Our First Two Days: Arrival and Getting Settled In

Hey everyone!

Dan and his group at the game park are having a bit of trouble getting internet service out in the middle of the bush, but they’ll be posting soon! Rest assured, everyone arrived to the Game Park safely, and after an exciting time exploring some of the park on foot, they all settled down for a relaxing night around the fire pit to enjoy the bright South African stars.

By the way, my name is Casey, I’ll be the team leader for all the volunteers doing the Six-week African Adventure program, (which is Hannah Dent, Tennayah, Anna, Amy, Lexi, Hannah Lee-Smith, Steph, Ca-Eun, Ebony, Rachel, Kiki, Alex, Iona and Jag!) Looks like it’s going to be one killer time down here for the next six weeks and we can’t wait to start on the great work we’ll have the opportunity to participate in in all of the communities we visit!

Yesterday, everyone came in from the airports just fine! Safe to say everyone was pretty wiped out from some of the crazy flights you have to take from all over just to make it to South Africa, so we spent the day getting to know each other, taking naps when needed, and enjoying our first traditional South African Braai, (which is stinkin’ delicious!)

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Today, we continued our travels up the Eastern coast of SA to St. Lucia, where we split from the rest of the group who are heading up to the Game Park to spend their first week on the program getting to see all kinds of incredible African wildlife!
Our group will be here in St. Lucia for the next week helping out in the local crèche. However, we couldn’t get started until we also got to see some of the wildlife that lives all around us in this small coastal town!

After getting settled in at our newly finished accommodation, (thanks Bertus!) we took a walking tour of St. Lucia, which isn’t very big! We went to a local spot that has some cool sculptures of African wildlife and a small market to check out, filled with various handmade Zulu items.

Once we thought we had seen it all, everyone piled onto a boat to cruise the estuary that runs along the town, which is home to crocs, over 500 species of birds, herds of snails (yes you read that right, I said herds,) kingfishers, monitor lizards, and of course everyones’ favorite, the African hippo! Needless to say, after our cruise, everyone agrees that we’ll be steering clear of swimming in the estuary and any of the hippos that might try to say hello to us at night!

We wrapped up our cruise by taking in the beautiful South African sunset from the boat before we headed back to clean up for dinner.

After dinner, everyone enjoyed a few games of Mafia, a personal favorite of mine, and of course a few crazy rounds of Spoons.

Tomorrow morning we’ll be up and off to check out the Crèche and meet all the cute kiddos that we’ll be helping out for the next week before switching with Dan’s group to go and visit the Game Park as they come to help out at the Crèche!

I’ll be posting again right here every night, so be sure to check back to see what adventures we’ve all had every day!

Love from Africa!

-Casey

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