Tuesday, April 20, 2010

South African Road Trip

March 31 began my 2 and 1/2 week holiday.

As many of ya'll know, Tyler's (my fiance) little brother passed away. He was 18. Ross had been fighting leukemia and passed away in Texas where he went to see Tyler graduate from Air Force boot camp. I find myself asking why this has to happen to me again and it is hard to know that it is part of God's plan. Tyler and I have both lost our younger siblings. Ross was a brother to me and Victoria was a sister to Tyler. I just ask daily for God's strength to get through this rough time and come to acceptance.

I received the phone call about Ross on my way to Cape Town. I tried to change my return flight but there were no flight from Johannesburg to Washington DC for 8 days because of Easter holiday. I ended up having to book another round trip plan ticket that went through Germany. I don't care about how much that one ticket cost me because I wanted to be home with Tyler and his family. Tyler and I have been together for so long that his family is also my family. I flew back to South Africa the following Friday.

I arrived in Johannesburg Sunday afternoon and the people I was traveling with picked me up at the airport. We spent two nights at Kruger National Park. We were very fortunate in that we saw the Big 5... elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. We also saw many monkeys, baboons, vultures, zebras, impalas, kudu, etc...

The next day we went to the Jane Goodall Chimp Eden. I was amazed at how smart the chimps were!

The next day drove the Panorama Route. We went to the Mac Mac Pools which are natural springs. The town we stayed in was having a strike so the water had been shut off. So we had to use the Mac Mac pools as a shower J Next we went to the Mac Mac waterfall. Next we went to God’s Window which is an amazing view of the landscape. We were so high up that we were in a cloud. Unfortunately the cloud blocked the view in our pictures. Next, we went to Blydes River Canyon. It was really fun to hike around the potholes and again there were amazing views.

The next day we went white water rafting and horse back riding. I had never ridden a horse before so it was a lot of fun! We trotted and cantered through orchards and by streams for two hours. Needless to day, my legs were very sore the next day.

On Saturday we went to a Super14 rugby game in Johannesburg. The Joburg Lions were playing the Durban Sharks. The three other people I was with bought a Lions jersey. They didn’t have my size, and since I was wearing a dress that was the color of the Sharks, I was the lone Shark fan. Like all the sporting events I have been to here, it was a blast. I wish I understood the rules of the game better. Fortunately, the people around us were kind to explain some things!

On Sunday, we started the long trek back to Grahamstown (8 hours!). It is nice to be back here and back to routine. Tomorrow only the staff reports to the school for meetings. Tuesday begins my last week of teaching. I cannot believe that my time here is coming to an end.