Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Study Tour Number One (The North)

The first day of our study tour, we travelled up to Otjiwarango, where we stayed at a BEAUTIFUL hotel and had some delicious game for dinner. The next morning we woke up and travelled to the Cheetah Conservation (CCF). We met Dr. Laurie Marker, the woman who founded CCF—and then she and some other people brought out two cheetahs (named Tigerlily and Kaijey). We took a couple selfies with them, and then got to watch the interns feed donkey meat to some cheetahs.

After Otjiwarango, we travelled to Opuwo. The first day we were there, we drove up to Epupa Falls. (If you don’t know what that is, google it. You’ll be so jealous.) It was a very long drive, but an INCREDIBLE view of the falls. Unfortunately, we couldn’t swim in the falls because it is crocodile season. The next day, we visited a primary school outside Opuwo. We met with “learners” in grades 1-4, and then some of them sang us songs. Naturally, we teared up a bit, and then we all did the hokey pokey together. When we went to take pictures with the kids, they loved our front-facing cameras, so I have over one hundred pictures of seven year olds taking selfies. After the school, we visited our driver (Uanae)’s homestead. We met some of his family members there.

Our next stop was at Dolomite, a resort in Etosha National Park. (You should also look this up.) We went for a swim the infinity pool there, and then we went for a game drive through Etosha. We saw giraffes, zebras, kudu, springbok, oryx, wildebeests, elephants, and rhinos!! For dinner, we had impala steaks. After Dolomite, we stayed in Halali (also in Etosha) and went on more game drives.

We left Etosha on Friday morning, and began our homestay. Shelley and I stayed with Grandma, Beverly, and Jarome. It. Was. Awesome. We milked goats, milked cows, used cow dung to patch up a wall, ate fat-cakes, drank delicious tea, played a whole bunch of games, and had the privilege of getting to know the families that we all stayed with. I could not have asked for a better homestay experience.

Blogging Is Hard

Hello everyone!

So blogging is a lot more of a commitment than I thought it would be. I have been very busy since I last posted, so here are some of the highlights.

Jan’s friends Pam, Juanita, and Trudy showed us phenomenal hospitality and had us over to their houses for dinner. We had homemade pizza, burgers grilled on an outdoor braai, and a whole bunch of fun.

We went to a game reserve called Midgard for a day. We got to go swimming, went German bowling, and laid in the sun. On the drive back to Windhoek, we saw warthogs, a porcupine, baboons, kudu, oryx, wildebeests, springbok, and GIRAFFES!! It was a fantastic day.

We also spent a weekend in a town on the coast called Swakopmund (or Swakop). We had some [Namibian] Italian food for dinner when we got there, and then we went on a catamaran tour of the coast. This was very tourist-y, but still enjoyable—especially when pelicans and a seal came aboard and we got to pet them! After the tour, I took a nap (which I have been doing pretty much everyday) and then we went to a restaurant called Tiger Reef—which is literally on the beach—and had chicken strips in the sand while watching the sunset. The next day, some of us went SKYDIVING! It was absolutely incredible and I have found a new (very expensive) hobby. Then we went for a swim in a little cove in the Atlantic Ocean.

On my 21st birthday, I got to sleep in, and then Carly made me some pancakes for breakfast. Then we went on a class field trip to the new history museum. For dinner, our group went to Joe’s Beer House, where I had a delicious drink and ate zebra, crocodile, kudu, springbok, and oryx (ORYX IS SUPER TASTY). Then some of us stayed out and went dancing.