I honestly cannot believe that this day has arrived – today I will be starting my long journey back home. I’ve never been away from America or my family for such a long time, but this has, without a doubt, been the best summer of my life (and I still have a month left!)
Anyway, Alice and Daniel woke up around 8 to go return the rental vehicle (and Alice graciously let me sleep in, since I have 26+ hours in of travel in front of me YAY!) Once she got back, I started packing and then went to have breakfast.
For our last breakfast here, we were finally able to make soft-boiled eggs (as opposed to hard-boiled eggs) and they were simply delicious. I honestly forgot that eggs could have runny yolk, since all the eggs at MaP are cooked very thoroughly!
After breakfast I took a quick shower, packed up everything and moved all my bags into the common kitchen area. Bruce graciously allowed us to check out of our rooms, but keep our baggage at 22 on Rose until our taxis came to get us in the afternoon.
Daniel then went for a haircut, while Alice and I went shopping on Long Street. I must say that shopping in South African boutiques is a much more pleasant experience than shopping in American boutiques, mainly because of the price conversions! I ended up getting a lovely thick burgundy infinity scarf (that was very discounted!)
We then met up with Daniel and headed into the craft fair in the centre of town. I spent literally all my rand (except for R100 that I need for the taxi to the airport!) on lovely, hand-made crafts. Once I had spent everything, though, I realised that I hadn’t gotten a single pair of earrings this whole trip.
Thinking “what’s the worst that could happen?” I tried bartering. I took the gold, rose-shaped studs I had been wearing for the past two months out of my ears, and offered them to one of the women in the stalls. I explained that I didn’t have any money and that I really wanted jewelry to remember South Africa by. After examining my earrings for quite some time, she actually agreed, which surprised me, Alice and Daniel. I felt so accomplished and wore the blue and green beaded earrings for the rest of the day.
We then headed to the Haas collective – a store/café on Rose Street. I had a delicious chicken salad and chocolate chip cookie (that I saved until later, when we got back to the B and B, where there was milk!)
Next, we headed back to 22 on Rose and had about 15 minutes to kill until Alice’s taxi came. When it did arrive, we had a lengthy goodbye process. I realised that I hadn’t really been separated from her for more than five hours for the past two months, and knew that large amounts of separation anxiety would follow. After three different rounds of goodbyes, I waved to her taxi as it turned off Rose Street, and then headed back inside for a bit.
Daniel and I had about an hour to kill before our taxis came, most of which we spent online (since we were still enamored with the super-fast WiFi here and knew we would be internet-less for the next day!) I did go back to the Haas collective, both to look around and use their restroom before our taxi came.
I then had a cornflakes, yoghurt and pear snack before the taxi came (did I mention how much I loved Bruce’s open-kitchen policy?!?) Finally our taxi arrived and we were off to the airport!
I will spare you all the details of my lovely 26+ hours of travel, but I will mention that I rode on the largest commercial airplane in the world (the Airbus A380!) from Dubai to NYC.
I touched down in NYC around 2:15pm on Friday (after leaving South Africa around 6pm on Thursday) and it was so nice to see my family again! Lulu even made me cupcakes, which tasted especially delicious after 24 hours of airline food.
In conclusion, I would like to thank literally everyone who helped make this trip so amazing – from the other Harvard interns, to the students and faculty at Maru-a-Pula, to the people of Botswana and South Africa, to my family and ALL of my blog readers. Thank you for everything you have done with and for me. Hopefully I will be seeing some of you in the near future.
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer (or winter!) and please please PLEASE keep in touch (and do not hesitate to let me know if/when you are near the Boston area!)
Instead of TGT, I figure I’ll list my 10 favourite moments/things from the summer, in no particular order:
1) Bungee jumping at Vic Falls
2) Getting to co-teach my own maths class for two months
3) Visiting the children at Childline
4) Getting entertained by the Lavericks
5) Meeting and mentoring the MaP scholars
6) Listening to the Drakensburg Boys Choir under the stars (and sans power) with Alice
7) Meeting former president Masire
8) Tutti e Soli (especially hearing those wonderful marimbas)
9) Singing and dancing under the stars at the 4th of July party
10) Road tripping to the Cape of Good Hope
Until next time/tsamaya sentle,