Charlotte’s Corner

Final Travels, Lots of Time With Friends, Goodbyes, And Preparing For The US!

Hello world! Just a short notice, I’m TIRED. Since we only have about 6 DAYS LEFT till we leave Cape Town, we have been doing a lot the past month or so.

Our first big adventure was right after school ended, where we travelled to Namibia. It was by far one of our best trips during this year. The beautiful, mainly rocky but sometimes changing terrain, and the stunning sunsets and sunrises. We went quadding through the Namib Desert, which is an adrenaline activity for the ages. We visited Etosha National Park, and spotted a very rare cat called a caracal and four cheetahs! After that visit, we went to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary, where we did get a lot closer to many cool animals, but in a different setting of where you easily could spot them, unlike in the wild. Overall, it was a absolutely fantastic trip which I will never forget and by far one of the best highlights of our year in Cape Town :).

About a week later, my dad returned to the US. Maybe you’ve seen him.

A couple days ago, we returned from Victoria Falls, which was pretty, but highly expensive.  The place we stayed at we also thought was mediocre, but my mother says that’s just because we’ve stayed in incredible places in comparison to that one. Though the town was a little sketchy and EVERYTHING was expensive, we did go on a beautiful sunset cruise, where we were given complementary snacks and a beautiful sunset! In addition, Victoria Falls was stunning, but it was one of the sites where it only takes about an hour to explore. It was a good trip overall, but a had a few faults.

Cape Town has been an amazing, interesting, thought-provoking, breath-taking year which I will never forget. It had worlds different cultures and customs that would never be seen in the states. One example: In our trip to Vic Falls, we had to go through “customs” from Zimbabwe to Botswana. And as in “customs”, we mean dipping the bottoms of our sneakers onto a wet mat. The purpose? Yah, don’t ask me. I haven go the faintest idea. But that’s my point. The world is so big, so many little people live there, and there are so many cultures that are created and preserved. Cape Town taught me that. With only to days left here, yes I am sad, but now i am more thankful to have lived here. We have been saying goodbye to friends, but not really “bye”. More like “see you later”. We’ll come back. We love it here. The Braais, the food, the people, the activities, the scenery, all of it. We love you, Cape Town. We will miss you with all our hearts.

This was my last post.

Love, Charlotte

More On My Last Post

The last post, I wrote about our big, eyeopening trip to the Eastern Cape. That was a large trip, and though we do have more to come, the period between that adventure and the time that I am writing this, we only spent a few weekends away from the home.

Our main trip during this period of time was with our good American friends, the Austins (they were also staying in Cape Town). We went to Drakensberg, which is by Port Elizabeth, it had a few similarities to the Eastern Cape, but not so drastic. We hiked pretty much every day, and though they weren’t always hard (or they were SUPER hard) each and every one of them was beautiful and resulted in us swimming in a waterway down from the mountain. It was incredibly fun, and also breathtakingly beautiful. The rest of the time, we eat good food and relaxed at our wicked rental house.

Now, after that trip, I mainly just returned for school and focused on my big finals and projects. At AISCT, in eighth grade, you must pass a three part project in one specific class to graduate. This year, that class was social studies, which is by far one of the toughest classes here. We had to chose a topic and make a question surrounding that topic. Then we had to create a 5 to 8 page essay on cet question. Also, we needed to create a poster and a oral presentation on the same information. It was pretty stressful, but the entire grade got through. BUT THEN FINALS CAME. Preparing for those took up a lot of my time, but I also went to the last dance of the year, surfed a lot, and chilled with friends. (Also, I went paragliding over the city, but that’s no big deal.) After I got through finals, (about a week ago) I started to really fit Cape Town into my mind. I hosted a small but SUPER FUN party, and went to the Sports Banquet, and won the Swimming Sportsmanship Award!

Now, I’m focusing on Innovation Term, where students get to participate in a range of course that each specialize in a certain activity or interest. I chose Lens To Pens, which is where the class goes to different sites around Cape Town and captures the beautiful in photographs. At the end of the term, we will have to portray our photos in a creative way, like a portfolio. I have a few good ideas, and am so far having a wonderful time.

