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In writing a paired-blog, we could talk about something extremely basic like our differences. For example, how one of us is from the States, while the other is from Canada. Or something overly cheesy like how similar we are. In our case, that would probably revolve around our gymnastics and cheerleading backgrounds. But we’d like to write something a little more interesting than a list of facts about ourselves. Instead we’ll give you tidbits of our shared experiences that this program has offered us. All, nonetheless, have bonded us for a lifetime (of course there is going to be some cheesiness in here).

Our second week of running the sports holiday camp was a little hectic in terms of gaining access to equipment, finding available space to play, and gaining more children under the age of six who were participating. At this age, the kids we were working with could only speak isiXhosa, no English. With the both of us being attracted to the younger population of this group, we incidentally gathered a ring of twenty or so small children, all looking at us to provide entertainment.

After a few failed attempts of games such as “Duck, Duck, Goose,” we resorted to a civilized game of “Hot Potato.” Believe it or not, this one was a hit. So much so, that it lasted for more than thirty minutes. And since the kids we working with did not speak English, that meant thirty minutes of just the two of us singing “hot potato, pass it on” nonstop. It worked! It kept those kids engaged, entertained, and fairly well-behaved. To commemorate this impressive feat, we’ve made “Hot Potato” our new ringtones.

“Our most recent weekend was seventy-five and sunny – so much for this South African “winter.” Accordingly, we spent it exploring Table Mountain, hiking to the Cape of Good Hope, and observing penguins and ostriches around the Peninsula. We were constantly in awe of the vast biodiversity of South Africa. We ended up with countless memories that we will remember for a lifetime.”

That same week included America’s most patriotic day. We ended up spending the 4th of July on the other side of the world (not that our Canadian really cared). However, our British leaders made it a night to remember. It was nearly identical to how we would celebrate in America. We grilled hamburgers and sausages (no Oscar Mayer Wieners here), we had American pie and patriotic balloons. We ended the night with competitive games in which the two of us landed on the same team. Between donuts, M&Ms, and marshmallows, we took second place (out of two teams…). But Aleeza redeemed us in the bonus dance round, busting out all her moves and even some gymnastics skills. This lead the entire group into a full night of lip syncing performances. Needless to say, everyone walked away a winner that night.

To bookend that week, we had two weekends of wildly opposite weather patterns, thus affecting how our group connected. Our first weekend here presented us with constant rain washing out any and all of the plans we had for three days straight. But, without fail, our group always makes the best out of unexpected situations. For starters, we remembered to be very grateful for the rain as South Africa is in an extremely severe drought. Additionally, we turned these stormy days into nonstop games, laughing, cuddling, and eating. A different type of bonding that is both necessary and effective.

Conversely, our most recent weekend was seventy-five and sunny – so much for this South African “winter.” Accordingly, we spent it exploring Table Mountain, hiking to the Cape of Good Hope, and observing penguins and ostriches around the Peninsula. We were constantly in awe of the vast biodiversity of South Africa. We ended up with countless memories that we will remember for a lifetime.

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