We had basically a three-day weekend free of classes and volunteering and it was a very needed break. Friday afternoon we had off and a lot of us ended up at Green Market Square to buy souvenirs and gifts. At first I was nervous about bargaining the prices at the market but then it became a challenge and I now enjoy doing it and I definitely have gotten a lot better. After the market an unfortunate event happened and three of the people I was with had their credit cards stolen, luckily banks were called and cards were cancelled before too much damage could happen. Friday night we went to the waterfront and ate at a restaurant right on the harbor and we watched ships and boats go by as the sun set.
Saturday morning was an early morning. This was the day for the safari and we got picked up at 7:30 am. It was a two-hour drive to the reserve, which gave us a chance to see a lot of new scenery. The safari was absolutely amazing. We saw giraffes, zebras, elephants, lions, hippos, water buffalo, rhinos, springbok and some others. The elephants walked straight at our vehicle and we could have touched them if we stuck our hands out the window. The rhinos were the most frightening, they kept getting mad and being very alert and our driver kept having to back up and away from them and then slowly creep forward. The lions were incredible. We saw four females and two males. One of the males was so close we could see flies on his nose. He was resting in the shade and was always on alert when he heard anything. I loved the lions a lot and one thing that was crazy was there mannerisms. They acted the same way as house cats with cleaning their faces and their resting/ sleeping positions. It made me miss my kitty a lot. After the safari we had an all you could eat buffet and then time to spend in the infinity pool. It was really hot so it felt amazing to cool down in the pool. We eventually made the journey back and Saturday evening we celebrated a birthday. We went out to a restaurant called Sergeant Peppers and had really good pizza. Also literally on the safari we drove past a different vehicle that had people from the Carlson School of Management South Africa group. And to make it even more crazy we ran into them when we were out Saturday night so we were all hanging out and sharing about our adventures thus far.
Today was a good day. As a class we went to the V&A waterfront and had three hours of freedom. Myself along with a few others went to the Two Oceans Aquarium, which was extremely interesting and awesome. I saw thousands of fish along with sharks, turtles, penguins, crabs, frogs, lobster, etc. After the aquarium we met as a group at the Nelson Mandela Gate Way to catch a boat over to Robben Island. Our tour was a couple hours long and we were able to hear stories from our tour guides who were actually prisoners on Robben Island. We saw Nelson Mandela's cell, were they quarried rocks, and the different blocks of cells. Robben Island is such a powerful spot with so much history relating to it.
Tomorrow we start back up with working in the townships and class. We leave on Saturday and I am extremely sad. I love it here so much and I wish I could stay for a semester program. South Africa is an amazing country that has so much to teach the world and myself. I don't want to leave!