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.

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