Field Trip!

Fun would be an understatement to describe the past few days here in South Africa!  We went on our first fieldtrip that was a three-day jammed packed adventure and it was absolutely incredible.  Since I last blogged, we also had another day of IES Orientation with talks on history, culture, what to expect, etc… but don’t worry… it wasn’t too miserable as orientation was on the beach!  There are about twenty students with IES, my study abroad program, and the group is great… literally couldn’t ask for a better group of people!  We have already had so much bonding time in the last five or so days since we’ve been here.  I guess in choosing a study abroad destination and in choosing to go to Africa for a semester, you have to have a bit of an adventurous personality anyways but all of us seem to have pretty similar personalities and we have meshed as a group perfectly!  We are already super close and it has been a ton of fun getting to know everyone over the past few days… I have a pretty confident feeling that we are going to have a great semester!

The past few days have been bonding time to the max as we went on a field trip up the Garden Route… I have seen a lot of the Garden Route the past two weeks but it still blows my mind at how gorgeous it is!  On the tour, we headed to Oudtshoorn where we visited the caves (I had already done this just a week before but it was just as fun and adventurous the second time around).  As I described in a previous post, Oudtshoorn is ostrich country and ostriches are literally everywhere… there are more than 300 ostrich farms in the surrounding region.  We got to go to an ostrich farm which was so much fun… and actually incredibly interesting.  Ostrich eggs can withstand a bunch of weight so we got to stand and try to balance on the eggs.  The highlight of the visit was certainly riding the ostrich.  I got to sit on the ostrich, holding onto its feathers, and ride it… it was pretty similar to riding a horse actually… so so cool!

Next, we were off to a national park in Wilderness where we spent a day canoeing and hiking to a waterfall where we enjoyed a picnic lunch.  Then I headed back to the bungee but opted out of doing it again due to the cost but I was there for mal support.  I’m hoping to jump again when my parent(s) come so I figured I would wait till then to jump again!  Our last day (today) we went to another national park, Tsitsikamma National Park, and it was SO gorgeous!  We got to climb all over the rocks, swim in the Indian Ocean, hike to a long suspension bridge area, and we even got to go on a boat ride… but it wasn’t any boat ride… we went on a speed boat adventure on the ocean then through a gorge which was an incredible sight!  We had a fabulous tour guide and driver that definitely made the trip a heck of a lot of fun!

We headed back to Cape Town and have big plans for the night as we are celebrating a fellow students 21st birthday here in Africa… so we’re hitting up Long Street and celebrating the proper, American way J!  The past few days here have been unreal and probably the most fun I’ve ever had in my life and certainly the best fieldtrip I’ve ever been on!  We had a lot of time to just hang out and get to know one another as well which was awesome and the group is already really close with one another.  I can’t imagine how close we’ll be given another four months but I am already dreading the thought of going home!

~Susan

P.S. Field trips are amazing!

The group at the Indian Ocean

 

Skip (tour guide) and myself standing on ostrich eggs

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