I have had such a great weekend and birthday! On Saturday a group of us went art gallery hopping on this free bus. We rode all around Durban and saw a lot of really cool things! My favorites were the African Art Centre and the Durban University of Technology. The Art Centre had a lot of really nice handmade crafts and the university had displays of absolutely gorgeous jewelry that students there designed and made themselves! I was really amazed by some of their work. The gallery hop took pretty much the whole day, so when I got home I rested a little before some people came to the hostel. A bunch of the people in the program wanted to see where we lived and meet some of the people in the hostel. One of the girls is really jealous that we get to meet so many different people. I really do enjoy the hostel.
On Sunday we didn't really know what to do, and one of the guys who hangs out at the hostel all the time offered to take us to Gateway (the largest mall in the Southern Hemisphere). We had been before but hadn't really spent much time there. It is MASSIVE! We were pretty much in awe of everything there. They had a skate park, a wave pool, a climbing wall, and hundreds of stores! We ended up getting lunch at a sushi place where you sit at a bar and a conveyor belt goes around with all these different types of sushi on it and you just grab what you want. It was quite delicious. Then we decided to see a movie, "Body of Lies" and it was really good! I really enjoyed it, and it was nice to do something relaxing and mindless for a while. When we got back to the hostel, we braaied (like we do every Sunday) and chilled with the people at the hostel. They found out that my birthday was the next day, so they made me drink a "birthday concoction" at the bar. It was a glass of 4 different types of alcohol layered on top of each other and then lit on fire! It was pretty disgusting. But it was fun, and they all sang happy birthday to me!
On Monday, I went to the offices for a little bit, because even though it was my birthday, I still had to get some work done. I finally got a hold of this one guy who I had been trying to contact for almost a week, so that's good. Then I decided to go to the Musgrave mall, and get something fun to wear for my birthday dinner. I bought a really cute dress, and then met up with one of my friends to catch a mini-bus back to Florida Road. When I got back to the hostel, I was greeted by a really pretty bouquet of flowers that my parents sent me! The card was pretty funny because instead of putting "c/o Thekweni Backpackers," they put "The Thekweni's." We had a good laugh about it! For dinner a group of us went out to this really delicious Thai restaurant called Bangkok Wok, and we had a really great time! I had some very tasty Thai food and for dessert I got this chocolate sponge cake which ended up being very similar to one of my favorite desserts in the world: The Triple Chocolate Meltdown! One of the girls also bought candles that said "21" that they stuck in the cake. It was so much fun! One of the girls who really loves to bake also made me a very tasty cake, although she was disappointed in it because they apparently had some sort of icing fiasco. I thought it was still really nice of her though! I finished out the night hanging out with people in the hostel and having a guitar jam session. It was a lot of fun! Sala Kahle!