Holidays: Take 1

First day of the Holidays (it’s not spring here… so it’s not really spring break haha) –

we left early in the morning in this vehicle

pretty badass?? Yes, yes i do agree. ๐Ÿ™‚ this was an overlanding trip i went on – meaning we basically lived in this thing…. when we weren’t pitching tents. and by ‘pitching tents’ i mean, well….. you’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚

we left in this, headed out on open road… drove up the coast of kwazulu-natal and after a (VERY LONG) time, got to St. Lucia. It’s on the coast on the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

our first attempt at putting together the tent. we, well, we struggled hah and we struggled the last time we ever did it. but by God, the two american girls GOT IT UP. ๐Ÿ™‚

see? PROOF!! haha we should have been standing by it…prove it’s ours ๐Ÿ™‚

After we got camp set up… we headed to Lake St. Lucia – famous for the gazillions (or like hundreds) of crocodiles and hippos.

In our campsite though – we saw this sign:

like literally – IN our campsite. NEXT to the tents. LOVE it. wish we had seen them……wake up to a hippo in your tent… sweeeeet.

once we got down to the lake we saw THIS fun sign

Ah, damn! I was so hoping to bond with my new friends over a bag of crisps…….

We took a lagoon cruise on the lake… it was a bit overcast but still gorgeous.

and then…. then came the real hippo/croc watching!

enjoy — ๐Ÿ™‚

ahhhh!! even now when i look at it i’m amazed. it was so incredible to see. hippos are ridiculously cool animals.

there’s a ton of ‘great’ bird-watching here (supposedly…?) haha we did actually see some really cool birds. this is a Fish Bird (that might just be a colloquial name, i dont know). Anyway, this was awesome because he actually had a fish in his mouth (or her mouth). Can you see it? Cool stuff.

And that – that was St. Lucia. ๐Ÿ™‚

More from the rest of break will come soon! Still have giraffes and elephants and a LION to look forward to!!! (along with a ton of other stuff!)

Published in: on April 24, 2008 at 1:48 am  Leave a Comment  

ek love bohemia!

It took about 2.5 seconds after the police raids for the students here to unite and do something about it. A Facebook group got started to end the police violence… and while that sounds useless (and usually IS useless), it was INCREDIBLE to see how the students used it to gain leverage with the local government and authorities. They began a petition and used the group, that ended up with thousands of members, to send out messages about when and where the petitions would be. They made an arrangement with someone or other high up that if they got so many names on the petition that they would get the Mayor to come speak here at Stellenbosch. They set the date for the rally and the information about it was everywhere — all over facebook and campus. I got out of my photography class the Friday afternoon that it was happening and started walking back to my room, unsure of exactly where the rally was being held… and came upon it in the courtyard outside the Neelsie (the student center).

There is only one time in my life I’ve ever seen that many students gathered to show support for a cause (other than football) in my life — and that was at the UNL memorial for the VA Tech shootings last year. That was an incredibly powerful moment, too. But the fact that this was political and had so many students interested just…. oh man it had me so pumped up and just so hopeful. We’re a generation known for our apathy, and sometimes it gets into our own heads that because we hear we’re apathetic so much… it just reinforces it. It gets easy to do nothing. But this – was so cool. All these students out there, taking their safety and their way of life into their own hands, instead of waiting around to let someone else change it. I loved it so much. The Mayor did come and speak. They gave her the petition. And although it was all in Afrikaans, so I was lost…. I could feel the atmosphere and hear the tension and the held breath, waiting in anticipation for the answer. After all was said and done…. the Mayor announced that she would do what she can to make sure that another event like hte police raids at the bars will NEVER happen again here – that the privacy and security of the students and individuals in Stellenbosch would be respected and protected.

And cheers went up everywhere.

And then she announced (the one thing I could understand) that Bohemia and Springbok would be having drink specials ALL NIGHT.

And even LOUDER cheers went up. Hahaha

It was an incredible incredible event and something I know I’ll never forget about my experience here.

The signs and shirts had me laughing the entire time. Not only were they just funny but again – they just showed creativity and CARING. These students put time and effort into coming decked out for this thing. People were painted, dressed head to toe in Anti-Violence decorated stuff. AWESOME. thats what it was.

