I’m back on American soil! After an amazing three months in South Africa, I have made my way back up the African continent, over most of Europe, and straight across the Atlantic ocean to the other side of the world. The reality of yet another transition still has not set in- and neither has the rest!
Since returning back to the states, there has been no less work than while in Cape Town. In fact, I have kept in close relationship with The A21 Campaign and have continued on remotely with several of the projects that I was working on in person. There is conversation about the possibility of returning to work for them in the near future. More about that in blogs to come
My final week on the ground was spent doing some pretty magnificent things! As I mentioned in my last post, the Adkisson family ventured out of Klamath Falls and made their way to brilliantly beautiful Cape Town. It took two full days to shake off the jetlag and then we were ready to go! We made our way around to Cape Town’s renowned food markets in Hout Bay, Stellenbosch, and Noordhoek Beach. On Sunday, we explored the winelands – taking our van all the way out to Franschhoek or “French Corner”– a quant town nestled back in the heart of the Jankershoek and Franschhoek mountains.
Monday took us back down to Cape Point where there was no lack of entertainment. In my previous visits, we never did see the infamous baboons and other wildlife that people had told us about. This time was different. Near the end of our drive back into Cape Point National Park, we came across some parked cars and not one, but a whole troupe of wild baboons. My brother, being the funny guy he [thinks] he is decided to role down his window just… a…. crack…. Just enough for our primate friend to smell what remains of food we would have even had in the car at the time. Just as Caleb got the window rolled up, our not-so-little friend made his way to the roof of our car. And down the back window [making sure not to miss our windshield wiper], and around for one final yank on my mom’s door handle. Fortunately for my unsuspecting family, I had already been warned about these guys and had locked the car up before hand. A close run in with the baboons makes for a good story though, don’t you think? Our day was topped with a few extra cherries when we saw zebras, ostriches, and penguins on our way out of the park.
Adkisson Family at Cape Point
Representing our hometown Oregon Ducks all the way in South Africa
Mom made some friends... They tap danced for her too! 😉
The rest of the week was spent surfing, hiking, and taking part in the beautiful outdoor thrills that Cape Town has to offer.
A glimpse of the valley behind Silvermine Pass
Surfing Muizenberg Beach
I spent that last week of work putting the final touches on the Mxit phone app that I had built while I was there and implemented management guidelines that will be used by the team carrying out the work there on the ground. As mentioned before, this program will allow A21 to get a clearer picture about the nature of trafficking in some of the more rural villages and townships. We also put in the final preparations for the Two Oceans Marathon running team that ran on behalf of The A21 Campaign in the world’s most beautiful marathon on April 18th.
It is crazy to me now how quickly three months went by. I never imagined all that I would learn and all that would be stirred inside of me for the plight of victims of human trafficking. Being in their world, face to face with injustice has left its mark on me. While I wait to determine what my next steps hold, I am busy having conversations with several key role players here in the states. More specifically, we are looking to implement some strategic programming in the state of Oregon and other surrounding states that can be used as a model for programs that I might be taking back to Cape Town here in the not too far off future! No matter where in the world I am, my fight will continue. I hope you will continue to follow along and to join in by emailing with questions, ideas, comments, or concerns at Joanna.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for standing for freedom- with me and with those who cannot stand on their own.
Love and cheers,