Sunday, June 7, 2009


Knysna was our next stop, its more upscale, alot of retirees but very nice.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Easter Vac- Tsitsikamma/Storms River

Continuing to drive along the coast, our next stop was in an area near the Tsitsikamma (pronounced sit-sea-kamma) National Park and the small village of Storms River. The drive there was pretty cool, it got very mountainous and lush. This area has some of the highest rainfall in South Africa. We stopped at the Bloukrans River Bridge which is the highest bungee jump in the world at 708 feet. Two of our group participated but I chose NOT to. After the bridge we ended up in Storms River at our backpackers lodge. The following day we went zip lining through a forest a couple of hundred feet from the forest floor.

One of our group going, the red arrow

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cape St. Francis

On the way from JBay to our next stop, Storms River, we stopped in the small town of Cape St. Francis for lunch and we hung at the beach for a little. There was a cool lighthouse and some penguins.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Easter Vacation- The Beginning!

Classes for the first term ended on Friday April 2. We planned a two week trip that would take us from Grahamstown and the Eastern Cape along what is known as the Garden Route along the south coast ending up in Cape Town. Saturday morning, Katie and I picked up our two rental cars and left Grahamstown and drove first to Port Elizabeth on the coast to pick up a member of our group and then on to the world famous surfing town of Jeffrey's Bay. The South African Iron Man competition was in PE when we passed through. We got to J-Bay and had dinner in a mexican resutarant ha, pretty good for being 9000 miles away from Mexico. We stayed in JBay for one night, theres not much to do if your not a surfer.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Zimbabwean Dollar

As you might have heard, Zimbabwe is in big trouble. President Robert Mugabe spends outlandish amounts of money on excess while the majority of the citizens are in poverty. The Zimbabwean Dollar has spiraled out of control over the past four years and has become the most inflated currency in the world. Up until a couple of weeks ago, the Bank of Zimbabwe would issue new notes almost weekley and these notes would loose their value in a couple of weeks. The US Dollar was adopted very recently. The final note printed by Zimbabwe was a note of 100 Trillion dollars. I aquired one through my friend Simon whos from Zim. Heres a pic...

SASSU Regatta- Vanderkloof Dam

The weekend after the Klein Karoo, I went with the Rhodes University Rowing team to Vanderkloof Dam in the Free State which is the province in the middle of the country. Its very dry and hot and full of people descended from the original Dutch-Afrikaaners. It was cool to experience South African university level rowing but it was incredibly unorganized and out of control. We raced in a bunch of events which you can do here and did ok. I haven't exercised since December so it was a bit of a shock. The town is a small resort town situated on a giant reservoir. Its empty most of the year as it was when we were there. Because South Africa only has about ten universities with rowing programs, the entire rowing community of the country was there. The last night they throw a giant party that I had been hearing was ridiculous. So everyone gets ready to go out and because this is a holiday resort there is a giant water slide. Kids told me before that every year it gets broken into and put into use. This year the committee who runs the regatta told us it would be open from 8pm-10pm and that was it. Well as everyone heads down towards the slide we see that is has been broken into and there are hundreds of drunken rowers (men and women) running around completely naked. The police show up, two officers get out of the car and observe what is going on and they to strip down and begin to use the water slide...I'm NOT kidding. Later in the evening the party moves down to a pavilion where there is a DJ. Things got out of hand as they always do. Ive had my share of South African rowing for now. Attached are some pics of the damn and our V8 loading the boat in the water.

Klein Karoo- Valley of Desolation/Owl House

Sorry for the long delay in postings. I just got back from our two week easter break and havnt had a chance to post on here. This post is the last bit from our trip to the Klein Karoo a couple of weeks ago. We stopped at a place called the Valley of Desolation, its a valley thats very desolate. Its close to a town called Nieu Bethesda where we stopped to see a strange place called the Owl House. This woman Helen Martins moved back to the very small town to take care of her aging parents. After they died she became more and more separated from society eventually becoming a recluse and commiting suicide in 1976. She left behind a vast amount of sculptures done in concrete in here backyard, many of which were of owls. It was a really creepy place. The other picture is a picture of some rock paintings that were on the farm we stayed on. They have been dated to over 7,000 years old and were painted by the original inhabitants of the Cape, the Koi-San people who have since disapeared because of intermixing of the different people on the Cape.

