Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Brother Comes To Visit

I had the great joy of hosting my first visitor here in South Africa. My brother and I spent about two weeks traveling around South Africa. We drove from Durban to Cape Town and then back to Durban via Lesotho. Here are pictures highlighting our journey.

Addo Elephant Park

We traveled through wine country. We drove past beautiful wineries, but not without stopping at a few for samples.

Shark diving off of Gaansbaai!!! The biggest Great White Shark we saw was 11 feet. They would swim within inches of us (we were in a cage). I thought I was going to freeze to death as I sat motionless in the 52 degree water for 20 minutes.

Cape Point -- The very south western point of the African continent


We spent New Year's Eve with my Peace Corps friend and partner in Cape Town

Middle of nowhere Africa

A famous hill in Lesotho
Lesotho is a tiny country within South Africa

This is what speed bumps are called in Lesotho

Our last stop was a visit to my village where Flint not only got the opportunity to meet my host family and village but he also experienced a bit of the Zulu culture and customs!
This is Flint sitting on a grass mat with some Gogos (grandmothers)

Part of my host family doing Flint's signature pose

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why am I still here?

As I am sitting here writing this, it is one in the morning, I am listening to the evening melody of the frogs and insects. An electrical storm has moved in, knocking out the power, leaving little hope of relief from this summer heat. My fan sits silently as the air in my room becomes stagnant and the mosquitoes swoop in from every direction in hopes of a meal. My sandals are wedged under the door to keep the frogs out, while the fattened lizards call my walls home. I have been living in Africa for a year now. I am torn between think that this past year has flown by while at the same time being the longest year of my life.

It was a year ago this week that I was anxiously packing my bags, soaking up the last conveniences that America has to offer and saying goodbye. As I reflect on my first weeks in South Africa, I can’t help but think of how naive I was at that time. I knew there would be the highs and the lows, the rough patches and some bumps along the way but had I known what I was in for I think I would had turned right around and bid Africa a farewell. But what an incredible journey this first year has been.

Someone recently asked me why I am still here, why haven’t I just thrown in the shovel and gone right home. After all, I have been sick more often than not, the work is less than ideal, and I have slept in a bed full of maggots. There have been times when I was about to pack my bags and go but there are many reasons why I am still here.

1. The first reason I am still here is because of all the support and encouragement from my family and friends back home, as well as, from people I don’t even know.

2. I also wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for a few good Peace Corps friends. We may live hours apart and see each other only every couple of months but they are only a SMS away.

3. There is the typical answer that I am here to make an impact and do incredible work, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon. I feel that my life, knowledge, and understanding of the world has changed far more than I would ever be able to impact the lives of those around me.

4. My purely selfish reason is to prove to myself that if I can live in rural South Africa and all that that entails for two years, it will give me the confidence to know that I can handle whatever curve balls life throws my way.

Copyright © 2009 Nokuthula All rights reserved. Powered by Blogger
Blogger Template by Anshul