Under African Skies

Julianna Ashe
July 18, 2013

Looking back at my pictures as I compose this post, I can’t believe that all of these exciting things happened within only the first week of being in South Africa. There is so much to do here, you really have to pack it all in! I actually keep having this reoccurring dream where I find myself waking up to my last day in Cape Town and come to find that I didn’t do anything that I had planned. What a nightmare! Thankfully, with all the events that were jam packed into this one week, I truly already feel extremely fulfilled.

During the second day of our IES orientation, we were introduced to Muizenberg, which I can already tell is one of my favorite places in Cape Town. Muizenberg is known for its awesome surfing waves, and its even more awesome array of shark specimen. When I told some locals that I had already been swimming there, they looked at me like I was crazy and told me not to go in water passed my knees. Whoops, too late! Thankfully there are plenty of surfers off shore who will hopefully protect me as I play in the waves.

After completing orientation, we had an amazing day off! The weather was perfect and there was not a single cloud in the sky, so the entire group collectively had decided it would be the perfect day to go hiking. I woke up the morning of the hike feeling extremely tired and almost opted out of the hike, but then remembered ‘The Yes Rule’ that one of my fellow IES’ers had explained to us the day before. He said one of the most important things to keep in mind while traveling is saying yes to everything (within reason, of course). And I am SO thankful that I decided to say yes to this hike, because it was one of the most rewarding and beautiful things I have ever done! We started off by hiking the first half of Devil’s Peak, and then walked along a very long and curvy road with an awesome view over towards Table Mountain.

A few days after that, the entire group hopped on a bus and was off to the Eastern Cape to spend the weekend along the Garden Route. Here, we ate and played with ostriches, went caving, canoed to a beautiful waterfall, and hiked through suspension bridges along side Devil’s River Mouth on the Indian Ocean. Once we reached the coastline, we even spotted a few whales swimming right off the coast! The trip ended with a few of us taking a much needed plunge into the refreshing ocean, and a 10 hour bus ride back to our lovely home in Cape Town. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us next week!

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Julianna Ashe

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Jules Ashe is Senior at the University of Vermont majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Women&#39;s and Gender Studies. Her passions include traveling, cooking, music, photography, and making new connections and relationships with people all over the world. She is very excited to live beside both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean in Cape Town, and be surrounded by a range of beautiful mountains. Mostly though, she cannot wait to take many new pictures and share them with everyone back home!</span></p>

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