Rock Painting
Owl House

Owl House

Valley of Desolation!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Klein Karoo- Canyon Walk Pics

Some Pictures of the canyon...

Klein Karoo-Genora Pt. 1

Two weekends ago the Washington College students went on our third trip with the fearless Ashwin. We traveled about 3 hours into the interior of the country to an area called the Klein Karoo or Little Karoo. Its similar to New Mexico back in the states, a semi-arid desert. This was the land of many Boer settlers in the 19th century and is heavily Afrkaaner. We stayed on a working sheep farm called Genora. The first day Ashwin led us on a canyon walk that was a little more than a walk but it was really cool. We followed a river that carved through the canyon. At one point we heard these loud barking noises echoing through the canyon and we look up on the cliffs and ten or so baboons were barking at us and running along the cliffs. The river was high and we had to wade through it at most parts. After 4 hours we emerged dusty and tired and we headed for the small town of Nieu-Bethesda and stopped at a small brewery for lunch. We had some great dried Kudu sausage ( with local cheeses and bread and of course the home made beer.

The Farm

Monday, March 16, 2009

Amakhala Game Reserve

So I went on Safari this past was awesome. We stayed at Amakhala which was about 45 minutes from campus. Our visit included a afternoon game drive, a morning river cruise and a morning game drive. We stayed at Leeuwenbosch Lodge which used to be a farm and was straight out of "Out of Africa". We saw all kinds of animals including giraffe, zebra, antelope, impala, springbok, elephant, white rhino, black rhino (one of only three thousand in the world), cheetah, ostrich, gazelle and others. The whole experience was unreal. We had a guide named Heinrik who took us around the whole weekend in this giant Land Rover. Everyone had a great time, some pictures will be up now. Ill add more in the future. One of the girls in my group, Valerie, has a photo site up and here is the link with more photos from the weekend... ... CYAA

(l to r) Valerie, Nouria, Josh, our guide Heinrik, Katie, me, Alice


The valley

herd of Giraffe

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Port Alfred

Yo Yo Yo... over the weekend we all rented a car and drove to Port Alfred for a night. It was my first experience driving on the left-hand side of the road. It was also the longest time that I had driven a manual car...only stalled 3 times the whole weekend. Anyways, we drove there, met up with a friend of a friend at this culinary school in Port Alfred. Beach was nice, the town was pretty deserted as its no longer high season. We didnt have a place to stay so we looked around town for a hotel with vacancy and found the shadiest/scariest hotel ever...the Ferryman's Inn. The place was 100 years old and pretty run made for an interesting night of night terrors. We hit up a bar called the "Snorting Grunter"...enough said about that. On our drive home we stopped to visit the giant Pineapple. More to come soon.

The Giant Pineapple

The haunted hotel

Our sweet ride

Sunday, February 22, 2009

First WAC trip

This past weekend, the Washington College kids had our first group trip. We drove about 2 1/2 hours north to the Wild Coast to a place called Cintsa. We stayed in a backpackers place right on the beach. We were witness to some awesome scenary as well as gaining first hand knowledge on how crazy South African drivers are. We mostly just chilled at the beach which would be the second weekend in a row we've done that. We didnt get to do any of the activities they offered because a large group of Dutch people (who love gooooold) booked up all the activites.

King William's Town on the way to Cintsa

The Resort where we stayed

View from the hill

Monday, February 16, 2009


On Sunday Feb. 15, five of us drove about an hour to the coast to the small seaside holiday village called Kenton-On-Sea. The drive to Kenton was a picturesque one through lots of game reserves and cattle farms. Kenton is one of many beach resorts that dot the coast and make up the Sunshine Coast in South Africa. It still being summer here, the weather was warm but windy. The Indian Ocean was extremely cold. The town was for the most part deserted as the busy holiday season revolves around Christmas and New Year's. Jacques, a Rhodes Graduate who most of us met when he did a semester abroad at Washington College, drove us there and we just hung out on the beach all day. We ate in a beachside bar where the house specialty was pizza. On the drive home we saw some wild antelope and a monkey trying to cross the road. It was a really nice way to spend a sunday afternoon.

