Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Cape Town & Down
Per usual I have been neglecting my blog and have yet to write about my adventures in South Africa. Better late than never, here are all the details plus some bonus general updates!
First of all,if anyone is looking for an international vacation destination, I'll save you some trouble and tell you that Cape Town is the jackpot. It's the most beautiful place I have ever seen and the most fun vacation I've ever been on!
After a productive week in Mozambique's capitol learning about project development and funding (woo!), a fellow volunteer and I hopped on a bus to Johannesburg...or, rather, that was the plan. In actuality said travel buddy savvily forgot to bring along the one item necessary for international travel: his passport. Of course he discovers this as we are boarding the bus. So I decided to do the right thing and take my uncharictaristically prepared butt to a window seat and wish him good luck on the labrynth of flight changes ahead of him. Do unto others, right? In truthfulness I did feel bad about it but after almost a year of glorified camping you'd jump on the first bus to the first world too, believe me. So now I was left with the exciting endeavor of crossing an international border on foot, navigating planes, trains and automobiles for over ten hours and hunting down a hostel in a city I know nothing about alone. Don't worry mom, I come out unscathed.
In fact more than unscathed, I came back with a bag so full of groceries, goodies, clothes and jewlery that the flight attendant asked if I was an Amazing Race contestant. (Fun fact: I can never be an Amazing Race contestant because Peace Corps vols are considered to have too much of an advantage to be allowed on the show.) I of course used my "extra" day alone to shop...in actual stores...for new clothes that no one has previously worn. It was magical.
Soon I met up with some other Peace Corps friends whom I never get to see since they work in northern Moz. Eventually we were all reunited the next day and back on schedule to explore the southern tip of Africa! We went on a winery tour and learned all the secrets of wine making and wine tasting (the latter is what I was mostly paying attention to), went on a hike to the Cape of Good Hope where along the way we saw whales breaching, otters, ostriches, seals, baboons, and a cariboo-type animal as big as a minivan. We visited Boulder Beach where penguins were all over the place, just swimming and chilling out in their natural penguin habitat. I succeeded in touching one but he wasn't very into it and tried to bite me in retaliation.
In addition to all the touristy things we also had ourselves a food-cation: mexican food, real burgers, italian food, seafood...heck, I was even excited about the McDonald's. I also managed to try ostrich, impala, crocodile and warthog--all delicious by the way. Imagine ribs, but instead of normal rib meat they are surrounded by thick chunks of bacon. That's what warthog tastes like...my new favorite meat.
So after five days of sightseeing, eating, drinking, shopping, and basking on beautiful beaches with beautiful people, I left the first world and returned home. Like I said, it was the most beutiful place I have ever been and I will definitely return soon, but it is nice to be back home. So now for the general life updates:
We have a dog! Her name is Lua ("Moon" in portuguese) and she's 100% Mozambican mutt. She came from another volunteer so she's trained and very sweet. Favorite activities include playing soccer with the local kids for hours on end, and lounging on the couch hiding from the local kids as they try to coerce her back outside with cries of "Luuuuuuuaaaaaaa" at seemingly constant intervals throughout the day. Least favorite activities include baths and when her parents try to share the couch which is so clearly completely her lounging territory. She's a serious seat-stealer.
That's probably enough for now, I was going to upload pictures but most of you come from Facebook and it's not like I have any new ones. When I do I will post them post haste!