16 01 2012

We’ve been here for over a week now, and boy have we gotten so much accomplished.

Here are some highlights from last week.  On Wednesday night we went to a great restaurant, Tony Spaghetti’s, and also did a little grocery shopping at Checkers in the same shopping center.  I had grilled asparagus with ham as an appetizer and then a pasta dish (with bacon and mushrooms) for dinner.  You may know how obsessed I am with bacon, so when we go out to eat I normally just pick whatever dish has bacon in it.

Thursday there was a high school IB (International Baccalaureate) Theater trip into town to see a play, so all five of us tagged alone.  We had dinner at a KFC inside a mall (quite disappointing, since they didn’t have biscuits) and then headed to the Market Theatre to see Woza Albert, a play questioning what would have happened if Jesus came back during the Apartheid.  It was interesting, although at times hard to understand the actors’ English with their accents.  There were only two actors and they played a bunch of different characters, and I definitely appreciated the experience.  I hope we can tag along on more trips like that while we’re here!  Being in a theater again also made me miss all my theater friends back home, who are working on a musical right now. Shout out to TMT and the cast/crew of The Drowsy Chaperone if you’re reading this!

Friday morning I finally got to Skype with my parents which was really nice, although waking up at 5:30 to do so was not so nice (but worth it).  Then after a long day of teaching, we went home with Katie’s co-op, Heather.  We got a tour of her house, which is absolutely beautiful, and then went to dinner at the Throbbing Strawberry, Heather’s daughter Michaella, Kaitlyn (our ‘social coordinator’ and teacher at AISJ), and two other teachers that joined us.  Dinner was great, as always, and then we went back to the house to get ready.  Michaella and her friends took us out to a few bars in Johannesburg and we had a great time!  We spent the night and woke up Saturday to freshly baked muffins and all the fruit you could ask for.

Saturday we went to an art exhibit at the University of Johannesburg (artist: Diane Victor, and you should definitely look her up).  Then we went to a little market and walked around and had lunch.  It was a fun day and by Saturday night we were definitely all pooped.  I’m glad I got sleep, because Sunday was FANTASTIC.  Kaitlyn and Kurt went with us to the Rhino & Lion Park about a half hour away.  The park is a huge nature reserve where the animals can live freely, and you drive through the dirt roads to see what you can see. The landscape is absolutely beautiful and seeing animals in nature is really fantastic and uncomparable to anything else.  We drove around the park and saw a bunch of animals and then went to see the lion feeding.  A few days a week, the park feeds the lions with animals and you get to watch.  They also feed the wild dogs and cheetahs, which we also saw.  Kurt and Kaitlyn know a lot about the animals and have great eyes, so it was great to drive around with them and have them point out everything they saw and help us identify the animals.

After driving around, we then went to see the snake show at the park, and the cheetah run, where a cheetah that was raised at the park runs down a field so you can really see how fast cheetahs run.  Then we went to the petting area of the park, where you pay money and get to PET BABY LIONS. No joke.  There were baby lions, jaguars, and cheetahs, and I got to pet all of them!  You can pet the babies until they are 6 months before they are released since that’s when they start to get aggressive.  It was an incredible experience and so much fun! They’re just like little puppies, but better.

After petting the lions we went to the caves, which is also part of the park.  The cave goes down 60meters (about 120 feet) and we climbed a lot of stairs at a 45 degree angle, plus took a lift down into the cave.  I got some really beautiful pictures that I can’t wait to show you all!

So that’s all for now.  I’ll include some un-processed photos so you can get a sense of the park, but am working on editing them to make them even better, and will post them to my Flickr and Facebook pages once it’s all complete.  Until next time!

Brazilian caipirinha!

Lion feeding - lions dragging the cracass from the back of the truck.

Cheetah after the feeding. They were all just wandering around the paths.

Baby lion!

Amanda, Sana, and me with Eddie, the cheetah that was raised in captivity at the park.

Rhinos with gemsbok (type of gazelle), with a great view of the landscape!

Inside the cave!




2 responses

16 01 2012

Oohh! The baby lion is adorable! *jealous* Glad to see you’re having a great time.

20 01 2012
Ton Vu

We miss you very much and glad you are having a wonderful time. Enjoy. What an experience indeed.

Daddy and Momma.

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