Wellyna and I finished with classes Wednesday afternoon, but we had an Inter-house Swimming Gala at the end of the day, so we stayed for that. I was confused because it was called a Gala, but it was just a glorified swim meet that all the girls who volunteered to, swam in various events against each other. I helped time one of the lanes with Libby. We got a bit wet because they placed the timers on the same end of the pool where the girls were jumping into the pool! We still don’t understand why it was called a Gala, but I guess things are just different! For example, if you say, “Can I have a napkin?” people will look at your like you’re crazy because napkin here is what we know as a diaper! What we know as a napkin, they call a serviette.
Thursday we had off of school, so we left for Port Elizabeth to hang out with people. Wellyna and I were going to leave Wednesday night, but we decided to stay at home with Laura one more night so she wasn’t alone in the house for that extra night. Dr. Baxen had already left on the Tuesday previous to go visit and stay with family for awhile, so it was just the three of us there and Laura still had school on Thursday and Friday, so she was there alone until she joined us in PE on Friday afternoon. Wellyna stayed with the other Americans in their flat and I stayed at the Freewalker house. The Europeans that I met were still there, but one was leaving the next day and one the day after that, so I wanted to stay with them and get a chance to properly say goodbye.
Thursday night and Friday morning we all just hung out and took Pauli to the airport for her flight home. Laura’s shuttle was really late in leaving Grahamstown, so we didn’t get to leave PE until 5 ish, but our final destination was Jeffrey’s Bay, which is only about 45 minutes to an hour West from PE. We got to J-Bay and got set up in our sweet hostel. Everything was like apartment style living with just multiple beds in each bedroom, so we had a whole living room and kitchen to ourselves. It was a really awesome set-up. We went out to dinner at “The Mexican” for dinner and guess what kind of food they had?! haha There was also a restaurant called “The Greek” in town. We didn’t go there, but I’m sure I can accurately guess their cuisine.
Saturday morning we were up early to get a start on our quadbiking through a game reserve adventure! Quadbiking is the same thing as four wheeling for those who don’t know. We literally got to drive/ride a quadbike through this game reserve, following our guide along the path. It felt really nice to have control over the bike and be able to decide how fast I wanted to go. We passed a group of rhinos taking a nap and stopped to look at them and take pictures because there was a baby among them! The mom didn’t really know what to make of us though, so she stood up while staring at us to see what we were up to. At that point, the guide suggested we move on so the mama rhino didn’t get mad at us and charge. That could have ended very badly, but it didn’t! We saw so many different animals, but we were in a small enough game reserve that we could tell we were caged in and we didn’t like that so much. I asked someone where we could go to see wild animals in the actual wild and they said no where. I was quite confused, but they said that if the animals weren’t in game reserves they would be poached to extinction. Even in the reserves, the animals are still poached. It is really sad to know that the animals can’t live freely or they will be killed. When we got back from the ride we were suuuuper wind blasted and dusty. Wellyna’s hair was almost as brown as mine! Luckily, Laura and I were both wearing a backpack when we rode on the back of the bike, so that took the brunt of the dirt and dust that was flying up.
After quad biking we went to lunch at this cute restaurant that was actually built into the sand on the beach. We got to walk around barefoot (not that that is uncommon here at all) and someone ordered crocodile kabobs for an appetizer and we all tried some! It tasted pretty much just like chicken, but was a little chewier in texture! I also tried calamari for the first time at this restaurant and it wasn’t too bad as long as there was ample garlic/lemon butter smothering it. I tried one without the butter and I didn’t really care for it, but at least I can say that I’ve tried it now! The biggest adventure came after lunch!
We took a surfing lesson and were in the water for a couple hours! I sort of got up on the board, but not for very long. The hardest part was just letting my body do what I trained it on the beach and not thinking about it too much. Our instructor, Andrew Moon, was really patient and I was very grateful for that. If you go to the FreeWalker facebook page they have pictures up from that trip. I obviously didn’t take my camera with me surfing.
Sunday we planned on horseback riding on the beach, but we got rained out, so we had breakfast in J-Bay and then went back to PE for some shopping and then Wellyna, Laura, and I came back to Grahamstown. It was such a fun weekend, even though it was the first instance of bad weather for us.
Again, sorry for the tardiness of these posts! Writing is not my strong point. Gear up for Cape Town! Those posts will be arriving shortly!