penguins and baboons and cheetahs, oh my!

i. am. exhausted.

it has been one heck of a weekend — an amazing weekend.

Thursday night we had a braai here at Concordia, where a lot of the international students live. A Valentine’s braai. They got food and drinks for everyone, and we all just grilled out, danced, met new people, and had a good time.

So Saturday and today we had different tours we went on with ISOS — the International Student Organization of Stellenbosch. Yesterday we went on a wine tour… we went to three different wineries around Stellenbosch. There are over 70 JUST in Stellenbosch. Crazy huh? We had a great time, tasted good wines, but at the end of the day, we agreed that our cheap, sweet stuff is still so much better than the expensive, really dry stuff. We ate lunch at the second place — FYI – wineries are VERY expensive to eat at!! They did a fixed meal for us at a fixed price – so we got a “good deal” and even then we each payed R115 per person. It’s the equivalent of only about $18 but here – that’s a LOT of money, especially to spend on food. It was a great experience though. The meal consisted of like… these salad kind of things… it was like all these vegetables… and then there was a course of olives – seriously. a COURSE of OLIVES. haha And there was bread. And then like antipasti – different meats and different cheeses. All goat cheeses. It definitely wasn’t my style… but it was decent and it was good to try something new (did I just say that?! ha)

At the last place we went – Spier (biggest private wine maker… company… thing in South Africa), we had a chance to just wander around and see things. So you KNOW Cassidi and I went over to the CHEETAH PARK that’s there!! It was AWESOME. Apparently cheetahs ar ethe most endangered big cats in the world. So this place they have there is to raise money for awareness and protection of the cheetah. They’re expecting that unless something drastic changes, the cheetah will be extinct in 10 years, which is devastating. They are gorgeous, gorgeous animals. Not that beauty is everything, but hey… anyway. So we very willingly paid to pet and have a photo op with the cheetahs (er, um, i mean, save them haha). Seriously, though – it broke my heart to hear how few are left. On the other side, it was a fantastic photo-op. We got to pet Joseph, an adult cheetah. We took pictures with him and hung out… asked questions… learned all kinds of cool things. (pictures as soon as i can!)

Today we went down to Cape Point ( It’s the southernmost part of Africa. So we literally stood on the edge of the continent… and gazed towards Antarctica… haha It was amazing. We were halfway up this massive mountain. The view was spectacular. Before going up there we stopped at Boulder Beach, where there is a penguin colony, so we got to hang out with African penguins, which was amazing. They’re adorable little creatures. The view there was also incredible. We ate at Two Oceans, a restaurant in Cape Point that was… so delicious – by far the best food I’ve eaten since I’ve been here (not that I got anything really African… haha but still good). We had a couple hours to walk around and explore… so Cassidi and I decided to climb the rest of the mountain, and Alana, Briana and Clair decided to go down the mountain… we figured that way we’d cover the entire mountain and be able to see each others pictures of it all. It was a much harder climb than I thought it would be – pretty steep. The view from the top was breathtaking and so worth it, though. You could see other mountains in the distance, the ocean on either side of the mountain we were on… waves breaking everything… oh man it’s a sight i will never forget. Hopefully the pictures did it some justice — (again – pics ASAP!).

As we were driving back, we saw several flocks (gangs? groups?) of baboons. haha oh man it was awesome. They are much cuter than you would think, and their little butts are ADORABLE. They had all these little babies with them… it was very cool.

So that’s life these days. Things are going well. Saturday night we went out with some people we met at the braai. Really cool Afrikaaners. I’m really starting to find my place here. I’m feeling more and more at home every day. I haven’t seen a television in a month… and as much as its frustrating on lazy sundays when you want to do nothing but chill in front of the tv, it’s also a great feeling – being so disconnected. i only use my phone for texting the few people we hang out with here. it’s just nice – not being so dependent on the things we take for granted. we cook almost every night – we eat WAY too much pasta. as much as we walk and bike we keep thinking we should be losing so much weight, then we relaized we eat pasta almost every night. haha but it’s something familiar so we do it anyway 🙂

so thats it. hows everything at home? i’ve appreciated all the emails and updates! love you all!


Published in: on February 17, 2008 at 10:12 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. I am so very excited that you are doing and seeing things that most people only read about in “National Geographic”! I cannot wait to see pictures of the baboons and the penguins!!!!!

    Love and miss you!!!!

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