Well technically I’m not in Africa anymore, I’m writing this somewhere over the Atlantic and posting it after I’ve landed. But there are some things that I learned or realized on vacation that I want to share.
First and foremost, a zebra crossing doesn’t actually refer to the animal. It refers to a crosswalk!
Also, a robot is a stoplight.
The hospital in Cape Town is where the first heart transplant was completed! And the first penile transplant. Impressive.
The people! I’ve never met nicer people than the people from Africa. Every artist I met at the Warehouse and Henry from the Food Market. All of the guides I had. And people that I met in the tours or even the woman from South Africa who we met at the airport in Paris. I love nice people.
Despite being right on the coast Cape Town is not known for its seafood. Well, I should say seasonal seafood. The Atlantic is too cold. It is known for hake (delicious) and shellfish (amazing). I could eat shellfish all day long.
There is a large economic disparity in the country. There are incomplete settlements all throughout where many people live in poverty. It’s heartbreaking. And while many people then fear crime, the biggest threat to humans is cars. 20% of people on the road don’t have a license...no wonder I was scared to drive.
To name a wine as a varietal in South Africa you only need 85% of that grape, the rest is up to you. Also, there are NO requirements to put “reserve” on a bottle.
There are so many companies or opportunities created in South Africa to support people who need the money or the job. The barista school above Origin gives careers to people who may not have the chance to go to university. Lodges and reserves, while treating animals and agriculture they way they should be treated, also give jobs to local people. And there’s a company in Cape Town where people with Down Syndrome and Asperger syndrome work in order to build the skills needed for jobs later in life.
The water crisis. It’s so heartbreaking. Most toilets have hand sanitizer instead of running taps and some places are trying to adopt “if it’s yellow let it mellow...” Agriculture and sustainability should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
GO ON A SAFARI. Or to a reserve! Go to a small one and support the people of the country and the animals they support. Almost every animal is endangered now because of poachers or climate change. Go now or you’ll regret it. And whoever marries me better be happy going to Africa. There’s an elephant sanctuary calling my name.
Just do it, GO! And buy all the souvenirs and tip too much, like I did. Rands are cheaper than US dollars and the people are just so genuine.