Last week was our short vacation for school which is the equivalent to spring break in the U.S., and I was able to travel to Swakopmund (Swak), Namibia and Cape Town, South Africa with a great group of girls. We left early Saturday morning on a highly cramped mini-bus and spent about 16 hours traveling to Windhoek, Namibia where we spent the night to the catch a bus to Swak the next morning. Namibia is a very young country as it only gained its independence in 1990. It was previously colonized by the Germans and you could feel the German influence upon Namibia. When arriving in Swak, there were many German restaurants and several coffee shops (which are never seen in Botswana). The city of Swak was a very cute beach town that reminded us of a beach town on the coast of California. While there, we were able to sand board (great fun!), hang out at the beach, and go on a desert tour. The desert tour was very fascinating as we learned about some awesome desert plants like the welwittcha (look it up!).
Then we were onto the next leg of our trip, CAPE TOWN! While being in Botswana, people raved about Cape Town. We had so much fun and we were able to do so much! We went to Simon’s Town which is one of the only places where there is still an African Penguin colony, we went to the most western point of the African continent (Cape Point), toured the botanical gardens, did a wine tour, and visited Robben Island where Mandela was jailed. We were also happy to go out to eat and get something different than Tswana food (food served in Botswana), and we went all out. We got Mexican food one night, Ethiopian the next, and then American food. It was great! Being in a developed city was very nice and made me feel more at home, but it also made me appreciate the place I am calling home for 5 months. Botswana is not glamorous like Cape Town, but has provided me with a learning experience I wouldn’t be able to have in a developed place. I am able to experience a very different culture than my own and try to adapt to it. I loved spring break, but am very happy with my location of study abroad in Botswana.