Sleeping in on a weekend? Ain’t nobody got time for that! I was up at 6am again, and then Alice and I had a quick breakfast in our room. We were headed to Kgale hill, and the bus was leaving the parking lot at 6:30. Five of the six interns (Grace was sleeping) and a bunch of boarding students from all different forms took a MaP bus with Arlington (the boy’s boarding house master) to the base of the “hill.” When we arrived, I was sure we were at the wrong place. This was no hill – this looked rather mountainous!
Anyways, we started up the “hill” at 6:52. We were promised that we would reach the top in 30 minutes, but we all had our doubts. The first part of the trail was lovely – the sun was rising behind us, it was cool since it was still early morning, but since were moving along quite vigorously, we weren’t too chilly.
The second half of the trail, though, was a different story. We opted to take the “harder” way up – which was quicker, but much steeper. And steep it was! A lot of it was spent on hands and knees, grabbing onto higher pieces of rock. It was quite the experience, but so worth it when we got to the top.
Arlington knew what he was talking about, as we got to the top in about 34 minutes! I was amazed both by his timing accuracy and, of course, by the remarkable view from the top of the “hill.” You could see all of Gabs and more of Botswana (and maybe even South Africa?) behind it. To top it all off, the sun was still rising, since it was only about 7:30. We took tons of photos at the top, which can be found here: https://picasaweb.google.com/104071111771440864502/20130608KgaleHill# .Tlotlo is the adorable kid (a form 1 boarder) who is in a lot of the pictures. He’s just too cute, and likes to eat and hang out with us (though, truth be told, he did beat us to the top of the mountain!)
Once we got to the top, we hung out for about 10 minutes, but then had to head back down, since we wanted to make sure we got back in time for breakfast (and the bus had somewhere else to be at 8:30). The way back down was much easier – almost paved, but still a relatively steep decline. Yet again, I was amazed at Arlington’s timing – we got back to MaP at 8:32, just in time for breakfast!
When we got back, we were surprised to see tons of kids all around MaP, which is strange since it was a Saturday. But then we remembered that there was a basketball tournament going on, and schools from all over (including South Africa!) were coming to MaP to play. It was fun to watch the games (for a while), but once the MaP kids stopped playing, we became pretty bored. After a quick internet check, it was time for lunch, which was really good! I figured out that it’s really the sauces that I’m not a fan of here, and today they had steak with some seasoning, but without any real sauce. Also, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet, but they have ketchup available at every single meal, which obviously makes me incredibly happy!
Another random thing to mention is that there wasn’t running water for most of today. This became a larger issue as time went on, but thankfully there was water in the dining hall and in the bathrooms near the basketball courts. Finally the water came back on around 3:30 and we were able to shower, after having started the day off with a somewhat sweaty hike!
There is a new intern here (from Boston, actually! Turns out she went to Boston Latin, and she, like my entryway-mate Dominick, laughed at me when I called it BoLat since apparently no one calls it that. We also have visiting kids from Roxbury Latin that I call RoxLat, but I’m willing to bet that that’s not a real thing, either). So anyway, Xenia (the college graduate who went to Boston Latin), Bikey and I headed over to Choppies later in the afternoon.
Choppies is, like the intern guide mentioned, super close – less than a five minute walk from the school gates. While there, I was able to get bread, 10 pears (!!), laundry powder/detergent, shampoo, conditioner, cashews, and pistachio nuts for 124 pula (about $15). I was incredibly excited to find out that the pears actually tasted good, too! Going to Choppies was a great discovery because I now know that cheap, good fruit is right around the corner (literally).
After Choppies, we had a bit of time to chill, so I used Bean-Bag for internet again. Then I showered and had a nice cereal and pear snack. After a few rounds of Contact, all the interns and Xenia headed off to Chris and Mike’s house (the two current Princeton in Africa fellows) on campus for dinner.
Dinner was impala that they had killed themselves, and it was surprisingly good. It took a while for the charcoal and everything to arrive (i.e. I’m very glad I snacked before dinner!), but once the impala burgers were ready (around 9) they were really good. Also, they had avocado so of course I was in heaven.
Before and after eating, we sat around a nice fire pit that Chris and Mike had made right outside their house. It was rather chilly, but the fire kept us (relatively) warm. No s’mores, though, but there were avocados (yes, plural!), so I’m not going to complain!
TGT: 1) the beautiful view at the top of Kgale hill 2) avocados/hanging out at Chris and Mike’s house 3) discovering Choppies
Until next time,