sunday march 27 san francisco ca, – 2:00 pm
so I am delinquent in recapping my last few days in south africa. we were busy, I was tired (still am), but it continued to be amazing.
monday involved a 3+ hour drive to the inverdoorn game reserve where we saw all of the big 5 except elephants which happen to be my favorite animal. Eugene was our guide and he was not only full of animal knowledge, but he had a dark safari tan and a yummy british accent. so easy to look at and listen to I think I may have learned something.
after lunch with the cheetahs we drove to a town called Ceres and did some canyon zip-lining. FUN FUN FUN! Ivan and Mandy were our guides and they taught us a new word: lekker (rolled R) is what you say when something is really cool. The longest zip line run in Africa was at the park we went to and it was lekker!!
tuesday the girls wanted, needed and were gonna die if they didn’t get some shopping in. the boys stayed home and we took victoria and albert waterfront by storm. they were very particular with what they were shopping for, they had lists of who wanted what and the mall was not going to cut it. we walked through a few shops on the waterfront, they picked up, put back, couldn’t decide, wanted to keep looking until we made it to the craft pavilion where there were booth after booth of local craftsmen and their goods. a puzzle, craved wood bowls, earrings, wax on cloth paintings, the big 5 game animals – oh boy they had hit the mother load!!
wednesday was a total relaxation day for all of us. we woke late, had breakfast waiting (cheries and lynnette were always ready with food, coffee, taxis, ironing, laundry whatever we needed they were there and I could surely get used to that kind of personal service!). we watched some armed forces tv – it was interesting to see what our troops get to watch, and how the commercials were all messages on manners, coping with separation and stress, and making good choices (seat belts, drinking, money mgmt). the pool had been cleaned that morning, so it was perfect timing for us all to take some time to enjoy it. it was great except for the shark. you know the auto cleaner thing that snakes around the bottom and sides of a pool – this thing follows people I swear. none of us could get away from it, but we didn’t let it get the best of us. a trip to Long street to see a little cape town night life was in store – and Luigi made it possible. he was all of 5 feet tall – if that – but full of personality. he took 2 calls in our 10 minute ride to the city and in between wanted to make sure we were getting out of bishops court. “get out and see the Cape, it has so many good things” he said repeatedly. his character is one I will never forget…Luigi on the line, talk to me is how he answered the phone. Hilarious!
Thursday was my last day in the paradise, and we we spent it visiting the political prison, the insane asylum, the leppers last residence, and where the worst of the worst prisoners were housed. Robins Island was a rocky boat ride away, but so educational. we met the political prisoners who worked on the island with my auntie. she had held a luncheon for them at her home, and the praises they gave her was once again confirmation that my aunt rocks on an international level! we had a wonderful dinner with the god family who have adopted my aunt and them it was time for me to begin my journey home.
being back for a week has given me time to readjust to pacific standard time, and to reflect on all I saw, experienced and learned in cape town. the world is small. our struggles and stresses the same. what is important in life to me, is what was important to those I met on the beach, in the shops, and at the diplomatic events I attended. love yourself, love your friends and family, and be proud of where you come from while accepting others for their similarities and differences.
South Africa is so beautiful, but conflicted at the same time. there is so much white wealth in a breathtakingly beautiful land that was once solely owned and populated by black Africans, that it makes me wonder how it must have been when those mountains and beaches were ours. there are many of us here that match the beauty of the land, and who are just as wealthy in spirit and heart in spite of the political struggle that still goes on.
I will always treasure my 2 weeks in the Cape – I love you Auntie G, and I look forward to seeing more of my mother continent….what country will be next?