This morning was a fun time. Up at 6:30, we started our day by navigating stickers and Legos. Tisetso got a new sticker and coloring book, so he was set! This kid makes up so many stories that go along with his drawings. At one point he had a sticker with a guy and a dog sled surrounded by other stickers that looked to be in pursuit. He told me the dog sled guy had stolen the dogs and the other people were chasing him to get their dogs back.
One thing Brian and I have noticed along with his creativity is his limited vocabulary. At the home where he came from, all of his Aunties spoke English as their second language. They spoke it well, but I’ve noticed that Tisetso doesn’t have a vocabulary for when he likes or dislikes something. It’s either "nice" or "not nice" or "ugly." These terms are used broadly for anything. He doesn’t want toast? It’s "ugly." He would like another cookie? It’s "nice." You get the picture. So today, when he would use one of these phrases, I would ask, “Do you mean it tastes good?” or “Do dislike that color?” I hope it’s helpful and haven’t gotten any indication that Tisetso is tired of me for asking these questions.
After breakfast, we did a quick session of school. After playing an upper-case/lower-case matching game, I discovered that Tisetso doesn’t have all of his lower-case letters memorized. We will be working on that over the next few weeks. I’m sure he’ll love it!
After school, we headed to the Two Oceans Aquarium. If you know me well, you know I love aquariums! Our drive into Cape Town lasted about 45 minutes. Tisetso fell asleep on the way, which I think helped make our day more successful. On our way, we passed miles and miles of small shacks where people live. It was a hard thing to not be moved by this view. Scattered intermittently were toilet structures, which I’m guessing everyone shares. South Africa is a country of extremes. Not far from these shacks were beautiful sprawling homes with barbed wire around the perimeters. While driving in, the mountains were covered in clouds, but thankfully things cleared up when we arrived.
At lunch there was a seagull (who we named Steven) lurking in the shadows while we ate. It provided entertainment and terror for Tisetso (he does not like when nature gets too close). From our table, we had a beautiful view of the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain. Brian had a meat skewer (crocodile, ostrich, warthog, springbok, and other assorted game sausage) and I had springbok filets. (Tisetso had his customary cheeseburger and chips with tomato sauce.)
With lunch taken care of, we walked to the aquarium. It turned out the be a great decision to go! I was able to pet some sea life, we watched penguins, sea turtles, and sting rays being fed, and Tisetso surrounded himself with clownfish. As with every other animal experience in this country, I could have pet anything that wasn’t in a tank (and even some of that were in tanks)! The penguins were contained two feet away by a tiny fence.
While inspecting their website for information this morning, I found something they offer called the "Penguin Experience." It’s where you pay $20 and you get to hang with the penguins (including holding and petting) for an hour and a half. I’ve convinced Brian this is something I need in my life and wil be signing up soon!
When we were spent from hanging with the fishes, we packed up and headed back. The rest of our evening involved Cars and Peter Pan, dinner, and Tisetso stalling at bedtime telling me he was waiting for Voldemort to show up! This kid! Our plan tomorrow is to go to Simon’s Town and visit Boulder Beach which has wild penguins!