Hello family and friends 🙂
Its been a while since I last wrote, we haven’t had Wifi at our house in 10 days so it’s been difficult to have internet access! I finally found some spare time on campus to update my blog. The past two weeks have been nothing short of amazing. Two weekends ago, my best friend Carly from high school came and stayed with me at my place for the weekend . I was able to show her around the university, take her to my favorite lunch spot, go to a BBQ with some South African friends, and then go out for a fun night in town at night. She is back in California now, but it was awesome to spend the weekend with her before she flew home. Last weekend was very, very intense but one of the best experiences I have had in my life! I was out of town last Thursday through Sunday at a festival called AfrikaBurn, which is Africa’s version of Burning Man. It was one of those things that is really hard to describe what it is unless you are actually experiencing it, but it was basically 10,000 people camping in the middle of the desert (literally, the middle of nowhere). There were art sculptures everywhere around the desert area, and tons of themed tents that had face painting, free food, dance parties ect. Everyone walks around in crazy costumes (or naked) and explores all the different tents and artworks. At the end of the weekend, all of the sculptures are burned to the ground and nothing gets left behind. I took a bus with about 100 other Americans to get there, which was about an 8-9 hour drive each way. There is absolutely nothing sold or supplied at Afrikaburn, so you have to bring all of your water, food, shelter that you need for the entire weekend. The weather was crazy, it would be 90+ degrees during the day and below 30 degrees at night. I’ve never put my body through such intense conditions before, I think I got a total of 2 hours of sleep each night. There are so many activities and things to do and see all day/night so it was hard to convince myself to go to sleep! The daytime is a lot more chilled, mostly just walking around and meeting new people, where at night there were so many dance parties. The whole theme of Afrikaburn is giving, in which you bring “gifts” for strangers and ask for nothing in return. I received some awesome gifts, mostly in the form or free food and alcohol. As my gift, I lit up sparklers and handed them to strangers which people really seemed to enjoy. The community vibe there was indescribable, everyone was so friendly and I met some of the greatest people there from around the world that I will definitely keep in touch with. On the way back from Afrikaburn, our bus had a flat tire and we were stuck in the middle of the desert for almost two hours (so horrible). We all stank so bad because there are no showers at Afrikaburn and it was so incredibly dusty/dirty. Did I mention there are no toilets at Afrikaburn either? Needless to say, it was the best shower of my life when I got back home to Cape Town.
Im officially 5 weeks away from leaving this beautiful city. Everywhere I walk around, I feel nostalgic just thinking that I may never see these places/people again. I’ve started to realize how much this experience has changes my life and my perspective on so many things. I really don’t know how I am going to say goodbye to the amazing people I have met here. I know that Cape Town will forever have a special place in my heart, and that I will most definitely be back for a visit in the future. One of the greatest lessons I have learned here is how people are so much happier with less. People here are far less materialistic than back home, and they find happiness not in the things they have rather by the experiences they have. They put so much more emphasis in their lives on traveling, exploring new places, having adventures, and close friendships. I’ve also learned a great deal about diversity, and how people from all different backgrounds and cultures can peacefully live together. I don’t feel uncomfortable anymore if I am the only white person in the room, and I am beyond impressed by the mannerisms of the Africans. They are all so friendly, respectful, and always go out of their way to help me when I need it. The people here have taught me a great deal of how to treat one another, and how to live a life that is less self-serving.
Will write again soon 🙂 Missing everyone so much as always!