To commemorate the day, I thought it appropriate to update old top ten lists and add a few new ones. Enjoy!
(Note: All lists are in no particular order.)
Top 10 sites I’ve seen in South Africa:
- Blyde River Canyon
- Indian Ocean
- My host brother dancing to Motown in our yard.
- Seaview Lion Park (nothing beats playing with lion cubs).
- A baby zebra on the road a few feet in front of me.
- Lions outside my tent when I woke up at the lion park.
- The sunsets in my village.
- A giant sea turtle on the beach.
- A herd of elephant in Krueger Park.
- The look on my coworkers’ faces the first time I made brownies.
Top 10 items received in a care package:
- Photos of people I love.
- Duct tape—of course it still makes the list. I’m about to be on my third roll.
- Sara Groves’ new album.
- Fall leaves from both Portland and Lubbock.
- Coffee from Jim and Patty’s in Portland.
- Drawings from my nephew.
- Individual-sized drink mixes. They’ve helped a lot in the heat when I get sick of drinking water.
- All the episodes of The Office that I’ve missed up until the package was sent.
- My new laptop—actually that was delivered by hand from my friend Anne, but still.
- And I’m still loving all the TLC granola bars.
Top 10 items that I just couldn’t do without:
- Photos, letters, phone calls, emails, etc. from home.
- Books—discovered during my computer’s long absence that these were absolutely invaluable.
- Toilet paper—I probably could if I absolutely had to, but I don’t want to go there.
- Duct tape—oh the endless uses.
- Cell phone—pretty much the only way to stay connected to anything around here.
- My Nalgene—hydration is too important in the heat.
- Buckets for all sorts of things.
- A table-top oven—even if the one I have is on the slow march, baking has become therapy for me.
- My Bible.
- My running shoes. The rainy season is slowing, and I’m finally able to get back out there. I had no idea how much I had missed it.
Top 10 things I never knew I could do or probably never would have tried without coming to South Africa:
- Cook a host of foods from scratch—tortillas, wheat bread, pasta sauce, brownies, to name a few.
- Learn to speak Setswana—I still have a long way to go, but I feel that I continue to improve.
- Jumping out of a plane.
- Be a good long distance communicator—probably still growing in this area too :)
- Live without a computer for almost six months.
- Live without a music source for a month of that time.
- Learn to sit in stillness for lengths of time without going crazy.
- Go without regular transportation.
- Go to bed at 9pm and rise at 5am or half past.
- Live in another country very different from my own for a year.