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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hungry, Hungry Hippo!

Hippopotamuses kill more humans in Africa each year than any other animal.  They are fearless, aggressive beasts weighing over 2 tons (4,000 pounds!) as an adult.  With these facts before me, WHY on EARTH would I ever want to kiss a hippo?  For the answer, watch the first few minutes of this:

Yep, I kissed Jessica, this precious girl of 12 years old, and I loved it.  She comes up to the dock on her own free will each day; she has no water gates or dam that keep her tightened within the Joubert property.  Each day visitors rub her back with their feet and toes, feed her diluted sweet tea and vegetable chunks, and kiss her sweet, bristly nose.  I had the pleasure of doing all of this with some of my best CARE friends:  Brittany, Melissa, Alex, and Brittany’s mom. 

Kissing Jessica

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cape Town or Bust!

Two days of drizzling farm work completed my 2 weeks of self-sustainable farm living in KwaZulu-Natal, and only 10 days remained in my 3.5 month South African journey.  The past 11.5 weeks, excepting a short trip to Joburg, have been filled with lots of work, sweat, and dirt, and I am relishing my next stop of pure-tourist vacation.  Cape Town or bust, baby!

With yawns plaguing my flight, I flew in to Cape Town well after 9:00 pm and only saw the city’s abundant lights casting the sky big and bright.  As I rode into the city in the comfort of a bus provided by my backpacker’s hostel, I looked around but saw very little.  New destinations always initially tire me with a certain level of concerned anxiety, regardless of my excitement at planning the trip.  Cape Town was no different, and watching my normal bedtime hour run by didn’t help.  Making small talk, the bus driver, a native Capetonian, told me, “Welcome!  If you’ve come looking for Africa, Africa is not here.  This is Cape Town; this is not Africa.”  I did not really know what he meant, but it didn’t too take long to figure it out.
The next morning I awoke early, well before the other 7 people in my 8-person dormitory room.  The sun was just starting to lift above the horizon as I stole a peak out of the window.  The next thing I saw was startling, the most majestic up-close vision seemingly within feet of my view.  This was what I saw:

View of Table Mountain from my room