Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cheers, Plett

Things are winding down here in Plettenberg Bay. It’s my second to last day here, and I have to start thinking about packing and saying my goodbyes.

Last weekend was our independent student travel weekend, but everyone decided to stay here in Plett. We did take a day trip to the nearby town of Knysna to browse the shops and walk along the harbor though. A highlight of my day there were the awesome fish and chips I had for lunch. But other than that, I mostly hung out around town and my house for IST. Bruce kindly offered to take Lauren and I to the nearby Keurbooms Beach, to a place called Arch Rock, which is exactly what it sounds like: a big rock shaped like an arch. It was gorgeous. Apparently, they filmed a series about Robinson Crusoe there. We relaxed on the beach for a while, and I’m proud of myself because I even got in the water for a few moments (the water is a bit chilly here.) The perfect Sunday afternoon outing. Maybe it’s just that I’m a bit burned out on travel at this point on the trip, but I honestly felt no desire to go anywhere else. But, I mean, there is also a reason people come HERE to vacation—it’s a pretty fine place.

The past few days have been crunch time on our media projects. Lauren and I decided to pair up to create an artistic book. Lauren created sketches of patients with different illnesses and I wrote poems about the various demographics afflicted with HIV/AIDS. Our presentation is tomorrow, and from what it sounds like, it’ll be by far our biggest audience. Official invitations were even created and sent out. To be honest, I’m super nervous about it—I wouldn’t call myself a poet. The only poetry I’ve written has either been for school or in my journal, not meant to be seen by others, let alone shared publicly. I guess there’s a first for everything.

Friday morning, we leave bright and early to go to Addo National Park for our enrichment week. We have hikes, safaris, canoe trips, and more on our agenda. I hope I get to see some zebras!

In just over one week, I’ll be back in New York City with my wonderful mother and grandparents! It’s hard to believe that our time abroad is coming to a close so quickly, but I’m so excited to hug my mom and hit up Whole Foods once again. I’ve had so many incredible experiences in the past seven months abroad, and it’s daunting to look at the return to the states as a potential end to all of that. But my journey won’t be over yet. Back in the states, we’ll be traveling for 5 weeks up and down the east coast, and I’m sure I’ll continue to learn and experience so much. I’m expecting to have to undergo some reverse culture shock, but let’s hope no food poisoning will be involved this time!

Well, I’m off to make an attempt at starting to pack. And I need to check on the sun tea that Lauren and I are brewing in the backyard. Honey, lemon, mint, ginger. Mmm.

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