After a busy morning of orientation, the group headed to the Langa township. Here we learned about the history of Langa, visited the local art center, looked around the hostels, cautiously tried a bite of Smileys (otherwise known as sheep heads), dined at the Mzansi family restaurant, and fell in love with the kids running around giving us high-fives.
In the early EARLY hours of the morning, the next day we gathered at 4.30am to drive several hours to our first destination: the Ostrich farms. Here, we gingerly accepted the offer to hug and even to kiss an ostrich named Betsy. And just as we began to get comfortable, we were lead to lunch where ostrich was served on our plates!
Next stop: the Cango Caves. For those of us who chose the adventure tour over the heritage tour, we were in for a big surprise as we were faced with body-hugging slippery limestone tunnels that we had to crawl through on our stomachs. Terrifying? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
The next day we spent the morning climbing rocks around Knysna, taking hundreds of photos to capture the beach's beauty, ending with a delicious lunch at the Dry Dock Grill on the waterfront.
And what better way to end this day than with some elephant riding at sunset?
We woke up early in the morning to watch the sun rise at the Wilderness Beach Hotel. Bundled up in sweatshirts and sweatpants we watched as the sky lit up with orange and pink behind beautiful mountains.
The trip ended perfectly with a canoe trip. We paddled down the Touw river and arrived at a little island where we trekked (barefoot) to a waterfall that ended up being well worth the long (and slightly painful) hike.
The week was summed up as a perfect introduction to our South African experience. And due to the infrequent wifi hotspots, we got the chance to look up from screens and get to know each other, as well as fall in love with South Africa.
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<p>My name is Evie and I am currently finishing up my freshman year at Princeton University. I am thinking about studying public and international policy, and have a special interest in health policy and public health. When I'm not studying, I like exploring new restaurants with my friends, singing with my a cappella group, going on runs, taking pictures, and napping. I love to travel, and am so excited to explore Cape Town and its surroundings and experience a summer I won't forget!</p>