I can honestly say I enjoyed being off the grid for a week. Despite a small amount of anxiety over fall class registration, it was very relaxing. From Kruger to Hamakuya, not worrying about emails (184 to be exact) for a week made the experience much more meaningful. We spent 5 days in Kruger and 2 days in Hamakuya, specifically Guyuni. Our time in Kruger was spent learning about different animals on safaris, the history of Kruger, and the research of Melissa, Cleo, and David. All three of them were incredibly knowledgeable in their respective subjects and provided us with so much information on animals and South Africa.
Our homestay in Hamakuya reminded me of my homestay in India. Although I lived with my host family in India for 8 weeks and we were only in Hamakuya for 2 days, I still enjoyed the sense of community and hospitality present in our homestay. Our host mother, Phylis, was the matriarch of the family and was very respected in her family and community. Her homestead was very expansive, with chickens, cattle, goats, and crops all on her property. There was also a large crowd of children always occupying her homestead while we were there, waiting for us to wake up in the morning and staying until late at night to play games and dance. I really enjoyed this experience and wish I could’ve spent more time with my host family and learned more about their lives and culture.