This is my final posting for the South Africa blog. Surrounded by suitcases ready to be filled, it’s time to pack up belongings and memories and return to New York.
What a wonderful adventure this has been! As I look over the blog postings, I’m reminded of the welcoming school children, the dedicated educators and conservationists, the amazing animal life, and the natural beauty everywhere I looked.
South Africa is a country that, once you’ve gotten to know her, won’t let you forget her:
her colors…. turquoise waves running across the white sand of the beaches; bright orange, yellow, and purple flowers that dot the hillsides; muted earth tones of the wild animals; pink sunsets over the bay; sparkling white on black of the Southern Cross and the Milky Way at night; distant blue mountains; the flash of black and white as a whale breaches in the bay;
her smells…. wild plants that give up a pungent aroma when warmed by the sun; fishy, salty seaweed deposited by the ocean on its shores; the damp earth after a heavy rain; penguins at Boulders Beach;
her tastes (that I can’t even begin to explain but those of you who’ve experienced them will always remember)…. salty chewy biltong on a hike through the bush; boerewors sausage slightly charred on the braai; crunchy “fishandchips” at the seashore; super sweet fried koeksisters with a cup of Five Roses tea; warm sticky toffee pudding after a favorite dinner; hot rooibos on a chilly winter’s evening;
her sounds…. funny braying of penguins; melodic songs of the birds; rattling of the house as the Cape Doctor wind blows across; low grunts of a male baboon; the mingle of children’s laughter with breaking waves at the beach; lively beat of African jazz; clicks of the isiXhosa language; the silence of the wide open Karoo at night;
her feel…. cool ocean breezes; hot African sun; gale-force winds off False Bay; cool squishy sand between toes at Fish Hoek beach; wobbly legs after walking down Table Mountain; warmth of friendship given by her people.
I hope to experience them all again in the not-too-distant future. But for now, home is calling me. I look forward to returning to my life in New York, and to my classroom where we all work hard, play hard, and live life to the fullest.
Thank you for joining me through this blog, with extra special thanks to the students at Cottage Lane Elementary in New York and Sun Valley Primary in Cape Town. Your comments and questions helped guide the pages of this blog. Thanks to the South Orangetown School District administration and School Board for the year’s leave to take my studies and educational projects beyond Blauvelt. Thanks to the folks at the American Consulate here in Cape Town and the faculty at the University of Cape Town for your guidance. And to the wonderful people at Fulbright and the State Department, thank you for your vote of confidence and for the opportunity to make my Global Citizens project a reality.