Thanks for reading my post! Don’t worry, it won’t be the last.

Yours Truly,

Charlotte ❤

More parties, school dances, StuCo and poverty

Welcome back to my blog!  I have a lot to tell you about.

First let me tell you about the camp my grade and I went on.  First, we took a plane to Durban. The camp we were going to was the only American style summer camp in South Africa. It was exactly like a super fun summer camp, only with my school and not just random people. If I were to give highlights, there would be three: One was building crate on top of crate and then climbing them until you fall.  I got up to 15 crates! The next highlight was playing King of The Hill on the Big UFO floaty thing. It was in the pool, and eight people could go on at once and attempt to push others off. Often I was the only girl, and most of the time i would win against the boys! (That felt SO good.) Also, I had a turn on the Sky Jump, which is a machine with a trampoline that makes you jump unreally high. I was able to complete a double back flip!

The camp was one of the highlights of February, but there was also many other great things that happened during the month.  One was the Valentines dance.  It was incredibly fun, but much less all the dances here are. I sniffled up the courage to ask a boy to slow dance, and he said yes! It was kind of awkward (scratch that- VERY awkward), but fun and silly at the same time. Also, there were Student Council elections, and I ran and won to be a student rep! I am now in charge of setting up dances and other stuff with the other representatives.

One of our most unique and spontaneous trip was the adventure of the Eastern Cape. It was a 10 day trip, and completely changed my perspective on life.

We arrived in East London after our two hour flight from Cape Town. East London was a small city, so we had to drive a few hours to reach the Wild Coast. Immediately I was struck about how horrific the conditions of the roads were. Where my family was, there were no paved routes. The roads were either made of gravel or dirt, and had a terrible amount of random potholes, slippery grounds, and bumps. Even our four wheeler has trouble getting through sometimes.

We arrived at a small, quaint lodging area named Trennery’s after a few hours of headaches from the jostling of the car. I was quite relived to have gotten there; I was still in location shock. The terrain was drained with millions of cows, sheep, and little- though vibrantly colored- rondavels (small huts) made of mud brick and hay. There were tons of people roaming around by the road in tattered clothes. Little kids were playing alone by the road. For the entire ride, we hadn’t seen a building larger than a normal American school hallway. Truthfully, I don’t think I have seen any more poverty then at that time, so I was still very shocked and anxious as I was exposed to the amount of poor living.

At Trennery’s, I slowly started to become more and more accustomed to staying in the Eastern Cape, but was still mostly cautious. There, we swam in the hotel pool often, walked along the Indian Ocean, and hiked along a river which took us to a boat, that eventually got us to a waterfall, where we were able to jump from rocks into the water!

We stayed at Trennery’s for around two nights. Our next stop was the Haven. Again, I was completely nervous while driving to the next place, though we did give our extra food to kids on the side of the road, and their gleefully and surprised smiles warmed my heart (unfortunately, we discovered it was not a good idea to do this, because it created dependency on tourism).

We were the only people at the Haven. Literally. Apart from the host and his wife, the chef, the receptionists, and the waiters and the maids, we were pretty much the only guests. There were many horses that sort of rested by our room (all the rooms were their own separate condos. Trennery’s had the same thing.) We watched the Masters on TV and hiked to another waterfall. Also, I tried out my new camera, which worked pretty well. One night, there was a wicked lighting storm. It was pretty terrifying since we had a straw roof, but also really fascinating, and I was able to get a few slow motion shots of the lightning bolts. Luke and I created a small clip with him, his stuffed animals, and the storm. It turned out pretty well. Speaking of Luke, he became friends with a bunch of Xhosa boys who barely spoke English and played lots of cricket. (They were the sons of the workers of the Haven. Often people who worked at a hotel here would live in a small room with their families next to it.)

