Waking up today was definitely not the easiest. We got into Cape Town last night at around midnight and my body doesn't exactly know how to deal with the time change and the lack of sleep I got the last 24 hours. I have never been this happy to have two feet on the ground! After a 8 hour flight to Amsterdam, 4 hour wait for our connecting flight, and 12 hour flight to Cape Town, we have finally arrived. The longest flight I've ever been on before this was hmm...5 hours to San Diego and I thought that was bad!?!? Let's just say I'm extremely happy to be here and so happy to be able to sleep in a bed! We were greeted at the airport by Chris, Sebe, and Charles from InterStudy and some familiar faces from back at the U. The InterStudy staff has already been so helpful and they are such nice, friendly people. We all loaded into vans and it was funny to see the steering wheel on the right side of the car. The first song played on the radio was Phil Collins' "True Colors" (I thought that was kind of funny...South Africans listen to Phil Collins??). I guess it's true to say we are probably a lot more similar than I thought...or they've just been a bit Americanized. Although we did arrive here at dark and haven't been able to see much, I was able to see barbed wire and thick, steel fences that are padlocked around many of the houses and that includes the houses we're staying at. It is a different world here, and especially different when coming from a small town where you wouldn't necessarily have to lock your doors at night if you didn't want to. All I know is that there is a lot to learn and a whole lot more to see here, and I am extremely excited to experience it all. I never imagined that the winter of my freshman year would be spent in South Africa, and I can't even begin to say how incredibly thankful I am for this trip and everyone who spent a great deal of time putting it together.
You'll be hearing a lot more from me in the next three weeks :)