Summer has started and ended, and I am no where near to the place I thought I would be. I started this summer with a full-time job and the hopes of getting a place with some friends. I have ended this summer jobless, and living at home. This is not a terrible place to be as I happen to have a rather nice place at home, and who doesn’t like some time off? But, the best part of this summer, was South Africa.
My father is from South Africa and goes back as often as he can (which is not that often as it is an expensive trip). My grandmother is in her early 80’s and my sister and I had not seen her for 5 years – too long to go without seeing your grandmother. So, my father decided before Katia and I delved into the working world with no vacations, we should take one last hoorah to South Africa.
There are many flights one can take to South Africa, but my father prefers to take the night flight so that we sleep. We left Los Angeles and headed to Atlanta – a four hour flight. Then we had a two hour layover, a one hour late departure, and a 15 hour flight to South Africa. (On the way back the flight is 16 hours).
We were picked up by my Uncle who lives in Pretoria and spent two days with my Aunt and Uncle. My grandma lives about an hour and half outside Johannesburg on a farm. Although the farm is a little run down, my sister and I have never really been exposed to such large properties with animals just roaming (we had been here once before, but in general thats not really how we live). We spent 5 days on the farm – hiking, jogging, exploring town, and cooking. The farm goes on for miles, it actually crosses a road and continues up a mountain on the other side. It used to be a Tabacco, and cattle farm. Today it houses other things.
Now, for the very exciting part, we left the farm for 4 days, and took a 7 hour drive North East to a game reserve (Safari) just outside Krugar National Park. IT WAS AMAZING. I saw all Big 5 animals (some of which I had never seen before). We got to see both a Leopard and a Cheetah eating, and according to my father we saw a very special animal called a civet. We took two drives a day – one at 630am (yes I was up every morning at 6am) and then another drive at 330. My sister and I wrote down all the “Fun Facts” we learned about the animals – how to tell the sexes apart, gestation, special defense mechanisms they have. For instance you can tell a Male and Female Zebra apart by the strip that run’s down the bottoms – a thick one indicates a female, while a thin one indicates a male. Fun right?
We went back to the farm the last 3 or 4 days. I got to meet a distant Uncle which was fantastic, he showed us some great new music. And now I’m back. Back to Los Angeles with the grinding traffic, jobless, and living at home. What comes next?