The next stop was a place called Coffee Bay. We stayed at an all out backpacker lodge. Though we did have a small condo, it was the biggest place there and the only condo that had a built in bathroom. The food was very good, but it often loud. Very similar to a camp. There were many college kids there. We played pool a lot, but mainly went and help out at the two local preschools. We red to the children, played with them, and taught them easy English words. We went to two schools, and though both were very efficient and incredible to be in a place like this, one was more about responsibility, movement, and independence as a learner.

Next, we decided to stay at the Hole In The Wall Hotel. It was by far the nicest place we stayed in. It was very similar to beach hotel. There, we mainly relaxed, since we were only staying for one night. We took a hike to the Hole In The Wall, which is exactly its name.

Finally, we drove to Bulungula. There, we stayed at a place similar to the one at Coffee Bay. We were sleeping in a rondeval, similar to all the ones across the landscape. In it, there were only four beds crammed together, nothing else. Most of the time, it was raining, so we couldn’t do a lot, but we did visit another preschool and my father volunteered at the high school.

The way back to the airport, though, was a hassle. Due to the rain, the roads were muddy and slippery. At one point we almost got stuck in a ditch because the ground was so slippery so we kept sliding back into it. It was an adrenaline filled experience.

Overall, the Eastern Cape proved to me that I know nothing about poverty. I have not experienced it or seen what it really is. The Eastern Cape showed that we are all so fortunate in our lives. We should never take them for granted.

Yours truly,

Charlotte

 

 

Welcome Back!

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog! Since I haven’t travelled anywhere recently, this will be a quick, simple update on how life is here in South Africa.

A lot of exciting things are coming up in the next few weeks. First, we have the 8th grade camp, where we fly to Durban and spend three days at some sort of summer camp and have fun. I’m really excited because the camp offers many activities. For everyone at home at who is going to Washington D.C. and

The Tanda Tula Safari

Welcome back! As you may or may not know, my family (including my two aunts: Barbara and Jeanne) and I went on a absolutely inspiring safari trip. It was incredible in every way- from the service to the animals.  It was by far the most exotic and exciting thing the Dangel family has done since we arrived.

For the Safari, we were going to stay in a bush camp: Tanda Tula. The camp was parallel to a dried out river, and was surprisingly efficient. There was a pool overlooking an actual water hole (or wallow) fifty feet away. It was located on the outskirts of Kruger National Park, which was the big safari place in South Africa; it contained many other camps.

The first day, we flew into the smallest airport i have ever see on a two-and-a-half hour flight from Cape Town (it stopped in Joburg on the way there though). We retrieved our luggage and met up with our very funny transporter: Hoby (we think that’s his name, we could never hear him).  He took us from the airport to Tanda Tula. During the ride, we saw our first animals: a few giraffes, a bunch of impala, and tons of elephants (note that these animals are all wild, for the bush is the wild, untamed part of Africa).

 

When we arrived, our bags were immediately shipped off to our rooms- or should I say TENTS. Yes, we were staying in super duty tents: strong on the outside, luxurious on the inside. I was sharing a tent with my mom.

Continuing on, we were seated in a outdoor lounge area, where Formen, the manager, took us through the schedule for the next few days.

WARNING: IF YOU DESPISE LISTS, THIS PARAGRAPH IS NOT FOR YOU. PLEASE PROCEED TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH….

…THOUGH VALUABLE INFORMATION MIGHT BE HIDDEN. I’M JUST SAYING.

The day went like this:

1. Wake up call at five am. The staff would bring tea, hot chocolate, coffee, and rusks to our tent, then proceeded to yell until we got up, unclipped the security lock on the opening zipper, and took the tray. My mother and I did not enjoy this part of the day. (Though especially me, because my mom was the more lazy one of the two.)

2.  Meeting at the main building at five thirty. The main building was mainly just where the guests could eat, lounge, shop (there was a small curio shop), and drink (there was also an incredible bar with drinks on demand)!

3. Around five forty, all the Safari Land Rover would take off. Ours was usually the last to leave, reasons unknown…

4. From the departing time to nine thirty, our guide Antony and tracker Given would dive the Land Rover around, searching for animals and tracks. They were both very knowledgeable, and many people completed Antony on saying he was the best of the bunch. During that time, we would be given tea for the second time that day, in addition to some dried fruits and nuts.

