What a weekend full of excitement! I feel like I've done so much since I last wrote a blog. I also feel like the things I've done since my last post have made such a different type of impression on my experience here than that of the Delft Health Center visit. I continue to be in love with Cape Town. Despite my debit card getting stolen at an ATM Friday evening, I have no complaints about anything--except that I don't want to leave!
On Friday morning we continued our work in the gardens at Afrika Tikkun. It was much hotter and I think I got a little dirtier than on Thursday, but again I had a lot of fun pulling weeds and dead vegetables out of the ground. We then split up into a few different groups to make some home visits within Delft. It's one thing to walk around the streets of this township, but it's another thing to actually walk into a home and meet families who live there. My group went to a few different houses. It was really great to meet people that Afrika Tikkun does work with. The first family we met was really great--the mother recently turned 50 and has 11 children. We spent some time inside with them and went out with some of the younger kids to play jump rope and other games out in the street. It was really refreshing to be active in a playful way. We went to a second home, but the mother wasn't home so we only met a couple of the kids for a brief moment. We stayed in the neighborhood for a bit playing with kids who were around. That was very fun. More jump rope, some soccer, and face painting. Again, reverting to a state of child hood innocence especially in a place like Delft was just what the doctor ordered.
One million people live in Delft, that's the population of Rhode Island. That's a lot of people. I wish I could meet all of them, but the few I met on Friday were all lovely. Hopefully I'll meet some more when we head back there tomorrow and for the remainder of this week.
We had the day off on Saturday and I headed out on an African Safari! I took a million pictures, but they won't do justice to the actual experience. To be that close to such beautiful animals was incredible. I saw lions, elephants, zebras, rhinos, giraffes, and more. We went out for 2 hours or so and midway took a break to stretch our legs and sip on champagne. I'm very excited that I can now say I've been an on African Safari. I had a great time with the 8 girls who all went. After the actual safari, we were treated to a delightful buffet and a dip in a very refreshing pool. It was quite luxurious. What a contrast to the work we're doing...On the drive back we saw some baboons in the road! That was really exciting. One was just chilling munching on a snack on the highway median. Pretty cute. Don't worry though, no attempted baboon attack was made.
Today we headed to the V&A Waterfront where we had a few hours of free time before our tour of Robben Island. I went to the aquarium with a small group which was really fun. I added some more animal pictures to my growing collection since being here. I grabbed a quick late breakfast and delicious smoothie before boarding the boat to Robben Island. What a place. We first went on a bus tour around the island. Our tour guide was truly great. He has shown political figures from all over the world around Robben Island and has met some incredible people. We were very luck to share in his knowledge. The tour of the island and the prison was a bit surreal. The stories are so real, but it was very hard for me to imagine what everything actually looked like at the time it was functional. It's a beautiful island in a totally gorgeous setting talk about juxtaposition with the cruelty of the prison there. I've heard a lot about Nelson Mandela's jail cell and seeing it was really cool. What a man. I cannot come up with the words to describe a person like him. It's been an honor to be in a country that he suffered in, but rebuilt and nurtured it after the worst time in its history.
It's heartbreaking to me that we have just about a week left. I've waited for this trip for so long and now we are entering our last week. Cold Minnesota is not looking too appealing right now, so until then I will enjoy every second I have here and have confidence that I will continue to be moved and touched by everything that is South Africa.