This is the last week not only in South Africa but of the program as a whole. It started off with copious amounts of stress as all twenty-nine of us had to write our 3000-word research paper, two presentations and a take-home exam. Nevertheless, we did manage to make some time for some rather exciting activities. Here’s a quick summary of what we got up to a barbeque with a rather exciting audience, a sunset hike, a walk through the historic Bokaap neighborhood with the Palestinian Under-18 football team, a wedding and a sunset boat ride. All this was before our final retreat together so yet again, let my photos do the talking.
After the chaos of the week, it was finally time to relax and head to the retreat in the heart of the Slanghoek mountains. We were going to be in tents and once again I was paired up with my wonderful friend Huzefah. It was the start of many shenanigans that would ensue during the two nights at this place. The weekend started with a bunch of activities that revolved around reflection and evaluations on the program. It provided with the opportunity to think back upon the insanity that was the previous few months. I remember many stories, the nightclub in Rio, the train jumping in Austria and hiking up the dangerous path up to Table Mountain. We also took the time to think about the surprising connections made on this program. These are people that I will cherish for the rest of my life as they were all utterly brilliant. However, we still had the final day and boy was that just insanity rolled into one.
The morning of the next day after a final party can be best described with the following WhatsApp conversation.
Then the morning continued with an emotional activity where we reflected on the people who truly made a lasting impact on us. This led to a wave of emotion that carried us all the way to the Cape Town airport. This is where we bid Juan, Carmen and Camilla an emotional farewell. We also bid farewell to some of our friends who wouldn’t be coming back on the group flight. It was a hard goodbye as I would not know when I would see many of them again. This emotion carried through to the subsequent flight. It was just an emotional mess for all of us, and it fully hit me on the train ride up to Skidmore.