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5. Nine thirty would be breakfast time. Antony would drive us to an outdoor kitchen on the sandy river, where we were given the options of a variety of great foods. Antony and Given ate with us at our table (each Land Rover group would have it’s own table).

6. Siesta time #1! After breakfast, we were taken back to the camp, where we had a three hour break. At this time, most people napped, relaxed, or swam in the pool. I usually did all three. Also, during the day, tents must be locked with a clip which is used to keep monkeys from getting in and messing with your stuff.

7. One thirty- lunch. Lunch would mostly be a small buffet that would be set up in the main building and we could eat anywhere.

8. Siesta time #2. Pretty much the same as Siesta time #1.

9. Four o’clock. Everyone departs for the next Safari. We learn more, we see more, we talk a lot about birds, and we take a lot of photos. It’s by far the most interesting part of the day.

10. We return back to the camp at seven thirty- tired but happy. The sun has already set, and at night, a guard must always escort us to-and-fro the tent.

11. At eight, a guard picked us up from the tent (we would usually be freshened up by then) and take us to the main building for dinner. All the guests who are staying at the eat together on a long table. It makes interacting with others easy. Truthfully, food was not all the good. The chef seemed to tried too hard, but that might just be my plain taste buds saying.

12. Ten o’clock. Tired and full, we were escorted back to our tents, where we would immediately go to sleep.

That’s the schedule! It’s complicated, I know.

Now this blog is getting a little long, so i will only give a couple short summaries on the days that I spent at Tanda Tula.

The first day was slow and steady. We arrived, got settled in, and ate a late lunch. Then we set out the afternoon safari. It was a great first day; we got to see two- very pregnant i might add- lionesses, some elephants, couple of zebras, obviously tons of antelope, and some wilderbeasts.

The following day was even more eye opening. In the morning, we tracked a rhino mother and her calf- which means we had to leave the truck and walk into the bush. We were able to get good views of them, but Antony said we should go, for we didn’t want to overstay our welcome. Then, about a couple of minutes later, Given spotted leopard tracks. The tracks seemed to be pulling something else, and Antony and Given assumed it was a kill. They told us we would search for the animal in the afternoon. We also unexpectedly ran into two other lionesses (seriously, we were driving of road, and we almost ran over them) who were lounging in the shade. Antony told us that they had cubs too, but that they weren’t here.      In the afternoon,  we spent most of our time looking for the leopard- or where the kill was. After a while, dinner time was approaching, and we were losing hope.  Then suddenly, we parked, and my aunt and mother spotted it! We were absolutely mesmerized by this amazing animal. We proceeded to watch it for the next twenty minutes, and then left when it jumped out of sight.

 

The next day was the day of large animals. We saw a hippo, which was by far the most terrifying part of the adventure. It was continues opening its jaw- and it was huge! I was ready to run  the entire time we were watching it. We also saw a herd of buffalo; they were big but pretty chill as long as we kept our distance. In addition, we saw four lions (two lionesses and two cubs)! The cubs kept following the Rover and were absolutely adorable.  Oh and I almost forgot! We ALSO got seriously close to a bunch of giraffes because they were standing in the middle of the road. It was magnificent to see so many majestic animals in one day.

The final day T_T (That is supposed to be a crying emoji). We were all very sad to go, but we did get our last session in the morning where we saw five lions (there was only one male).

After a sad but satisfied farewell to Antony and Given, we were driven back to the strangely small airport and flew back home to CT.

Thank you for reading all about this incredible adventure! Shoutout to my aunts Jeanne and Barbara! Thanks for coming and thank you so much for the photos!

See y’all next time!

Charlotte ❤

 

 

 

 

Delicious Mauritius

Moi! Howzit? (Those two words actually come from different cultures/languages. Moi means “hi”! Guess what language “Moi” is from in the comments. (It’s not French.))

