Sunday the 10th of July began by me being frightened awake by my phone ringing, at 4:57am, it was Maria and HiuKwan! They arrived at my house before anyone else was even awake to start our journey to go shark cage diving! My entire house (the 10 of us who are left) joined by Maria & Hiukwan from Scott St and Kim and Casie from Malleson St all met at my house to be picked up to start our 2 hour journey to Gansbaai at 5:30am. Only problem was there was some mis-communication between myself and the owner of SharkZone and we had 1 too many people to fit in our minibus. Lucky for us there was another van a short drive away that could accommodate our extra passenger and Luuk kindly volunteered himself to be separated for a few hours! We arrived in Gansbaai and were taken to a small shop that almost looked like a house. Inside we were given breakfast, saw a short movie about safety, and were prepped on how to enter the cage as well as what not to do. We then walked down to the dock where we had to wait while other people were being loaded onto their boats. I realized that I did not have my bathing suit on, since it was taking so long to get to our boat and we were warned about the cramped changing space I decided to go in the bathroom and change. A little background knowledge is that I was the one who was organizing the whole trip and put in-charge of making sure we were all accounted for. I come out of the bathroom, look around and I don't see anyone.. I look towards the dock and there is a boat being taken into the ocean, I walk towards it not sure if my group is on it, luckily they are! It took a while to get the dump drivers attention but luckily we got it right before they were in! So they drove the boat back up and I got on, while everyone laughed and was taking pictures of me! But I made it right in time, thank god! We rode the boat for about 20 minutes until docking at the place where we dove. I was a little weary that we were not going to get the chance to see any sharks because there were quite a few boats in the same area. I volunteered to be part of the first group who dived, as soon as we had our wet suits on one of the sharks came up right next to the boat and jumped out of the water to try to get the bait, I was terrified! We were given instructions on how to climb into the boat which was much smaller than I thought it would be.
Gansbaai is famous for being the area most populated by Great White Sharks in the World! When we got into the water I was terrified! Thank you LUUK for being my right by my side to calm me and, and try to pull me down when my feet couldn't reach under the pole! There were pnly 2 poles inside the cage we were allowed to touch, they were both marked by yellow rope. The first one was at water level for your hands and the other was at the bottom of the cage to put your feet under, only problem was I am so short it was hard to get my feet down there. The first few sharks we saw I guided my feet to the bottom by using the back of the cage, then a shark swam right under the boat by the cage and I was too scared to get my foot bitten off! It was the most spectacular experience! The skipper used bait to get the sharks to swim right by the cage, one's fin hit right against the cage! We were in the cage for a little over a half hour and I was extremely happy that I chose to go first. The rest of the morning I spent viewing the sharks from the top deck of the boat and relaxing on the front, getting some sun! We were extremely lucky to have gone the day we did, it was the best weather and water conditions for over 3 weeks! We had the warmest day of the month and were given lunch on the boat, what a perfect day! After all 5 groups dove it was time to get back to shore. AND the second most exciting part of the day was the father and son on our boat that were from the Philadelphia area! They live the closest of all the people I have met (so far) and it was incredibly refreshing to talk about The Phillies with people who knew what I was talking about!
The driver then drove us back to our house and since it was such a nice day most of my roommates sat in the back courtyard, the boys played Stiche (the card game) while the girls tanned and did our nails. A special thank you to Paul Reiling for not letting me go a day without harassing me! We got home around 2pm and were outside for the rest of the day. On the way back HiuKwan got a call from Mieke and invited everyone over to Scott St for a braai (similar to a BBQ) and I decided that I was definitely going because we were going to make S'Maores! We introduced them to the Dutch and German on our weekend to Montagu although we have to use thicker chocolate than in the U.S. and honey flavored biscuits instead of Graham crackers they still taste amazing! We have our lists made to cook dinner for the whole house from Monday-Friday but since we were all home Mirthe made dinner, Paul and Luuk were less than thrilled that I was leaving and "abandoning" them to go to Scott street. While hilariously commenting on the matter Paul said something and I responded "they would never do that to me at Scott St" and that put fuel to the fire! He told me I could leave and move to Scott St. The braai there was great and it was good to hangout with people from other houses! Monday was a slow day at the intenship (which NEVER happens anymore) and after we relaxed in the great weather, took a trip to Pick and Pay with Luuk and had dinner where I "broke" the news to Paul that I was moving to Scott St. Totally a joke but I finally got him back!
The past month and a half has been the most amazing time of my life! For one I learned that I am terrible at blogging, but that also means that I am having a great time being to busy to blog. The African culture, people and land are so beautiful. I don't want to have to leave in August but I know that I will return one day! If I am lucky enough I will get a job here when I graduate! I have made lifelong friends and I even changed my flight to have a layover in Amsterdam to visit all of my roommates on the way back! They have all been here since February and since 2 weeks ago have been leaving one by one =(. I wish I had more time to write all about every experience (and edit this, I'm sorry to everyone who read this, not my best writing) but Cape Town Fashion Week starts in 2 days and I need to go back to being a creative drone! I have done so much at my internship now that the events have picked up, I will be sure to write about them next week when I finally get some time to breathe!