Helen Thompson’s Final Post from Stanford Lake

A lot has happened since my last post!! These past two weeks have gone bye like a blur!! It’s hard to believe that I will be leaving South Africa in just two days. 😦

After returning from the Round Square conference, we had a day off for public holiday before going back to school on Wednesday. My host’s cousin came to visit and she had me try cow’s lips, which was quite an experience.  It tasted like beef but the texture was off…  That Thursday the International Committee hosted a Dance Day. The entire school dressed up in 80’s themed clothes and we had a flash mob after school. It was so much fun despite only half knowing the dance! The entire school went all out, especially because it was one of their few chances to not wear uniform. That night there was also a social held in what everyone calls the Barnyard, but it’s actually a nice theater down by the lake. The social was really fun. It was similar to an Athenian dance, but here there are some Afrikaans songs thrown in and there was a lot more house music.

On that weekend, my host Chikho and I went with her aunt and uncle to the Kruger National Park. We drove about an hour and a half to get there and then spent the whole day driving around spotting animals. We got to see two animals out of the ‘Big 5,’ which are Lions, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Buffalo and Elephants. We saw elephants, buffalo, and many more animals such as impala, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, warthogs, jackals, and even vultures. I had a great time seeing all the wildlife and African scenery.

I then had a chill week with nice weather. I went to netball practice and our team won the match against another private school in the area.

Over the weekend, Chikho and I went to the Agatha Crocodile Ranch. We got to see over 220 adult crocodiles and our host Sam fed some of them. Then we each got to feed them a chicken leg which was fun yet slightly nerve wracking… Sam, our guide let us each hold a two month old crocodile.  He showed us how the eggs are laid and how they incubate them on the ranch, which has over 1000 crocodiles. We got to walk in a medium-sized enclosure with a whole bunch of 5-6 year old crocodiles, which worryingly hissed when we stepped into their enclosure. It was kinda frightening but we got a lot of great photos!!   The rest of our weekend was chilled.  One night we made pancakes for dessert just for fun.

Sadly, this was my last week as I leave Friday night from Johannesburg. It was so hard to say good-bye to everyone, but luckily I got most everybody to sign my South African flag. I will miss it here so much and I already plan on coming back.