comfort in rocks.
1 January 2012
Title: Comfort in Rocks.
We had barely gotten off our plane and we were packing up for bush camp. We met Mark from Educo Africa at our houses and headed up into the mountains of the Western Cape. On the most frightening ride of my life, we drove a good three hours, passing ostriches and listening to Matt and Scott's woes with women. When we first arrived, we picked houses, grabbed sleeping bags, unpacked the vans and explored our new area. Logistical stuff. As we were given a tour, I thought to myself, this is a total hippie compound, Morris people would be at home here. They use only biodegradable soap, they have a biodigester they use, I'm pretty sure they compost, they recycle everything. Just...very Morris. From that moment on, I knew that I would be comfortable here. From hiking, to watching the sunrise, to watching the sunset, to swimming in a little hole in the middle of the mountains in Africa, everything blew my mind how willing I was to participate. If someone at home tried to get me to hike in the mountains or swim in a natural pool, I wouldn't think twice about saying no.
I just want to take this time to say a few words about Mark and his family. His kids, Emma (11) and James (7), spent a good chunk of the time on the mountain with us. They live in Cape Town and go to a Waldorf School, which is more like an arts school. We were so lucky for them to have the ability to spend some of their holiday off of school with us. They live with very little media influence; they don't have a tv or a computer. Its amazing to me how intelligent they are, and I'm telling you its not just the accents. I very much so envy their lifestyle. Without the influence of tv or computer, and being able to escape with their parents to the mountains, I can just imagine how close their family is.
After interacting with both Mark and his wife, as well as Emma and James, I really began to miss the members of my family that aren't here with me in Africa. While I will always talk about how fortunate I am to have the Bean here with me, I cannot express in words how much I long sometimes to be in Disney World with my parents and little sisters. It's so strange how homesick I was when I first came here; a freshman, moving out on my own to Africa. I was always talking (or complaining about one thing or another) to my parents at St Cloud, but I lost all of that ability here. I, for once, had to rely on myself. It was an eye-opening experience.