Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Table Mountain, Garden Route


So, where do I begin? My final day at LEAP was last week, and it was really hard saying goodbye. I feel like I was just starting to get comfortable there, and I can’t even tell you how much I’m in love with the school, the students and the environment.

For instance: before Winter Break, some students told me how bored they were going to be and asked me to assign them something. I was really surprised and just off-handedly told them to write me a story, mostly expecting them to forget about it.

Two and a half weeks later, they found me, smiling, with their papers in hand. I was SO surprised and infinitely happy and I’m keeping their stories forever. It makes me smile just thinking about it. Some people truly value education and learning; too many of us take that stuff for granted.

Also, you should check out Sipho's blog! He's a 12th grade student.

So my time at LEAP ended on a wonderful note, and I hope, I hope, I hope I could come back again one day.


My first day off – last Wednesday, I think – was a beautiful day, so we climbed Table Mountain.

(Excuse my language) Table Mountain was a bitch. Oh my goodness. I was SO tired, and I had already felt nauseous all morning. I was so angry at the world. I kept saying “Fuck this. Fuck Table Mountain. Fuck these rocks. How the fuck … “  I even cursed at the people coming down at one point.

But then we made it to the top, and it was beautiful, and all the pain and nausea was SO worth it. I’m so happy I climbed it instead of taking the cable car; you just have this indescribable sense of accomplishment, which ties you closer to the earth and the rocks and the mountain. Oh man, it was great. We had dinner at the top, and walked around and looked at the beautiful view. I felt so content.


GARDEN ROUTE WEEKEND! Oh man. So many wonderful things happened. We left early Friday morning, and came back Monday evening. Every night, we stayed at a different hostel/lodge. There were lots of long drives throughout the weekend, but the scenery was absolutely beautiful:

On Friday, we went to the Cango Caves, which was so cool. I’ve never been in a cave before. There were parts where we had to squeeze and crawl and climb, which was terrifying (apparently, someone got stuck there for 4 hours last week), but SO much fun. Idk, I think climbing those two mountains have given me some strength. 

We stayed at a cute hostel that night, and had a braai. The next day we went to an ostrich farm, which was cool. I kind of felt bad because we’ve been eating ostriches a lot…

And then! That afternoon we had this BEAUTIFUL hike at Tsitsikamma to Storms River, where we walked along the Indian Ocean.  

The hostel we stayed at that night was very home-y, and we ended up drinking and playing pool and foosball and meeting some really wonderful people. 

OKAY. Now. Let me tell you about bungee jumping. Milou and Sarah were talking about this early in June, and I remember thinking, ‘kapsh, okay, that’s something I’m never gonna do.’  Because it’s not something that I would do, right?! I’m super paranoid and careful and not thrill-seeking.

Anyway, I know some people who went on this the week before, and the way they talked about it was what got me. The bridge is the highest jumping point in the world, and I kept thinking that I would regret it if I didn’t do it.

So I did it. I remember that morning, I was taking a shower and I actually thought it was my last day on Earth. I thought I was going to die. I remember realizing, though, that I was content with my life at that moment and that maybe dying wouldn’t be that bad. 

So we drove down to Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bungee in the world, at 216m. It was SO cool. They blast music on the bridge – and then you jump, and it’s complete silence. And the view is absolutely breath taking. There aren’t words good enough to describe it. 

The moment, when you jump – it’s like you’re flying. Like time doesn’t exist anymore. You’re just diving, diving, diving into the beautiful green valley below. Being engulfed by silence and nature and sun. Oh man. It may have been the craziest, best thing I have ever done.

I know this sounds absurd, but if you ever get a chance to bungee-jump off a crazy high point, please do it. Please do it.

After jumping, we went to an elephant park, where we walked and played with and fed elephants. It was SO cool. I love elephants, they seem so calm and content with their life. 

Then we drove to the Garden Route Game Lodge, and settled into the cutest little chalets. We went on a game drive/safari that evening.

The next morning we did another game drive, we saw cheetahs! Hung out with some snakes. And then visited a penguin colony. 

Back at home in Perspectives now! I can’t believe so much has happened in the past couple of days. I also refuse to accept that I have less than a week left.

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