North America, Africa, Europe · 16 Days · 12 Moments · June 2017

Elena's Journi to South Africa

3 July 2017

Day 17 - Landed in Heathrow today! After a long flight, and me playing nurse to several people who were puking, we finally got to have my favorite thing called food. But, just as we were settling down, 2 New Zealand olympian rowers came up to us and talked to us. AND OH MY FREAKING GOD THEIR ACCENTS WERE THE BEST. It was really quite incredible and this toed the favtthat we saw a german soccer player coming here.

2 July 2017

Day 16 - Today we woke up early again, had breakfast and went to Robin Island were Nelson Mandela was held in captivity 8 years. The boat rides were awful, and Calum pushed me into a puddle so my feet were tingling because they were freezing. It was really funny😂 After that we went back and to a shopingn area were me, Ethan, Ryan, Calum, Zach, and Caleb at a KFC. It was the best food. But sadly, we had to leave and now we are in the airport waiting the 24 hours to come! I miss eveyone soooooo much!

1 July 2017

Days 13-15 - So the last few days we have been in Capetown, South Africa. We flew two hours from our last stay in Madikwe, and landed here 3 days ago. We went on a boat ride were all 28 of us were soaked from the 12 foot waves. We also went to a another program like KYP and painted houses, made meals, and planted the gardens. Today, a few of us went bargaining in the town and about 6 of us stayed. Zach, Cristian, Coco, Marisa, Caleb, Aiden and I are all here watching soccer and playing games. The last thing we did was hike up table mountain. We tried running up it, but quickly realized that was a mistake. The whole hike took the my group 1 1/2 hours at a pretty fast pase! The views were incredible and lunch was even better! I cant wait to see all of you guys when we get home! Miss you all so much!

27 June 2017

Days 9-12 - The lastfew days were incredible! We stayed in Madikwe, South Africa and toured the amazing game reserve of Jaci's Lodge. while we were here, our guides demonstrated some serious skill in tracking, sight, and driving. We saw so many different animals. But of course, me being clumsy me has to hurt myself. I now have a swollen, crooked finger. But who cares! I am still wnjoying my time here and couldnt have asked for a better experience!

24 June 2017

Day 8 - Today we drove four hours to Madikwe and Lesotho. We got to the game reserve and immeasietly went on a quick safari. We saw so mant amazing animals wildly, the most rare a white rhino. Ot was i credible and the jokes were endless! More will come tomorrow!

23 June 2017

Day 7 - Today we went to the constitutional court in Johanesburg. We learned about the past prsion systems and even got locked in the isolation cells. It was an interesting experience. After that, we went to go paint two houses, give clothes and organize books at KYP with our pen pals. The part that really hit me was when we were leaving. I had given my sweatshirt to someone who didnt have any, and so did several others of the kids on the trip. When we left, it was bittersweet. We got a giant send off and there wasnt a dry eye.

22 June 2017

Day 6 - Today we left for the sight were the oldest human skeleton was found. It was really cool for me because as some people know, I love biologyish stuff! During the drive to get to the sight, we stopped many times to see some amazing animals like giraffes, baboons, warthogs, etc. After abot three hours of caving and driving, we headed over to a join our pen pals at a sanctuary where we got the chance to go on a mini safari. The Lions were huge and many of us oanicked when the 7 year old with us was leaning out of the truck to wave at them. We saw so many more animals and up really close too. Finally, we got to play with the baby lions. They were adorable and one of them fell asleep on my lap! They reminded me just like Maya!

21 June 2017

Day 5 - There osnt much to say about today other than there were many tears. Today we visited the Apartheid Muesem in Johanesburg. It was extremely rough on many of us. Also, we visited our pen pals homes at KYP. I thought it was incredible how someone in such antoigh situation could be so happy and energetic. It made us realize that we are focused on the wrong things when we should be focused less on economics ans money but more like personal health, growth, and happiness.

19 June 2017

Day 4 - Today was another early start with some awesome breeakfast. Today we are going to go to an elephant and lion sanctuaries and to pet, walk. and learn about each animals situation and what we can do to help. We are all really excited for this unique and epic oppurtunity. We did harsh bargaining and not to brag, I was pretty tough. I was very happy at the prices I was given. After bargaining for an hour or so, we are on our way to the cheetahs.
Day 3 - After a 7:00 am start, we left Hertford Lodges in Johnaesburg and drove to Soweto. We walked around the city for a while with our awesome guide Tulani! We are meeting our pen pals today and pictures from that will be coming soon! We also just met more kids from Florida School in Soweto where Coco, Basha and I got to teach a 5th grade class and we taught them all about the US and Beyoncé. I am so grateful to have met these kids because even though they were in such tough situations not one of them wasnt smiling. We were treated like celebrities, everyone was asking for higs and pictures and the little kids begged us to pick them up😂 They were adorable!

18 June 2017

Day 2 - Safely landed in South Africa after 24 hours of travel! No one slept except for a few people but we are doing well with minimal air sickness! We stilm jave to drive to oir forst hotel but so far we are all doing well! Basha, Teejay, Coco, Zach and Iall got lost on the hike. It was pretty scary but really fun!

17 June 2017

Day 1 - Leaving for London in a few hours after an early start! Cant wait to be traveling and getting to know everyone better! We have a 6 hour flight to London England and then a 13 hour flight to South Africa. Wish us luck!