Thursday 31 May
Cape Town, South Africa
Last Entry - We depart for the States on Saturday!
This will most likely be our last entry from South Africa. Tomorrow is our last full day in this country and we're looking forward to saying goodbye to some friends we have made here, a few visits to work sites, and a dinner out as a group.
Yesterday was absolutely amazing. Jennifer told us there was a surprise for us at the party on Wednesday night and we honestly had no clue what it was. When we got there, we were a little confused because it was an opening for a new dance studio in Athlone. Athlone is a poor/crime stricken neighborhood in Cape Town and the new dance studio is supposed to help encourage a return of culture and prosperity to the area. We were glad to be there, but we couldn't exactly figure out why she had gotten our hopes up so high about the evening. Then, when we started looking at the programs that were handed out, we noticed that Archbishop Desmond Tutu was scheduled to speak at the opening!!! Jennifer had used her amazing contacts and people skills to get us into this function so we could actually meet him. It was so wonderful to see local people listen to him and respond to him when he spoke about the fall of Apartheid and the progress of the country since Apartheid. I am sure you will all hear about this night in detail when we return!
Today, most of us said our goodbyes at our various work sites. It was a pretty emotional experience for some of us! Seeing the impact we made on our new friends and co-workers here was amazing and knowing that we will be able to stay in contact with many of them through the internet is great, but definitely not the same.
We were also able to meet with Karina Turok, a world-renowned photographer who is also Nelson Mandela's personal photographer. She is currently promoting her latest collection of photography, "Life and Soul." Being able to speak with her personally about her work and the process in which she accomplished all of it was incredible. Her focus on photography of women in South Africa was an excellent summary and closure to our time here.
I think that's it for now. I hope everyone at home is doing well, we certainly miss you all! Thank you for reading and encouraging us for the past three weeks. It's been wonderful to hear your thoughts and know that you were enjoying all of our pictures. Your continued support has helped us tremendously throughout this incredible journey. We couldn't have done it without you!
We will see you soon!
Alex and the rest of the ODU South Africa Travelers