Stand UP South Africa: Update #1

Stand UP South Africa
Update #1

Dear Friends and Families,

Hello from South Africa!! After a 16 hour flight, we finally made it!! The flight was the ultimate ice breaker. We slept, watched movies, relaxed and bonded. The conversations and laughs we had made the long flight go by so quickly. After the flight we had a beautiful drive to our lodge in Phalaborwa. We stopped to get lunch and saw wild zebras, rhinos, and more! We got to see a gorgeous sunset and finally made it to our lodge. We were greeted with a warm camp fire and a delicious meal. Our first days in the South Africa were a success.

On Day 2 we woke up to a beautiful morning at the Olifants River Safari Lodge! We made our way over to a boat and ate a delicious breakfast while looking out for different animals along the river. We saw giraffes, water buffalo, crocodiles and more! We then came back to yet another amazing meal and when we finished we headed off on our first game drive! We saw tons of elephants, antelope, meerkats, warthogs and more! We then came back to the lodge to prepare for a peaceful Shabbat. After changing we gathered in a circle and welcomed in Shabbat together and talked about our amazing start to the trip. We enjoyed a nice Shabbat meal, bonded even more, and played some very enjoyable card games!

Shabbat morning started with sleeping in and then we had an important Jewish program. We had a very respectful discussion about different Jewish values and how they play a role in the survival of Judaism. We then had to chose the top five values we thought were necessary for the future survival of Judaism and presented different opinions in a nonjudgmental way. Later that day, we went on an afternoon bush walk where we followed leopard tracks, saw giraffes and antelope up close, and learned about life in the bush. After a meaningful havdallah, we went on a night game drive and saw a wild African cat and more! During the game drive we stopped and had a wonderful Bonfire braai (also known as a BBQ) under the stars. We learned about new constellations since we are in the Southern Hemisphere. What a great way to end Shabbat!

Today we woke up early for a morning sunrise game drive! We saw hippos, impalas and warthogs! We enjoyed seeing the bush as the sun rose and got awesome pictures! We then came back and enjoyed another breakfast on the river (we saw more elephants!). We enjoyed a ride to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. We got to see many endangered species and rescued animals. The tour guide passionately told us why each animal was there and how they’re helping them. After that we drove over to our new destination, Kubu Safari Lodge! We enjoyed a cooking lesson from the head chef and learned how to make different traditional African dishes!

We are excited to start our community service project tomorrow! Cell service and WIFI at our new lodge is very limited, but we’ll keep you updated soon…

With love from South Africa,
Adele S. & Arielle S. (participants)

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment