African Holiday

my goodness, i started this blog entry over 2 weeks ago and am just now posting!! oops, better late than never i suppose.....

so my african holidays - AWESOME. it was definitely hard to be far away from family and any semblance of cold weather that would make it feel like christmas, but a whirlwind of travels made it a little easier to deal with :) we worked through christmas eve than flew to durban (southeast coast) for christmas weekend - short but really fun. got to spend christmas day with a friend's family which was lovely, just really nice to be with a family on christmas, even if it's not your own :) they were amazingly generous and welcomed us in as their own with a delicious christmas lunch then time chatting and sharing stories. the next day we went to a cricket match (south africa vs. england) which was really fun - similar atmosphere to a baseball game, though much slower process. it's a 5 day tournament and south africa didn't even finish batting the first day! i.e. one VERY LONG inning. headed to a pub afterwards and witnessed some proper south african drinking....amazing what some of those guys could put away before 5pm! got to spend a little time on the beach (the friend we stayed with has an apartment on the beach, SO nice) and put away a fair amount of sushi in our 3 day weekend. also managed to skype with the family on christmas day, a little touch and go there for a while....here's before/after we thought we couldn't connect to the internet:

so that was christmas....came back and worked the next week through new year's eve, then left for an AMAZING trip to cape town. after clinic had to book it to joburg then caught a late flight to CT and managed to get to the NYE party before the countdown.....of which there were 2 by the way, one at roughly 11:57 and 39 seconds, and one at actual midnight. classic. we met up with some friends from lesotho at hands down the biggest NYE party i've ever been to and danced the night away with approximately 53 million 18yr olds (ok, slight exaggeration, but that's the legal drinking age in SA and i think every 18yr old in CT was out celebrating that fact). spent the next several days seeing cape town.....new year's on the beach (again with sushi), next day touring the wine country, the next seeing table mountain, the next driving down to simon's town to see the penguins then on to the cape of good hope, and the last day relaxing/shopping before heading back. CT is beautiful by the way, definitely in the top 3 places i've visited. the water is blue blue (not just regular old blue), the city fun and alive, the food amazing....not to mention the cape which is breathtaking - an expanse of raw, untouched beauty and powerful wind/waves that leave you speechless. already planning to go back for easter :)

so that was new year's.....then back to work where clinic has been CRAZY post-holidays. tons of patients, deadlines for abstracts....all in all has been a bit hectic! starting to slow down a bit, thank goodness, so hopefully will be a bit better this week. next week leigh and i head to serowe (smaller town 3 1/2 hrs north) for 2 weeks, where life is definitely slower! have a trip to the salt pans (kalahari desert) and a rhino sanctuary planned while we're there so not too bad :) hope all is well at home and that everyone had a blessed christmas/new year's - love y'all!