I am shocked by how quickly time passes- I only have six weeks left in my community of Bellville South. In these last six weeks, I want to throw myself into daily life, but I also want to communicate daily life with my international community. For that purpose, once a week for the next six weeks I will do a blog post about something in my daily life, from language to laundry. I hope you enjoy hearing about the not-so-profound parts of my life here!

First up: TV!

For the most part in South Africa, I haven’t had access to DSTV (the equivalent of cable in the US). Instead, I have access to SABC1, SABC2, SABC3, and e.tv. These four channels have the same evening line-up every weeknight: news and soap operas. The news is broadcast in different languages at different times, and almost every South African culture has a soap opera, or soapie. There are lots of popular South Africa shows: Isidingo, Rhythm Cuty, Muvhango, Generations, 7 de Laan, and Scandal, to name a few.

In mid-October, I moved in with a host family and began to regularly watch 7 de Laan. It is primarily in Afrikaans (all shows have English subtitles) and my host family let my host siblings watch it to help them practice their Afrikaans for school. I was skeptical at first, but quickly got hooked. One of my absolute favorite TV moments was watching 7 de Laan at the Children’s Home I worked at one day in December. The teenage girls and I were all hoping Danelle and Bernard (characters on the show) would get together, and during the couple’s first kiss we all cheered and danced around the room. I have continued to watch 7 de Laan throughout the year, and have fond memories watching it in every place I have lived in Cape Town.

In January, I moved into the hostel where I currently live. Now, at 8 PM every night, you’ll find me sitting with some of the students who live here, absorbed in the drama of Generations. We usually can’t make it through the show without an argument breaking out amongst the students: is Sibusiso evil or every man’s hero? Should Senzo and Jason break up? Is Noluntu or Dineo more beautiful? I’m now even vocal in some of these arguments (Sibusiso is a horrible person and Noluntu and Dineo are both gorgeous). 

There is plenty of debate in the world about the value of television, but spending time each night watching TV with the people in my life has been a blessing. It gives us something to talk about, helps me feel like I truly belong, and forces us all out of our rooms to spend time together in community.