Felicia Black
Felicia Black
South Africa 2011- 2012
I am a recent Belmont graduate (Class of 2011) and I am going back to South Africa. I first went to South Africa in the fall of my junior year at Belmont and I had so much fun I decided to apply for the Lumos award and have been lucky enough to go again! Check out my previous blog at http://coming2sa.blogspot.com/ I will also be updating that blog as I return to South Africa so check ‘em out! Read More About Felicia →

Sandboarding and Cheetah Petting

Ok time for the recap. I have been so exhausted the last couple days that I haven’t written. Wednesday we went sandboarding like I said. It was really nice because they picked us up from the hostel and took us to Atlantis, a part of South Africa that I had never been to. Our guide took us to a rest stop where we got food and water before continuing on to Atlantis.

The dunes were empty. We were the only ones there. We left in the morning so it wasn’t too hot, but it was definitely bad when we were heading back. I was afraid my feet were going to be burnt off from the hot sand!

The actual sandboarding was awesome. We started out small, on hills where you could go straight down without going too fast. Chris has been snowboarding before so he had no trouble picking it up and I have been sandboarding several times so it wasn’t too long before I got into the hang out things.

The most exhausting part of sandboarding is climbing back up the dunes. Climbing up sand is not an easy task and after doing it a couple of times you definitely working up a sweat.

The weather overall was pretty nice. There was a nice breeze which made it a lot more bearable. Our guide taught us how to cut, which is when your back faces the bottom of the hill and you lean back on your heels. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I personally found it a bit scary not facing where you were going, but it isn’t too bad.

We left the dunes exhausted and satisified, having conquered some of the biggest dunes they had. There were a couple of falls which is to be expected but nothing broke, just soreness.

Then we got ready to come to Gordon’s Bay where I stay as a volunteer. We packed up our stuff and were off. It was only on the drive here that I realized we hadn’t eaten anything substantial since breakfast. Not fun. But after much ado about nothing (including several stops at Journey’s End for direction), we found our guest house. It’s beautiful. Our room faces the mountains and it’s gorgeous.

Once we had settled in, we finally had dinner at Habour Island which was a very short walk from our place. I tried the chicken malay which is a kind of special sauce made specially here and it was amazing. It was sort of like Indian food but not quite the same. It was really good though.

Yesterday was awesome. I got to show Chris my school and the orphanage and the nursery. We first stopped at the orphanage. It was very strange to be at the orphanage so early. The kids were very surprised (and thankfully happy) to see me. It was chaos but I absolutely loved it. I love those kids so much. They’re so adorable. I can’t imagine right now how hard it is to say goodbye especially after being here this long. Ok not going to think about that yet. I still have two more months!

After the orphanage, we went to the school and I showed Chris our classroom and the library. The library is currently a mess but still very much intact which is good. Then I took him to the classrooms where I work. He met all my teachers. It was very strange walking the classroom and seeing a bunch of new faces. Almost all my kids are gone. I’m happy for them of course but I won’t see them as much since they moved on to Grade 7.

After that, we stopped quickly at the nursery. They were actually pretty quiet but that was probably because they were eating. Feeding time is usually much less chaotic especially since the volunteers weren’t there and the carers were in charge. The kids don’t mess around with them. It was nice to seem them, though I was sad not all the kids were there.

After our visit, we went back to our place and made the plan for the day: first Somerset Mall, then Stellenbosch, then Franschhoek. We went to Somerset Mall to find a GPS because it’s kind of hard getting around here with just directions. But actually our directions worked just fine yesterday unlike on Wednesday trying to find the guest house. We couldn’t find a GPS for a good price so we quickly moved on to Stellenbosch.

Our first stop was Spier in Stellenbosch, famous for cheetah petting and an amazing buffet. Unforunately, we ate at the mall because I was very hungry so we didn’t enjoy the food but we did pet a cheetah. That was pretty sweet. They’re beautiful cats. We wandered around a bit before and did a little shopping. It was a great day!

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