The Long Journey to South Africa
By Dane Glenn and Maria Valles
and sleep as consistent and refreshing as American politics. Travel days (yes, plural) had arrived.
Welcome to Cape Town Study Abroad version 2.0. The inaugural trip took place over the course of Spring Break of 2018. Almost two years later, the second journey has started, taking place over New Year’s Eve and into mid-January, the sequel started. Sixteen travelers altogether: eight WT students, one student each from Wellington and Dumas High School, two WT staff members, three WT faculty, and an adorable plus one chose to take part in the program.
Our point of origin, at least in terms of booked flight out. We all found our way down to the Big D. Alarms breached the silence, some of us anticipating the call to rise and somewhat shine enough to make it to the plane. We hustled through security and set out for coffee, lifeblood of the traveler. We sat down, huddled together waiting for our ride. As mentioned before, we were eager, but our mental capacities hadn’t quite caught up with our physical selves. Like zombies, we shuffled aboard, destination: The Windy City.
Cape Town and New Year’s
The flight took half a day, straight down from Austria to the southern most tip of Africa. Many of us found sleep, our bodies forcing a hard shut down. In between rest, we found comfort in the tiny TV planted into the headrests in front of us. On occasion, we had to get up, move around, use the bathroom, find more water, whatever - just surviving for 12 hours inside a biscuit tube rocketing at 30,000 feet above Earth’s crust. We landed and disembarked, shuffling through customs: Passport? What’s the purpose of your visit? Stamp. Proceed.
We gathered at the passenger drop off/pickup outside the airport, our bags getting loaded onto the shuttle buses by the amazing drivers we had last time. Cool air relaxed tense muscles and achy bones. City lights sparkled in the distance, a multicolored beacon assuring our safe arrival, but also reminding us of why we were here. But we didn’t have time left in the day to get to work, that would have to wait for the New Year.
A few of the students began a countdown.
Cue the fireworks.