Last night will forever be remembered as the best birthday ever. Not only did we get to celebrate in the streets of Cape Town, I got to hear the entire group of amazing people joining me on this journey sing "happy birthday" to me when the clock struck midnight in the middle of Long Street. Let's just say it was pretty awesome.
I've really begun to love this place. This country is filled with incredible people, and if you are willing to go out of your comfort zone to make conversation, they're willing and happy to talk. We took a double-decker bus yesterday and although it felt awfully touristy, it was great to see and hear a little bit more of the history behind the places we drove passed. A man sat in front of me with his family and he kindly asked where I was from (even though I'm quite sure most people assume long before they know that we are indeed from America). It was his first time bringing his two boys to Cape Town, and he was originally from Johannesburg, but now lives in West Virginia. He was eager to find out what we were doing here and give his input on what to see and do before we left. Me, being the curious person I am and not trying to be rude by asking too much, asked him why he left South Africa. He moved to America because of the apartheid beginning and concluded by saying it was a perfect time to do so. He was one white man who did not believe that what was happening was okay, and us alike, was a social justice fighter. I didn't want to ask too much, but he made my brain go crazy with thoughts. To think, to actually be there while that was happening, and to actually live day to day in a country where the minority conquered the majority and had control of everything. On the bus too, I was surrounded by people of color, and quite frankly there was not many white people walking around downtown. To think that during the apartheid blacks could not step foot downtown without getting arrested is mind-boggling. It is so hard for me to imagine and hard for me to picture South Africa without seeing the great amount of diversity.
One major step for me was seeing everyone out on the town last night, and realizing how incredible far this country has come in 15 years. I was around people who did not have the same skin color as me, and we were dancing, singing, and giving each other hugs bringing in the New Year. What an amazing thing.
I also just want to mention Camps Bay beach. I'm in love with water, but this beach was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I always thought the aqua and turquoise colored ocean was fake until I saw this beach. Talk about natural beauty.
There is so much I want to do here and we only have 2 weeks left! Gosh has time flown by already. Our scheduled class actually starts tomorrow and I'm very much looking forward to that. Within our group, I can learn so much as well.
Happy New Year America!! Wishing you all the best from Cape Town :)