Those are two of the many words I have learned in the time of my families sabbatical, and the word Moi was a part of the many others learned in Mauritius- where I spent my summer holiday.

I expected that Mauritius over all was a pretty calm place- but i was far from right. Everyone on the island was always bustling; traffic was a large, and though some things- like restaurant food- took a while, there was always a feeling of rush and excitement. It was very similar to India (thought i’ve never been) which makes sense for the island was largely Hindu and full of Hindu culture. But, truthfully, I didn’t get such a great experience of much of the island because my family and I only left our resort a few times, though when we did we always enjoyed the culture and the beauty.

The first few days at the resort were somewhat slow. The hotel had multiple casualties, such as disappearing sheets every night, giving us full out instructions only in french (there is also large french culture in Mauritius), etc. In addition, the hotel was very expensive, and the service wasn’t that great. But the food and activities were amazing. I went water skiing multiple times, tubed a little, and swam every day. I got so burnt! I also made many friends there: two from Australia, a bunch from South Africa, two from the Netherlands, two from Finland, and few others from other countries. It was incredible spending so much time together with people from all over the world.

In addition, we also went on a gorgeous- yet somewhat long- hike. There was at least 8 different waterfalls, and we swam in one! It had amazing views.

On Christmas Eve, there were big parties on the beach and at restaurants with tons of food, but it didn’t feel the same without family or winter. That was a fun- yet sad- night.

Well, that concludes my blog. Special Shoutout to Wesley. Thanks for reaching out!

Yours truly,

Charlotte ❤

P.S. Every night there were beautiful sunsets. Here are a couple photos:

 

Exams and the Holidays

Hello!

So much has happened the last month. Obviously, I went to Joburg for the swimming competition, which was really fun. My friend Mia and I stayed with a South Korean whose first language wasn’t even English! They gave us Korean-Stitched wallets that were incredible.  They were so nice and the two swimmers (two twin girls around our age) were SO good in the competition. In the end, I got two second place ribbons that were both from relays. It was a great weekend overall.

Well, exams are coming up (midterms). Yay! I have 5 exams- Social Studies (American History), Math (Algebra 1), English, French, and Science.  I think I am most nervous about  Social Studies. I know, I know. I should be fine! I’m from America! Yes, that is true, but the entire class curriculum is just so DETAILED. I’m studying though, which could help, but so far I’m at a wall in progress! Again, yay! For the others, I think I will be totally good. I understand most of it.

What I’m really looking forward to is what is happening at school AFTER exams. First, right after we finish our last midterm, we have a house competition (the middle school is broken into houses- Leopard, Lion, and Cheetah. We compete sometimes). This competition is all about cupcake making! It has to be Christmas Themed, though. Then, we have MUN the next day. Our topic is whether or not to eliminate weaponized drones, cluster munitions, and biological and chemical agents. I am the delegate of South Korea this time. It has been going good so far; I’m enjoying it! The day after that is all fun. First, the middle school is taking a trip to Rush (it’s like Sky Zone and Launch). Then, we’re going to have a pool party in the school’s pool, and finally watching a movie.

So about Christmas in Summer. Let me tell you, i prefer it being in Winter MUCH more. It just makes more sense! Fires, warm blankets, hot cocoa. SNOW. You should see our Christmas tree, too. We didn’t want to get a big one because they’re expensive, so we got something…. different. It is literally a BUSH. A BUSH. I tell you, it’s hilarious.

So, this past weekend, I’ve been fairly social, which is good. Friday night, my friend Mila slept over at my house, which was really fun. We swam like six different times and went to two different markets!  So much fun. The next night, i went to my first ever joint boy-girl party. It was not as exciting as I expected, but still it was a great time.

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Well, that’s an update on my life. Can you see i’m using more South African vocabulary? I am so proud of myself!

Yours truly,

Charlotte ❤

P.S. I created a new realtor show with Luke- Cave Real Estate! Here is a preview of one of the houses up for sale. Beautiful view, right?

 

 

P.S.S.  I chased a rainbow!

