After 48 hours of travel I am finally in Cape Town. The trip started on Friday, leaving my apartment in Corvallis in the early afternoon to allow time to stop at IKEA for some last minute things. Actually, I only went there for a pillow, but picked up a towel as well, which should have been one of the first things I packed. Good thing too, because after that many hours of travelling, not being able to shower any longer would not have been enjoyable. Flew from Portland to JFK in New York. Then an 11 hour layover in terminal 4 and no it was unfortunately not nearly as exciting as Tom Hank’s Terminal. Apparently you cannot check bags with Delta until 6 hours before your flight, that meant 7 hours in the arrival waiting area that has a diner, Dunkin Donuts, and the most uncomfortable seating I have ever encountered at an airport. But, once I got through it meant a date with Shake Shack and an amazing strawberry shake. JFK to Amsterdam was almost the same duration as PDX to JFK, so that was nice. Although, I was asleep when they passed out breakfast which was rather unfortunate. After a short couple hours of waiting, it was time for the long leg. 11 hours from Amsterdam to Cape Town. Now I have done long stretches before, PDX to Frankfurt is about the same duration, but it is still brutal. 48 hours of traveling does lend itself to lots of movie watching though, 6 to be exact. Bright, The Kingdom, Jumanji, Justice League, 15:17 to Paris, and Tomb Raider. And after all of that, landed in Cape Town , met my internship contact, got dropped off at my house, unpacked, and managed 4 hours of sleep before I got restless. Unfortunately it was already dark when I landed so I didn’t get to see any of the wonderful natural sites, but in about 40 minutes the sun should be coming up and my journey in Cape Town will begin. This week will include an internship orientation, walking tour of my neighborhood, bus tour of Cape Town, visit to my internship site, and a braai on Friday. Should be an exciting week. Check out the follow on Twitter and Instagram links to see all of the amazing things I get to experience these next 3 months.
As my trip nears my preparation is coming to an end. It has been over 2 years since I decided I would pursue an international internship, 6 months since I submitted my application to IE3 Global, 5 months since I chose to go to Cape Town, and 4 month since my internship was confirmed with Volunteer Adventure Corps (VAC). I navigated spring term with minimal distraction of my pending adventure and now I have waited 3 weeks since my last spring final to begin the 2 day trek from Corvallis to Cape Town. In the last couple weeks I have finally immersed myself in the excitement of the coming 12 by reading and watching as much about South Africa as I can. One of my favorite prep days included watching 4 movies from a pre-arrival list provided by VAC. Starting as soon as I woke up taking me all the way until it was time for bed, I watched Invictus, District 9, Cry Freedom, and Stander. All of which I would highly recommend. It is now time that I begin to pack my bags and try to think of anything that I might have forgotten. This time next week I will be about as far away from home as I can be. I will be travelling through 3 different continents, across the equator into the southern hemisphere, and switching seasons from summer to winter. I could not be more excited and anxious thinking about what the next 84 days have in store for me.
In one week I will be leaving Corvallis, Oregon for Cape Town, South Africa. This is where I will spend the next twelve weeks interning at the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust. Follow my blog to hear about my experiences working in conservation abroad and all the different adventures I have over the next three months.