Our own beach

View looking North along the coast

The Group (l to r) Jacques, Katie, Me, Josh and Nouria

How the other half live...

Since we just got back internet i'll be putting a few posts up to cover the past couple of days. This past weekend was a busy and exciting one. On Saturday morning, the Washington College kids along with other international students from France, Romania and the Netherlands went on a tour of the townships surrounding Grahamstown. As I mentioned previously, the townships were areas that under Aparteid were resereved for non-whites. ( Today they are still almost all non-white and are plagued with extreme poverty and poor living conditions. They are dangerous to visit after dark.

The tour took us into the heart of Grahamstown's townships. We stopped and visited with a woman who was 79 years old, she invited us into her home to show us what township home life was like. Most of the buildings were small, concrete block homes with tin roofs. They all for the most part have running water and electricity provided by the government but not much else. We also went to a community art center that was called the Egazini Community Outreach Project. It was situated in a large warehouse that was used by the South African State Police during aparteid to tourture people from the townships. After that we went to the home of another township resident where we were served a traditional Xhosa (pronounced Ko-sah) lunch consisting of Mutton, beans, spinach and maze and root tea. Attached are some pictures.

Orientation Week

Hey everyone,

Orientation Week was last week and it was pretty hectic. Every morning we were woken up at 5:30am and told to wear a blazer, tie and boxers and head down to the common room. Each morning we had to serenade other girls residences on campus with a song chosen by our Sub-Wardens (aka RA's in the States). It was fun but got old by the end of the week. Im pretty sure that back home it would be called Hazing ha. My residence, Botha House, went on a pub crawl on Tuesday night. We hit up about 5 or 6 pubs, each with a different flavor. They range from the chill, "bohemian" vibe to a night club like atmopshere. Wednesday began the process of registering for classes. Here you do it the old-fashioned way by visiting each individual department and getting the necessary signatures and approval from professors. Attached are some pictures from downtown Grahamstown and campus and a sweet Landy.

A sweet Land Rover Defender on campus

Looking down High Street towards the Anglican Cathedral

The Drotdsy Gate at the entrance of campus

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Internet Out

The internet in my dorm has been down for the past 4 or 5 days and I have not been able to post anything up here. Once we get internet back fully I will post more about Orientation Week, this past weekend along with some pictures. O-Week ended Friday night with a street party with a band and then some crazy DJ's. House Music is HUGE here and its all they played at the party. Saturday morning we went on a tour of some of Grahamstown's Townships which are the settlements built by the government under Aparteid for people other than the whites. They are extremely poor areas. Saturday evening we went out to dinner with some of our professors as well as people from the International Office. Today a few of the kids I came to South Africa with went to a place called Kenton-On-Sea, a small seaside holiday resort about an hour from here situated on the Indian Ocean. Tomorrow starts the first day of classes. Bye for now.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Arrival in Grahamstown

Finally arrived in Grahamstown yesterday in the afternoon. It was a short hour and a half drive from Port Elizabeth. Along the way we passed through some game-reserves. Grahamstown is a really nice little town that was settled sometime in the 19th century. Alot of the buildings are old and victorian looking. Its been very hot here lately with temperatures hovering close to the 90 degrees fahrenheit mark. The five other Washington College students and I went out for a bit last night for my 21st birthday at one of the local student pubs..."The Rat and Parrot". We were drinking a Namibian beer called Windhoek Lager (pronounced Vind-Hook). Orientation Week officially starts tomorrow with introductory lectures and a welcome from the schools Vice-Chancellor. Below are pictures of one of the dorms on campus and scenary from one of the game parks we drove through on the way to town.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Flight/First Day

After almost 24 hours of traveling we arrived in Port Elizabeth late last night. We checked into our hotel and got some sleep. This morning we went to the beach and we are now waiting to be picked up by someone from Rhodes. My skin is starting to burn already HA!The pic is Johannesburg from the airplane.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Hello Everyone,

Today is Monday, Feb. 2nd. Did alot of packing and running around trying to get stuff I still need. Just created this blog and hope to update it as much as I can. I'm going to try and post a picture of the type of aircraft were flying to South Africa.