P.P.S I’m officially taller than my mom! Yippee! (Maybe still equal, but still.)

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Update on the life of a wannabe South African!

HI – did you have a good Halloween? I did.  The day before, I was invited into an estate to go trick or treating with a few friends.  The plan was to ride on the buggy in the estate that took a group of young kids (other than us) around the community, stopping at certain areas to knock on the houses there.  It turned out to be too slow, so we ditched it and went off on our own.  After a while though, we got tired and went to the Lifestyle Center, or the main activities place.  There we ate a Halloween-themed dinner and got more candy.  Next we  returned to my friend’s house to sort our treats and get even more sugar high. (The candy was an okay amount; definitely not as much as at home and definitely not as good, but was better than expected.)

 

School is like a river – flowing smoothly at the moment.  We have GPAs in the school so I think about that a lot.  I miss lacrosse although I’m on the swim team which is going well. We’ve only had one meet so far but we have another tomorrow and we have our big international meet in Johannesburg next weekend.  The academics are a little different than at home.  Some classes repeat the lessons I learned last year.  For example, in English we are studying the Holocaust and world issues, which we studied a little last year.  (But my mom is kind of horrified by some of the explicit books we are reading – like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. We are supposed to watch that movie, which she definitely is worried about!) And we are going to the Holocaust museum this week, which will be a cool experience.  Another example is Science.  We are studying chemistry, which I studied last year.

On the topic of friends, there’s a ton of diversity.  I have friends who have lived in many different places and who’ve come from many different places such as India, South Africa, Japan, China and many European countries.   Something that always catches me off-hand is that some of my friends speak different languages at home.  I also seem to like athletics a bit more than most; they are more into art and technology.   Instagram is HUGE and WhatsApp is the text app – not FaceTime or Imessaging.  I finally got an iPhone this year since my mom needs to get ahold of me, but I’m still figuring it out.  We have to buy data as we use it, and I’m always running out yet I don’t use it much.

Since I’ve been here I’ve enjoyed taking photos of the scenery here. It’s become a little hobby of mine. Here are some of my favorites.

Yours truly,

Charlotte ❤

I’m on the swim team?!

Hi! What up? Are you getting psyched for Halloween? Well, I’m very jealous at you! Sadly, here in South Africa, Halloween is not important. Like, at all. Only some of the big estates (gated communities) do Trick or Treating, but even in those you only get around two handfuls of candy, and the types are NOTHING like Reeses Pieces or Butterfingers. But, fortunately, my school did have a Halloween Social. I went as “Daughter Time” (In Cape Town, there are stores where you can RENT costumes for any occasion.) It was not as fun as the first social, and a lot more “drama” happened, but i still had a great time.

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Since I’ve got back from break, I have joined the swim team. It is quite hard: we do tons of laps and the main goal is long distance, so I’m pretty tired during and after practices ( They happen than three days a week.)   I’m going to Johannesburg too for a big international swim meet in three weeks!  I’m so nervous.

At school, I’ve have a lot of projects and tests the past few weeks and exams/midterms are coming up.  I like it; but there’s more projects than actual learning, unlike Pierce.  I’m in Algebra 1 which is advanced for an 8th grader, plus I’m doing honors which is advanced in that class!  Everyone else doing honors is in 9th grade, so I have to work a lot harder!

Lately,  my family and i have been traveling a lot. We’ve explored multiple beaches, went ziplining, and stayed in fancy B&B’s in places about an hour out of Cape Town. This weekend, we stayed in a 7 bedroom  B&B!!!! (Though it was with another family). We were right on the beach, so we swam in the ocean a lot. We also kayaked, and stopped on a island to chill, but then a big boat came over and started yelling at us to get off!  (It was a bird sanctuary apparently). We also saw lots of land turtles, some ostrich, and even a wild giraffe!

Shoutout to Sienna Angus! Thanks for reaching out! Miss you! What team are you on, anyways?

Thinking of you all,

Charlotte ❤

Oh My Ostrich!!

