World Map of My Route

World Map of My Route
Fall Semester 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Runnin' Down a Dream

South Africa (Sud de Afrique)

WOWZA! I know this may be growing redundant (since I say it about each country thus far) but South Africa was so incredible! I have never seen a place so rich in scenery and activity options. I mean you could: Shark dive, rappel Table Mountain (which overlooks the entire countryside), surf, paraglide, play with wild penguins or baboons, bungee jump the highest bridge in the world (I’m holding out for the highest point in the world in Macau, Hong Kong) and the list goes on.

I spent most of my first day exploring. The ship rolled in a bit earlier than anticipated due to unpredictable waters (signature to this side of the Atlantic). The view was the best since Cadiz, Spain. In the evening I went to WOWZA (not just a made up word) but an actual musical/dinner/performance.

Day two, I ventured out with my good friend Alex to book a wine tour. We opted out of the biking tour to hit more vineyards and avoid potential mishaps =) The first vineyard we were driven to by our hired driver was named Amani meaning “a place of peace”. We sat at the counter, first customers of the day and made conversation with the woman working behind the bar. My eyes were drawn to the only red labeled bottle, it had two butterflies and was called “Forest Myers Shiraz”—seriously?! My mom and I have looked for a bottle with our last name for years with no luck and the first vineyard I visit, voila! Not to mention, Shiraz is our favorite. After this we picked fresh strawberries at a local farm-delicious. We had giant buckets full, which made for a tasty lunch. After this we went to another vineyard before going to the Cheetah and Eagle Sanctuary to play with some animals. Two more vineyards and we were set. It probably would have been wise to end my excursion here, but as we were walking back through V&A Waterfront (AKA our port for the week) I was coerced onto a ridiculous looking pirate ship for an evening cruise. Somehow lots of impromptu SAS kids ended up sailing along. It was super fun and the sunset was to die for. I, in my glory, decided to climb the mast via a net. For a grand finale, after spotting whales, I among a few other intellectually challenged friends jump overboard. All and all the day was a success. 

The following morning I attended a township visit that a professor had invited me on. I expressed interest in taking charge of an informational piece for One World Futbol, the soccer ball company I distributed for in Ghana. We went to this “eco-township” to get footage and give the kids a nice surprise. The township was so cool. Everything was recycled. Talk about sustainable; these people knew how to make use of what they had. The actual houses were build with sandbags, which help keep them cool and since the ground is made of primarily sand it provides work and convenient building material for the people. The toilets, rather than a standard sewage system used earthworms to decompose waste in a take outside. The light fixtures were made out of buckets, the seats around the dinner table oil bins. There was a guesthouse, volunteer rooms, a school, health clinic and additional space for community activities. This was by no means any typical township. All of the innovation was thanks to, Di, one of the most inspirational women I’ve met. Di gave up a live of privilege and extreme wealth to benefit a cause greater than her. She left her seaside mansion, racist husband and comfortable life to pursue bigger things. After visiting a township with her Yoga class to deliver PB&J sandwiches, Di realized a large void in her own life. Stumbling upon a 10X10 room jam-packed with small children under the age of 5, naked, hungry, left crying in the dark she knew there was no way she could drive 10miles back to her comfortable mansion and live happily. The concept for the eco-township is a project that she has taken on. It is an idea that could be the cure for much poverty and strife in Africa and other countries. She calls the style, “township chic”- Be a little cuter, Di!

As soon as I have it I will post information about township if you ever visit

*This is an organization that is in the early stages. There is much need for donations but most of all volunteers. If ever in South Africa I encourage you to look Di up, you won’t regret it!

Day five my shark dive was cancelled so we hired the same driver who hosted our wine tour and headed to Cape Point. The Cape of Good Hope (formerly known as “Cape Stormy”) is the southernmost point of Africa. It is the place where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian. The views are unreal. We hiked to the highest point that is home to a lovely lighthouse where you can have dinner. On the beach nearby there are bunches of wild penguins that we attempted to play with. One charged me and that was the end of that. I bought some artwork at a super reasonable price. And as we were leaving we crossed over wild baboons! That evening a bunch of us went up the mountain to hang out with some South African college students. They were on the rugby team and friends of a friend. It was “jolly fun” to spend time with these guys. The house we were at was amazing and it overlooked the cape.

Day six. Again, my shark dive was cancelled. Major fail. Sorry family members who were looking forward to hearing of my dangerous encounter, but it didn’t work out! =( On the upside of the downfall, I can possibly try again in Singapore and Hawaii. So it wont be the most shark infested waters in the world, but hey, what can ya do? I did see whales breeching three times! Supa cool.

So now we sail on to Mauritius. Mark Twain once said, “God made Mauritius and modeled Heaven in its image”. Were only there for two days, but I will hopefully have SKYPE access and nice weather. We’ll see!

Love and miss you all, so much!