also celebrated Abi’s mom’s birthday on the Sunday before we left. We promised the family that we would come back and visit again and we did a few weeks later. This time we celebrated my 21st birthday =) Once again we made lots of memories.
Diana taught me the most… she told me that she participates in the homestay weekend because she wants to show us that you do not need lots of money in order to be happy. All you need is family, music, God, and love. The colored community reminds me so much of black Americans, we come from a similiar background and go through the same struggles of violence, gangs, drugs, poverty, and racism. I identify more with coloreds than black Africans because their culture reminds me of black Americans and just the way the act in general. I think it is because of their background.
The colored people of Cape Town were originally called Cape Malaysian Coloured. They were stolen from Indonesia by the Afrikaaners (Dutch frontiers that came to SA) starting in the 1600s. Upon coming to SA they intermingled with whites and native Africans, which created more diversity in the colored community. It is hard many times to distinguish whether someone is colored or black, because in the states it’s all the same. They have a distinct accent though and most of them speak Afrikaans, which is a mixture of improper Dutch and a few other languages. I can say soo much about these people. But the long and short of it is that, it took me months to figure them out but nonetheless, I love them! They accept me and I accept them, they may be crazy and loud at times but that just reminds me of home =)