Hi! Nice to talk to you again! What up? I just finished my spring break, that’s what. Yeah, I know what you might be thinking: Spring break?! WHAT?! But it’s true! Here’s what happened:

We had around 10 days off for vacation. The first night, we went to a place called Hermanus, about 2 hours away from Cape Town. My mom and I liked the AirB&B. There, we eat good food and saw tons-and I mean TONS- of whales. My dad keep saying he was in heaven. The scenery around us was pretty too.

 

Next, we went to Mossulbaai. The AirB&B there was absolutely gorgeous! We only spent a night, but managed to hike a trail and eat at a nice restaurant.

The next mourning, we drove to a ostrich farm! It was fun, but kind of gross at the same time. There, I fed ostriches, held a baby one, and rode one too! It was great, but also a bit weird, because your sitting in an odd position on a VERY odd bird. Then, we drove to CANGO CAVES, a large framework of caves underneath the surface of earth. We did the adventure tour, which was where you would climb and slither through the caves. There was a lot of tight spaces, and it was a bit scary, bit overall lots of fun. Later, we drove to a small resort in Wilderness, right by the Ocean. The few days that we stayed there, we relaxed. We took a hike or two, and ate out a couple of times.

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After, we drove to Plattenberg Bay. There, we stayed in a B&B where two gigantic pigs lived in the office (that was a bit disturbing, and we tried to avoid them). We hiked dunes there, and played board games. We also rented a dingy boat and putted around a river in it. It was seriously pathetic, but absolutely hilarious and fun.

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ay ya Cptn!

Our last stop was a place on a farm that we didn’t really like. It was too small and a dog barked all night!

The next day, we finally went home, stopping at a couple of vineyards on the way.

Now, i’m back at school. Since we’ve returned, everything has been great. We opened our pool and I hand fed our pet turtle, Timmy! (He lives in our backyard.)

 

Yeah, so that was my vacation! Hope you enjoyed! (I’m back to school now.) Shoutout to Maddie and James; You’ll get your chance to ride an ostrich (/whale)!

Love, Charlotte 🙂

Hi!!!

HELLLOOOO!!! It’s me! Charlotte! I’ve come out from the dark! (Gasp!) Yeah, sorry i’ve been really quiet the past few weeks, i’m just having so much fun! Okay, so a lot has happened since i’ve last written. I’ll try to tell you all about it now.

First off, we had Spirit Week a few weeks ago. It was pretty fun; there was a pajama day, a blue and yellow day, and a wacky day. Then on Friday, the high schoolers had a homecoming dance. I’m on the soccer team, and we had a game that week. We lost two to one, but we played well.

I have a bunch of friends now, all of whom are very nice. The social scene here is a LITTLE better than at my old school (No offense Pierce). It also is full of students from all over the world. They all speak english, but some kids have such thick accents that it takes me awhile to understand them!  AISCT in general is pretty cool academically and socially wise, but VERY complicated logistics wise.  (Like it’s taken weeks to get my lunch card.) Also, I got into Algebra 1, which is Advanced Math for 8th, but normal math for 9th. I am now pretty much in a class with all 9th graders! (It’s kind of intimidating.)

The next week was really fun. On Wednesday, my mom and I did a 5K in a popular vineyard. It was absolutely stunning and so much fun.  It was also pitch dark out, and we had to use headlamps which made it exciting!  It was also raining and freezing but we didn’t mind. After, we ate burgers and I won the fastest junior girl.

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ON Friday, we had a social at my school.  It was so much fun. The songs were okay but the dancing was great. I did the worm and everyone freaked out.  The same day, we played another soccer game.  For some unexplainable reason, I was goalie (actually my goalie was out and I was recruited cause I had a good kick.) WE lost 1-0. I was pretty proud of myself for that.

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This week I had my first orthodontist appointment which went okay as far as those kind of appointments go.  They said I needed bands which I did not like.  We also ran another 5K in the dark, but this time with the whole family, including Daddy and Luke.  I won fastest junior girl (and second fastest woman) again.  They were handing out wine bottles like crazy for the parents, and we got free water bottles and Luke got a goody bag. My next run is this weekend at the Cape Town marathon.  (I”m doing the 5k). We are running with another family so I and one of the boys will hopefully run together.

