Stand UP South Africa: Baie Dankie for Coming With Us

Shavuot Tov Stand UP South Africa! 
We’ve had an amazing start to our journey and are looking forward for what’s to come. This week consisted of safaris, Shabbat underneath the stars, and lots of dancing! Our Shabbat was extra special because instead of facing east toward Jerusalem, we turned North! 
We have seen elephants, rhinos, emus, hippos, antelopes, water buffalos, monkeys, warthogs, bamboos, and a crocodile so far. But we are still on the lookout for a lion and a leopard to complete our search for the Big Five, which also include rhinos, elephants, and buffalo.  Fingers crossed! We’ve learned how to say thank you in Afrikaans: baie dankie, (or buy-a-donkey as we pronounce it) and saw an amazing performance from a local Zulu tribal dance troupe, which inspired us to conduct our own cross-cultural dance lesson with one of the staff members at the lodge. 
The “winter” temperatures have been warm enough for us to swim at the pool and spend time together outside. Along with all the fun we’re having, we discussed why we choose to spend our summers in South Africa on a service trip. During that time we defined our own intentions and values for specifically attending this trip, which we will use to help us stay focused while touring and at our service sights. We also chatted about the role our Jewish values have on our guiding intentions. We already feel very connected and we are looking forward to strengthening our friendships during our service aspect of the trip these next few days. 
Please note that for our next few days we will have limited wifi and cellular service and  enjoying the friendships we have made! 
Written by: Rachel, Naperville, Illinois  

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