14 July 2009

Farewell South Africa...

This is it!
Like all good things, my trip must come to an end...

As I have said before in my past blogs, this trip has been absolutely amazing. I am spending a few hours of my last full day in the internet cafe to write this blog not because I have nothing else to do, but because I really do enjoy sharing my experiences with everyone. I am very happy to hear that people actually read and follow it and am extremely thankful for everyone and their support!

Since my University program ended, my trip slowed down quite a bit. By no means does that mean it got boring, it became more like a holiday, more relaxing. I loved it. I started off my first days of freedom (from anything school related) by spending time in Jeffrey's Bay. That was a cool experience in it's own. There, I watched some professional surfers compete in the world famous Billabong Pro held at Supertubes Park. There are pictures to come, so I'll move on.

After a couple days there, I phoned some friends I made during my first week here and asked if they wanted to hang out before I left. They were more than happy to. Both of them, Brett and Bradley, invited me to their houses for a Braii and Potjai. The food was delicious! It was such a cool experience being invited to a typical South African home for lunch and dinner. The families were great and very welcoming. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from that. I do, however, have many stories to tell! Invite me for some coffee and I'll fill you in, deal?

Ok ok, let's get started with some pictures...


This is a photo of everyone who lived in my flat (apartment). This, in particular, is special because it was our last group picture together. I already miss living with them.
After waiting seven weeks, we finally made it to J-Bay!
The highlight of our J-Bay trip was having the opportunity to check out the annual Billabong Pro Surf Competition held in Supertubes Park.
The sand crowd enjoying some good music, good waves, and good surf!
People up in the nosebleeds!
While in Jeffrey's a few buddies of mine took me to Saint Francis, which was about a half hour drive. This place was beautiful.

A road sign...obviously.
During the first couple nights of the Pro, there was this event called the Malibu Festival. There, they had local and national South African bands play some music. It was pretty awesome!
Here we are driving up and down the coast!
Brett going camera crazy when Kai Otton of Austrailia comes out of the water after a great run on the waves!
Kai Otton checking out the heat after his.

My new place... Lungile Backpackers in Humewood, Port Elizabeth!
The guys getting their surfboards ready...
Can you find me?... I can't either.

This picture is of the Quicksilver Megastore during the pro-sufer signings! The free food, free beer, awesome DJ, great crowd and lively atmosphere made this such a cool event. It was obviously the place to be!
Kelly Slater! My roomate describes him as one of the most respected professional surfers in the world! I must admit, I do agree.
The Billabong Factory Shop
Even after some rain, these sand-works stood strong!
Lastly, a Jeffrey's Bay sunrise...

I just thought I'd show everyone where all the "magic" happens! Yes, this is the internet cafe I've been using to write my blog!
On my last day of school, after our farewell breakfast, I thought I'd be a cool idea to take a picture of our campus and show everyone. I mean, this is why I came to Africa, right?
The California group with the great International Office staff.
I actually took this one this morning while walking down the beachfront. A storm had just passed and the sky was starting to clear up. How beautiful is that?

I'm not sure what I'm feeling right now. I am really excited to see everyone, but dreading the fact that it means going back to routine. Work, school, sleep, repeat. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerrating. I guess, when I get home, I won't be as bummed out as I feel. I know for a fact that this trip sparked something inside of me I didn't think I had. I found a new passion, a passion to travel the world to see what else is out there. I want to experience things that most people say they want to do, but unfortunately, never end up doing. Who knows where I'll end up next. I have a few trips in mind, but will find it extremely difficult to top this South African experience.

Before I say my farewell on this blog while in Africa, I want to thank anyone and everyone who has supported my trip here. Thank you to everyone who took care of my group, to the South African locals who gave me such awesome experiences, to my parents, my family, my friends, and to you. I wish I could find the words to justify how thankful I am but no matter how hard I try, I can't. It's just one of those things...

Again, this trip is one to remember and it's been amazing, South Africa...

Thank you and farewell!

Until next time,

PS. Yes Mom, I'm coming home!

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