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Hiking is incredible.  And the scenery is breathtaking. Here I am eating ice cream at our local ice cream store – Kristen’s kick-ass ice cream.  (That’s seriously the name).  I definitely like it here!

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Shout outs to Aunt Jeanne (who has been asking for it ha ha) and cousins Kate and Grace. When are you coming?

Yours,

Charlotte

Welcome!

Hi! Welcome to my corner of the blog! Here are a few updates about my first week in Cape Town:

First off, I started 8th grade this week, and let me tell you, it is VERY different than Pierce. At my new school, we have recess, 10 minute breaks between classes, there is about a third of the amount of homework. There are also only 30 kids per grade, and classes usually only have 15 students at a time.   French is definitely easier, because the school has only taught it for three years.  My friends are from Europe, South Africa and America. The food is so different too – good, but different. The social scene is around the same, except a lot more diverse. You could have maybe kids from 10 different countries in one class.

People also have VERY different accents, and there are different words for things here too- fries are chips, ketchup is tomato sauce, etc. There are a lot of after school activities too- like soccer, field hockey, and more!   It’s definitely not as intense as Mass Elite, and they have no lacrosse here.  I’m still practicing though. Rugby is also HUGE in Cape Town. We actually are living a few minutes from a stadium, where regional teams play. Activities are different too. There is a lot of stuff to do outside, like dirt biking (we did that today, it was REALLY fun), hiking, playing sports like soccer and rugby,  taking scenic walks, and viewing penguins (we also did that, they were SO CUTE!).

There is a lot of poverty that I have been exposed to in the past week, and it’s a bit overwhelming, but I’m getting used to it. A bit.

Let’s end on a high note. Shoutout time! Shoutout to my cousins, Ethan, Jacob, and Hannah Dangel. Thanks for being super supportive! Love you guys! Also, shoutout to my aunt Mary. Can’t wait to see you!

Talk to you all soon!

LOVE CHARLOTTE 🙂

 

16 thoughts on “Charlotte’s Corner

  1. Excellent job, Char! I love the top photo with you in the sun glasses, looking very cool. Post some photos of your house after you move in, cannot wait to visit. Aunt Mary

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  2. Hi! I finally figured out how to comment. I love hearing your perspective on your family’s adventure. Can’t wait to read what you write next! Will see you in January.

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  3. Hi Charlotte!! I miss you so much but I know that you are having an awesome time in South Africa! Everyone at school is talking about you(in a good way). 8th grade is much different than 7th but it is awesome! Anyway, I just wanted to say that everyone misses you but I hope that you are having an amazing time in South Africa!

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  4. Charlotte – I am shocked. With all your powers of persuasion, you can’t impress upon your neighbors the importance of Halloween? Time to share this very significant part of American culture. And if you can’t convince Luke to dress up and go trick or treating to the neighbors, convince your mom to have a Halloween party! Aunt Mary

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  5. Wow, Charlotte, you have a great eye for photography. I really like your landscape photos. At least one of my kids read the Boy in the Striped Pajamas in middle school, plus some other books that concerned me. I think middle school is different from when your mom and I went to school. Swimming is such great exercise, you’ll be in great shape when you get back to playing lacrosse. Keep up the updates!

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  6. Charlotte, what a wonderful post! I’ve enjoyed reading them all, but this was so informative, detailed and I loved the list. You are truly having the experience of a lifetime and we are very happy for you all. Miss you! -Aunt Susan

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  7. Thanks for the shout-out! I LOVED visiting and traveling with you. I just think it’s so cool that I got to share this trip-of-a-lifetime with you – and you’ve got so much more lifetime ahead of you! I can’t wait to see what else you do. I really like how you describe the safari, that’s exactly what it was like. I hope in your next post you mention how we conquered kayaking and saw penguins, because let’s face it, that was not easy. I’m looking forward to reading your next post!

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