Hello friends and family!
No, I have not fallen off a cliff, hyenas have not devoured me, and I haven't renounced the Internet and become a card-carrying Luddite (yet). Blame the radio silence on a three-week camping trip through Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, which just finished a few days ago. It was incredible to see some of the dramatically varied landscapes of East Africa -- from lush forests to grass plains to cerulean beaches. And we saw herds, dazzles and parliaments of animals! (more to come, including sleeping among the water buffalo, running away from a charging elephant, and watching adorable lion cubs gnaw on bloody carcasses).
I wanted to wrap up my second week in South Africa before moving on. As some of you know, I extended my stay in the country after a family I met in Cape Town invited me to crash with them for a while. (Yes, my first thought after their invitation was, "Are you serial killers?" And their friends thought they were nuts for welcoming a complete stranger into their house).
Their home is nestled near the beach close to a seaside holiday town called Ballito on the east coast. To get there, I took an overnight bus from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and then flew to Durban. The next few days were spent hanging out with their daughter, Kesh, who is around my age and a fellow devotee of Jane Austen movies and shopping. It was like being back in Los Angeles, only better, because Kesh's mom is an amazing cook who fretted over the sorry state of my four shirts, two pairs of pants and three pairs of socks. They also taught me a little about their faith as Jehovah's Witnesses, which was very interesting!
After five days, they felt like my adopted South African family. It was very life-affirming to encounter people this warm and friendly in the world.