Tuesday, March 12, 2013

swimming with jaws

Hey, everyone! So you may or may not be wondering why I didn’t post again on Sunday. The truth is that for some reason (which I’ll explain later) I have been overwhelmingly tired for the past couple of days. Here’s some of the stuff that went on this week:

On Wednesday, I completed another project for my jewelry design class. During the past couple of classes, we’ve been working on silver pendants to create necklaces with. So, we each took a piece of cuttlefish (a dried-out, white, scaly type of fish) and carved a design into the soft side of it. We used this as a mold for the silver. Then, we melted some silver with a really hot flame…like 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit hot. Luckily, my pendant came out the way that I wanted it to! After that, it just took some filing and polishing to finish it.

I would post a picture of the completed pendant, but I’m giving it to someone as a gift and don’t want to give any surprises away!

Also, I don’t think I’ve posted my earrings here yet, so here’s a picture—finally!

On Thursday night, the ISOS held an international food event. Since there are so many students from different countries studying here, they had the opportunity to represent their nation and cook dishes that the public could sample using tickets. (For anyone who went to Ketcham with me, it was kind of like our Taste of Ketcham event.) There were so many different things to try, from Ethiopia to Canada to Austria. I personally tried food from the U.S. (I had to support…we had Rice Krispie treats, s’mores, pancakes, and blueberry biscuits), China, Haiti, and Canada. I didn’t expect the event to be so popular, but it was, and I really enjoyed it. The evening was also a contest, and France ended up winning!

On Friday, our VCE theme was "Summer." Unfortunately (and ironically), it poured all day long. Many of us had games involving water planned for the kids, but we had to quickly change our plans. My group posted two bodies on the board and had cut-outs of different winter and summer attire (scarves, flip-flops, shorts, sunglasses, a long-sleeve shirt, etc.) and had the children decide whether it was meant for the summer or for the winter. Here's an example of the "summer" body:

Another part of the lesson included making paper fans--you know, the accordian-style ones? They first drew whatever they wanted on a sheet of paper (our kids love love love to color) and then we helped them fold the paper into a fan. We also brought in sunscreen for them to test and put on their faces, which they also really enjoyed. The weather was a downer, but we were able to have fun with the kids and teach them something, which is the only goal in the end!

Saturday was a relaxed day and a few of us biked to a local market. There were so many cool stands with handmade jewelry and cute clothing, and there were also food stands where I sampled everything. So we sampled, shopped, and ate. It was a great way to start off the day. The market only runs until 2pm, so we biked back home and rested before another day of excitement!

On Sunday…. *drumroll* we finally went shark cage diving! We went through a company called Shark Lady, and I definitely recommend it if anyone is interested in hanging out in South Africa. We were transported to Gansbaai, the shark cage diving capital of the world, and after a bit of eating and waiting, we were on our boat into the sea. There were about 20 of us in all, and I was in the third group of five.

If we’re going to be honest, I’m going to have to say that I felt very, very sick on the boat. The waters didn’t give us a break, so we were being rocked back and forth for the entirety of the diving. I’ve never felt that nauseous before, so it put a bit of a damper on the day. But, I did see a few great white sharks, and it was insane! We suited up in our wetsuits and booties and masks, and then were lowered into the cage, which was attached to the boat. They closed the lid of the cage and we held onto the bars on the lid, lowering ourselves down whenever there was a shark sighting. There was a man constantly throwing bait into the water and when he saw a shark coming, he would say something like “DOWN RIGHT, DOWN RIGHT!” or “GO DOWN, GO DOWN!” and we would hold our breath and lower ourselves into the water and look.

During my group’s diving session, we saw three or so sharks in a matter of 10 minutes! One of them swam right in front of us, across the entire cage. And for whatever reason, I wasn’t scared at all. The last shark that I saw in the cage shot up and out of the water, grabbing the bait, and it was the most amazing sight! Apparently the biggest shark that we saw on Sunday was 9 feet long! I can’t even begin to comprehend that...

Overall, shark cage diving was fun, despite my motion sickness. We were gone from 10am to 8pm, and I still feel like I’m recovering, but that’s probably just the old lady in me surfacing.

A random picture of Cape Town from the bus ride home. So beautiful!

Expect another post on Sunday with more South Africa stories!

‘Til next time,

1 comment:

  1. great post Christna - what an eventful week - keep the posts coming as I look forward to reading them weekly. Love and miss ya dear!!!