The past two weeks have been blessings filled with memorable experiences.
My first week as an intern has already been a wonderful, hands-on experience, as I have been interacting with my co-workers towards developing a new health project for the local communities. My work environment is very relaxing – slightly chilly – but nothing I can’t handle. Last weekend, our program traveled on the Cape Peninsula tour - boating around Seal Island, driving along Chapman’s Peak, stopping in Simon’s Town for Boulder’s Beach & African Penguins, and reaching our final destination of Cape Point, South Africa - the southwestern most point of Africa. Cape Point is in the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve, often mistakenly known as the furthest point of the continent of Africa. However, I discovered that’s actually Cape Agulhas, where the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean tend to collide.
Throughout this day trip, a spark of appreciation, calamity, and peace seemed to wash over me - and hopefully my peers as well. I kept finding myself trying to take as many photos as I could, while physically soaking in the moment. I’m telling you now, South Africa has one of the most diverse environments I have ever experienced! The people, culture, nature, climate, foods, animals, etc. Even from the bottom of the continent, I felt like I was on top of the world.
Chapman’s Peak drive along the ocean was a continuous view of endless blue and sunny skies. As the sun began to rise over Table Mountain, you could almost spot the rays of sunshine hugging the hills, all the way to the waves along the sea. Once we reached Simon’s Town, everyone was excited to see the little penguin community along the beach and eat lunch! After that, we traveled to our final destination. As seen below, the first lighthouse was built in 1859, still standing today for sailors and travelers across the sea. While hiking up and down the trails along the ocean, a few of us found a set of stairs that led us to a small beach in between the cliffs. I don’t know what was more terrifying and exhausting, the climb down or all the way back up to the top of the mountain?
Overall, the day was filled with beautiful ocean views and lots of leg workouts. I fell asleep for the entire drive back to Cape Town. After traveling and experiencing so much in one day, I knew I had to make use of every day as if it were my last. I thank IES Abroad for providing the excursion and look forward to the next!
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<p>Hi there! My name is Aida Mengistu and I am from Sioux City, Iowa. I am currently in my fourth year at the University of Iowa pursuing a double major in Health & Human Physiology - with a focus on Health Promotion - as well as a Global Health Studies major and an Anthropology minor. A bit about myself, I absolutely love to travel and experience new cultures and traditions! I tend to express myself through my photography, whether it be through the warmth of a morning sunrise or the interactions between people. I also enjoy music, movies, and the performing arts. Fun fact, I am originally from Ethiopia and have traveled twice before to visit my extended family members over the summer!</p>