Migrating South

Hello, everyone!

It’s just two days until I leave the States. I’ll be flying into Johannesburg, commonly referred to as Joberg. I’ll be spending the night in a hotel and travelling the next day to Thoyandou (in the Limpopo Province) and staying at Acacia Park Resort for eight weeks. I’ll be doing full-time research on nanoparticle-imbibed filter papers at the University of Venda. The University of Virginia is the institution in charge of all this craziness; they won some awesome NSF grant money to get college students interested in research and graduate school. I applied last fall for this opportunity and now I’m one of the few, the proud, the WaSH Scholars. http://faculty.virginia.edu/jasmith/reu/

Here are some of the things I’m currently really excited about:

  • trying new foods such as the local delicacy of fried worms
  • getting better at blogging by not trying so hard (I will not be heavily editing myself)
  • dealing with *monkey* business (the local pests)
  • going on a safari in Kruger National Park WITH MY MOM (my mom is so much cooler than yours)
  • visiting the Blyde River Canyon
  • driving on the wrong side of the road
  • learning about Venda culture and language
  • NOT getting parasites this summer
  • and getting experience in improving public health (this makes me soooo giddy).

Things I’m not excited about:

  • cooking all of my own food (“Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.”)
  • handwashing laundry
  • lack of internet
  • malaria prophylaxis
  • trying desperately to document it all as I go (photos! blogs! doodles!)
  • and, most of all, seriously missing my lovely American friends and family.

So I hope to entertain you, show you my life in SA, and simultaneously make myself reflect on my trip. If you have comments or questions, it’ll be best if you just email me. I’ll be as safe as I can while experiencing all that I can. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop ranting so much about Ghana. ;)


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