Saturday, June 23, 2012

Leaving Cape Town

On Sunday morning, June 17th approximately 80 students, Chase, Lori, Christina, and I headed to the airport for the trip back to Atlanta (Chase & Lori headed to France)!
Those rearranging to meet weight requirements
Christina and I are ready to head home (bitter sweet)!
I had to get a picture with Ish. Sad it was on the last day. He's a remarkable man.
Leaving Cape Town (this was actually taken by a student as we arrived; but still an amazing photo with the South African flag on the wing and table mountain in the background!)

On the way out to Cape Town, we had a 12 hour layover in Frankfurt. Thankfully, the layover wasn't that long on the return, however, it was still long enough to leave the airport and head into the city!
Sharanya and Claire in front of the train station
We found  a nice coffee and pastry place to have breakfast!

The pastry place where we had breakfast
Haha! Reminded us of home, even in Germany!
We were in the heart of the city
DB: a really large train station in the heart of the city
Random: but the walk and don't walk are green & red (no little white man telling you what to do)
Old fashion departure flight board; Frankfurt is one of the busiest airports in the world

Back in the airport with our train tickets.
And then we were on our way home.  We left Cape Town at 10:30am on Sunday and arrived home in Atlanta at 4:30pm on Monday.  Calculating time difference and travel, we estimate 38 hours of travel almost 21 hours on a plane.

Upon arriving in Atlanta, my luggage, however, was not there to greet me.  I took some comfort in the airline knowing it wasn't going to arrive :/  Yet, I was nervous because I brought back a couple of bottles of wine (and I was hoping the delay wasn't due to some sort of luggage catastrophe).  But the luggage arrived on Wednesday! WOOHOO!

All in all the trip was a great experience, but I was happy to have my feet on the ground and to sleep in my own bed...and even better when my luggage and me were both safely home!

Final Celebration

The final celebration was a time of reflection on the five weeks in Cape Town.  The student speakers, Mary Beth and Lincoln did a remarkable job.  Colleen created a video that unbelievably captured so many moments of the trip.  Overall, the celebration was a nice way to end the trip.  It was also nice to snap some shots with some of the students I've connected with, many of whom I graded.

Morgan is a wonderful woman who has such a heart for people
Claire works for the Athens Banner Herald as a photographer. She has lead such an interesting life and has a very sweet spirit!
Haley was one of the community group leaders and a delight; she really thinks and questions things!
Have I mentioned Christina loves flowers?!
Sherry visited our room often! What an amazing young woman full of life and purpose. Her mother had passed away from breast cancer five years ago and her story of hope is inspiring.
Oh photo jumping.
Fun photo of Mal & me
I don't know where Tiffany or Mallory went...oh wait, this may have been taken while we were in line for food (gotta stay busy somehow when you are hungry). 
Global Lead interns Colleen & Allison
Olivia, Me, and Sarah Elizabeth! Love these girls!
Me, Colleen, and Chase (Stormers staff!)
I wish I could remember what was so funny!
The whole academic group, minus Montgomery who left for Greece the day before
Nikita cracks me up; she has such a great heart and was on the trip for ALL the right reasons
It was amazing to see the growth in Karishma over the last five weeks; Sammy is such a deep thinker; and Michelle is originally from Cape Town and it was incredible to see how she processed & experienced South Africa.
Karishma, Sammy, Michelle, and me
And last, but not least...Joanna, the program director for GL Cape Town (she's a keeper!)

Last Week in South Africa! :/

The last week was filled with lots of wonderful moments and it was the first time in weeks that all 143 students were back together!
Gerard's house where we had class
After class the academic staff went to the Mount Nelson hotel for High Tea! What a wonderful time!
Lori, me, and Mallory enjoying our tea and delicious treats (sweet and savory)
Our terrace overlooked the fountain and the grounds
Mallory taking a dive in the fountain
I became the holder of stuff :)
The academic staff (& Lori who we were happy to have!)
The Mount Nelson (from the backside)
The grounds were incredible.
After dinner I met up with some students at Bombay Bicycle. It's a fun restaurant that specializes both in ambiance and local South African cuisine.
Claire, Karishma, Michelle, and me

The chairs were swings hung from the ceiling!
So fun!

Although we didn't sit here for dinner; we got to snap a picture and sit as we waited for our taxi!

The taxi back was packed (21 people!) yikes! But it meant a cheap fare!
Wednesday: Final township celebration
All 143 students and staff headed back to the township for a final celebration. There were performances by both the global lead(ers) and the people from Sun City.  We also had a chance to visit with our family one last time. Each group was partnered with a soup mom or other family during our week.  Ms. Veronica and her family was our South African family for the week.
Emma, Kelly, Emily, Ms. Veronica, Anna Claire, me, and Elena
So sad about the shadow on Samatha's face. These are two of the young women I connected with throughout the week.  Baby Kelly is named after a former Global Leader.  Kaylee and Samantha are both extremely smart and I hope the best for them in their futures!
As we encouraged the students to think more about their transition back home, we did a poverty simulation to help them better understand poverty in the US. 

The reading rebels came and visited with us during class. The program (in Sun City) is supported by Global Lead. It targets students who are in gangs/fighting and hopes to turn them into productive members of society by giving them money in exchange for reading a book a month.  That evening I did some shopping and had dinner at the V&A waterfront.
Last amazing sunset
Friday night was then spent grading blue books!
Saturday: Old Biscuit Mill
Back to Old Biscuit Mill! Delicious latte!
If I haven't talked about the Chocolatire and the delectable homemade chocolate ice cream...there are no words for JUST how good it is! They would even pour chocolate shell on top. Yumm.
Claire, Haley, and me 
I talked everyone into ice cream. They didn't regret their decisions!
I was sad to say goodbye to Old Biscuit Mill, however, I'm sure all the delicious treats contributed to bit of extra weight I brought back with me from Cape Town ;)