Friday, February 8, 2013

Holidays and a Visit from My Sister

This blog post is long overdue!  Over Christmas I was visited by my sister which was one of the best experiences of Peace Corps.  We kicked off her visit by meeting her at the airport and driving the next day to Kruger National Park.  Driving!  Wow what an experience after not driving for so long and on the left side!  But it was so freeing to have a car after our normal lives of packed four to the backseat in overfull taxis. 
Our car we were very sad to return after putting it through the paces driving through parks and into waterfalls.

The day we visited Kruger was agreed to be one of the most incredible days any of us had experienced!  We saw the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, and Leopard) in less than 5 hours!  Everywhere we looked there was wildlife.  Caitlin recorded the times and locations of the animals we saw and could hardly keep up with what we were seeing. 
Rhino directly outside of our window
Elephants and also a hippo in the same pool


The most incredible sitting came late in the day when we were driving away from other cars on a less traveled road.  We spotted a bull elephant right by the side of the road.  We watched it for a couple of minutes and it started to walk out in front of the car and we backed up, it then stopped right in the middle of the road and stared straight at us and I reversed fast!  We all screamed before the elephant continued on across the road, all of this on video on Caitlin’s camera.

Emily and I at Kruger Park

The rest of trip was also not without highlights including: White water tubing, Jumping off a 18 story gorge, driving on crazy roads, craft shopping in Swaziland, trying to sneak up on Zebras, and returning to Lesotho and straight to a Christmas party.
Caitlin, myself, and Emily after the Big Swing jump!

For how amazing the trip was the highlight for me was returning to village with my sister.   She got to experience all the aspects of Peace Corps life including:
  •           Traveling on public transport and waiting on the side of the road for a lift with big bags
  •           Movie nights by candle light
  •           Climbing Qholaqhoe Mountain
  •           Seeing my school and meeting my Basotho friends
  •           Washing clothes by hand
  •           Bathing in a bucket
  •           Hiking and visiting the orphan support group
  •           Making tortilla chips from scratch
  •           Greeting people in Sesotho
  •           And, taking pictures with all of my Ntate’s most prized possessions; goats, donkeys, and corn!

Emily with Ntate Tankiso and his donkeys!
At the Likoting support group.

 Homemade chips and salsa!

It was incredible having my sister visit and a time I will forever cherish.  She did everything with ease and I think I complained more about bad transport and annoyances than she did.  It couldn’t have been better and I still miss not having her here.  More visitors are welcome!!!

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