It’s been way too long since my last post so I’m going to write a two-part blog post to get you all up to date.
After our weekend in Cape Town, coming back to Plett felt almost like returning home. It comes to show how comfortable I’ve become with life in the Western Cape. As we settled back into our original home stays we got right back in the swing of work at the clinics. I actually have begun to do more work at the clinics that isn’t filing and it’s nice. Working behind the desk has both given me a feeling of belonging in the clinic and it’s given me more time to read the required books and do interviews for my media project.
Because everyone was working much more on their media projects, the group began to spend much more time in Plett due to the access to internet. My group ended up finishing earlier than most so I had even more time on my hands. Our time in South Africa was beginning to dwindle so everyone wished to spend more and more time on the beach. There was a night where Matt, Benji, and I were there past the sunset and we decided to go on a beach run under the stars. There was no moon that night so the stars were more clear than usual and to our convenience the weather was actually quite warm. Probably a mile down the beach we decided to take a dip, which led to one of my favorite moments of the trip by far. As we coasted into the water it felt strangely warm. The way the bubbles reflected the moonlight under the water looked like a million little jellyfish surrounded my limbs as I glided through the water. After that, night beach runs became more common, but none was as amazing as that first night.
The next week or so was filled with some cloudy days, which really altered the mood. I listened to a lot more music on my own and spent a lot of time on the beach just talking rather than swimming. Strangely, as we approached summertime, the weather was beginning to get colder. I started reading Harry Potter again which began to consume a lot of my time. Everything began to feel more fast-paced yet oddly every day was packed to the brim with cool discussions, trying to Skype our families and friends back home, and nights fooling around on the beach after work and seminars. One day, I got a few friends to head to a local Internet café so we could stream the movie Howl’s Moving Castle because why not?
October ended and we drifted into November. I made the mistake of committing to “No Shave November” and had some gross facial hair for the first few weeks. We approached our last week with our host family and I began dreading the day we had to say goodbye, but also began to feel a nervous excitement like I did before I left for the trip in September. I’m sure the others felt this way because we went to Plett earlier our last weekend just to maximize our time spent in this amazing place. One morning as we were waiting for a cab to Plett, we decided to head over to the Crags playground to pass the time. We ended up playing rugby with a group of kids, 3 of which we played soccer with probably a month back on the same field. None of knew the rules to rugby, but that didn’t stop us from having some fun while we waited.
On Election Day I sat at work waiting anxiously for any news of the results and well, we all know what happened. It felt weird being so disconnected from that world back home knowing all my family and friends probably stayed up late just to watch the results as if it were the Super Bowl. One upside to the outcome is that college will be a whole lot more interesting when I can join all the political protests that’ll be sure to go down in the coming years.
My last full day spent in South Africa was most definitely spent right. Ben, Benji, Matt and I visited Robberg again and spent the majority of the day goofing off and reminiscing on all that has come to pass since the start of this trip. It was hard to believe that we were essentially 1/3 of the way through the whole trip but like I’ve said before, it honestly feels like it’s been a whole year already. At Robberg, we all lost track of time and had to sprint back to the parking lot to catch our cab and only just made it on time to our presentation with Plett Aid. As it turned out we were actually right on time and had a little extra time to have a dance party with some kids outside of the building. The presentation went smooth enough and was a nice way to cap off our experiences together in South Africa.
That next morning we all got picked up after saying goodbye to our host families and started our drive to Addo National Park. On the way to the park we drove by a lot of the landmarks we drove by on our very first ride out of the airport. When we arrived in Addo we were all blown away with how peaceful it was. There were small huts spaced around the property and interspersed between them were other things like an outdoor sitting area, a pool, and enormous trees blossoming with purple flowers. There was quite a lot of space that allowed us time to ourselves when we wished but made for great places to lounge and play with the dogs when we wanted to as well. The few days we spent at Addo were filled with rad activities like sand boarding or wildlife safaris. At a cat sanctuary I was able to pet a cheetah, which was both amazing and terrifying. I managed to snag a selfie with a pig at an animal sanctuary which was rad. When we went sand boarding there was a hill that sloped down to the river below so when you rode a boogieboard down the hill you picked up so much speed that you shot out over the water. I spent my last few hours at Addo being goofy and talking to some of the other students late into the night. My time spent at Addo was a solid conclusion to this leg of our trip and re-sparked my excitement for travelling.
This blog was aight but not up to par with my last few. It was difficult to recall all that happened essentially a month and a half ago but I hope this suffices.