My expedition to South Africa in the fall of 2005 with my mother was so amazing. It was no ordinary trip. It was more like an adventure and an experience that I would love to share with anyone who would be willing to listen.
It actually taught me things at a young age that usually comes along with wisdom later on in life. The sites the cultures and the lifestyles amazed me to influential degrees, taking me back to part of my cultural roots and making me even more proud of who I am to this very day. This journey helped me helped me appreciate life and the different cultures and races of the world even more.
While in South Africa, I witnessed hunger, cultural differences and a lot of happiness and mixed emotions all in one excursion. In my opinion this trip has altered my character in the most positive way at the adolescent age of sixteen. Although all memories will continue to embrace my mind, one of my most favored events was going to the safari to see the vast amount of wild animals.
Fear and delight collided through my while riding through the animal community. They stared with eyes of wonder, as I with eyes of admiration. All of the animals seemed alert and watched over their offspring with much caution.
As relieved as we were exiting, I was more than willing to experience the feeling all over again. Another on of my favorite recollections was when I met a lot of the interesting people. Their culture was very different from the American culture, while at the same time, being very alike.
I was amazed at the fashions and foods the most. Most of the women I’d seen wore scarves over their heads and incredible clothing with creative patterns. Most of the men wore clothing with a more masculine appeal and because of the heat, they wore less.
The food was positively different. The purple passion fruit looked humorously questionable to me but once I tried it, I couldn’t get enough. I also loved the bobotie, which are a kind of beef pie. They were delicious. From then on I fell in love with them both.
While in South Africa I even made a few new friends of all ages. The one I spent the most time with was a 15 year old girl named Bahiya, which is Swahili for ‘beauty’. She told me about the things she likes to do for fun. She enjoyed weaving fruit bowls and baskets. She even had a few on display on a wooden shelf in her home. She told me about her school and I was intrigued! Their schools are completely different from schools in America. They have different creative ways of learning and their classes are bigger, holding student with ages varying from five to eighteen! I was flabbergasted. Bahiya and I also had a lot in common. For example, we both liked to sing, dance, read and we both liked American music and African folk tales.
I had an incredible time in South Africa. Saying goodbye was difficult. I was going to miss my new-found friends, the beautiful landscape, the quality sunsets and the exotic animals. Before we left I was near tears. Our new friends even made us take-home gifts. Bahiya gave me one of her woven baskets. Her grandmother made four whole pans of bobotie to share with the rest of my family who didn’t get the chance to experience the enjoyment of South Africa with my mother and me. I hope to revisit soon and reunite with all of the pleasurable qualities of South Africa that I have come to love.
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