The Mayor is the woman speaking. Not a great picture, unfortunately.

EK LOVE BOHEMIA! “Ek” is “I” in Afrikaans. And Bohemia is one of the most popular student bars – and it was one of the ones raided. I do i do i do love bohemia!

I. love. it.

all the people…

actual date of the Protest Against Police Brutality: March 14 @ 13:00

Published in: on April 24, 2008 at 12:56 am  Leave a Comment  

We’re the kind of girls that hike mountains then go out for cocktails

Original Date (when this all happened) – sometime in late March’ish…

Note: Sorry it has been SO long. I swore I was going to get back on track posting… and here I go slacking off again. I have nothing to say for myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’s been good though. I get in the habit of writing an itinerary, and now that I’ve had some distance from what I’ve done over the past several weeks, I have some more perspective. But beware – now that I’m goign to start posting, there will be an onslaught… to get it updated. haha So I’ll just jump on it!

A while back Cassidi, our friend Adam, and I climbed a bit of Stellenbosch Mountain. It’s literally outside our windows in Concordia. Saying that, it’s about a 20-25 minute walk to get to the mountain. Friends that have hiked the entire mountain (we’re still planning on doing it) said it took about 8 hours. So it’s…. it’s definitely a hike. We started about 1 1/2 hours before sunset, so we never planned to get very far… we were thinking we’d just hike the first trail that even gets you to the base of the mountain. Oh wow. Even THAT is a HIKE. We were worn out. But we ended up getting up to the first ridge. Hiking trails have levels, like rapids in white water rapids. The first part of the hike is a 4 or 5 – and a 5 is the highest. It’s a haaaaaaard hike. Wow. We were definitely super sore. But it was awesome. You’re scrambling up loose rocks and some boulders on the way up… which means on the way down we basically had to slide down, that’s how steep it is. The view is incredible.

Here are some highlights from the climb. The best part, I think, is my beginning the hike picture… and then my picture once we finally got up to the first ridge point.

We have no idea where this cross came from or what it’s there for. It was kind of cool to see, though.

View from the base of the mountain

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! at the base of the mountain. Ready to take that thing DOWN!

View from the (not so much) top.

“oh my God how am i not dead right now?….. oh wait, I sort of am….”

and then, after all the hiking, we went out for cocktails ๐Ÿ™‚

there was a live “jazz” band playing at Fandango, a restaurant/bar.

The band. Can’t remember their name, but they were awesome. Based in Cape Town. They had this jazz mixed with a bit of rock kind of sound. Everytime the guy in the middle picked up the sax – I was heaven.

I

Tan lines and cocktails in hand…… Just the way Africa should be… ๐Ÿ™‚

Published in: on April 23, 2008 at 11:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Schlappe Lekker?

I’m BACK! All in one piece too… not maimed by a lion or cheetah or leopard or anything. Fortunately. Although, I still stand by the fact that if I had to go, that would be a sweeeet way to do it.

So – I know you want to read ALL about my crazy week of adventure. It was pretty sweet. Overall – it was just unbelievable how much I saw and experienced, and I know the experiences will stay with me.

I’m at a coffee shop on wireless internet, and I completely forgot to grab my camera connector cord for my computer… so unfortunatelyย  – no pictures right now. But I journaled all week… all the time… so that I would have a full account of everything that happened. I’m going to date the entries as I wrote them on the trip, so in order to read them all, you’ll have to scroll down, backwards through the dates. I’ll add pictures to the posts probably later tonight – or at least sometime soon.

Hope everyone had a fantastic week!!

-Cyndiย 

ps – the title of this entry means “Nice sleep?” in deutsch. There were a group of five dutch students on the trip that also are studying abroad at Stellenbosch that we met. They spoke dutch the entiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire time. ENTIRE. TIME. haha i got very old. but it was fun for a while to listen to and try to catch on to. Out of our entire seven days together, those two words are the only ones I remember ๐Ÿ™‚ ย 

Published in: on April 2, 2008 at 12:20 pm  Leave a Comment