Five years ago, I volunteered for 14 hours a week at a children's home, in a service-learning class during my semester abroad.
Toward the end of the semester, the woman who ran the children's home gave me a necklace to thank me for the time I'd put in. I loved the beaded blue pattern, and wore it constantly.
...Until I snapped the clasp off, after I was back in the US. I was sad to see it broken, but it made me determine to return to South Africa to get it fixed.
Well, I did come back two years later, but only for a few weeks. The necklace stayed broken.
And now I'm back again, and after 10 months, I just never fixed the broken necklace.
Until yesterday! Finally, the strand of beads can close again. Hooray!
Also, five years ago, I got a haircut just before I went back home. (I like to be presentable when I see the fam.) A housemate of mine had had a bad experience at a salon, and needed the cut fixed. We got a recommendation for a tiny place in the city, and I loved the cut and style I got.
But my geography of Cape Town was embarrassingly bad until this trip, so I could not remember where that gem of a salon was.
A few weeks ago, a little mall on Strand that I often pop into to use the ATM started looking familiar. I remembered a takeaways place where I got a nice chiproll (you know where my priorities lie), and recalled that right across from the snack shop was my favorite salon!
Popped in yesterday for a trim, and the place was as great as I'd remembered.
To wind up this year, I've been led to places and memories from my first trip to Cape Town. It seems fitting.