Monthly Archives: November 2011

heading out of plett

Today is the first day of my vacation! I’m renting a car and driving inland a bit to the Drakensberg Mountains for some quiet time. It would have been nice to have my friend Erica along for the ride but I know life is full and South Africa is an expensive plane ticket! If I have internet access I’ll send an update. Hope

I'm trying to hug the ocean!

everyone had a great holiday weekend. We went to Monkeyland and a walk through some old growth forest to the beach. The ocean here is spectacular.

the group out hiking

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Happy Thanksgiving from South Africa

It’s relatively warm here in South Africa. It’s also light for more hours of the day

Plettenberg Bay

than it is dark.  People watch cricket and play rugby instead of football. And none of you are here with me. It sure doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving.  Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the holiday with friends and family.  I’m enjoying the beautiful beaches here and the friendly people I’m meeting along the way.  Missing you…

Salt River Hike

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along the inca trail

Two weeks ago (sorry for the delay…lots of travel and limited/poor internet abilities) we hiked for four days and three nights along the Inca Trail. We were in great hands along the way with our guides Socrates and Jesus…super knowledgeable and encouraging! Despite the hundreds of people we shared the path with and the crowded campgrounds, the trip was amazing. The Andes are simply spectacular from every vantage point and I couldn’t get enough of looking at them and at the clouds that consumed us on most days.  The Incas built some seriously steep stairs up to 14,000 feet and then back down again to about 8,000 feet…my ankle didn’t appreciate that much, nor my knee. I was in the back of the pack the entire trek but in good company. Yes, I’m starting to feel my age. And would you believe, one of my students said to me, “You remind me of my best friend’s mom”!  I suppose this is a compliment but at the same time a reminder…This was the poshest camping trip I’ve ever been on. Porters carry all the camping supplies (tents, sleeping bags, food), set up your tent so by the time you get to the campsite everything is all set up for you, and they cook all the food (good food at that – quinoa pancakes for breakfast, soup for lunch, popcorn at tea time and rice/chicken/pudding for dessert)

The Incan ruins are incredible and fun to explore. It is amazing how they have stood the test of time over hundreds and hundreds of years, their irrigation system still working, the wall of building and terraces still in tact. All the students made it, even the ones who had never really hiked much before. For some this was definitely the hardest thing they have ever done in their lives and I’m super proud of them.

I’ll be here in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa for the rest of the year. During this leg of our journey we’ll be learning about public health, no doubt a challenging subject we’ll be exploring through many lenses such as race and class. Currently students are out in surrounding townships with public health workers. I’m definitely looking forward to understanding the social/political climate of South Africa.  More details to come…

I hear there is snow in New England already! I hope, if you are there, you are enjoying it…i feel like I’ll be chasing summer around the globe during the rest of my trip, living in perpetual spring. ahhhh

much Much MUCH LOVE to you all!!

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