Things Africa has taught me

It’s with the heaviest of hearts that I’m leaving Africa. The past 4 months have been phenomenal and unforgetable and tears come to my eyes every time I think about this little adventure ending.
My Gap year in Namibia taught me so much about myself, moving back to england in 2013 taught me about adjusting back into normal life and the past 4 months in Cape Town have taught me more than I could ever imagine..
Some lessons learnt in Africa;
living with someone you love is the best possible thing to do
children don’t hold grudges
technology can be your best friend and worst enemy at the same time
long coach journeys are better spent with friends
and sleeping pills
take a leap of faith and trust your instincts
my undying obbsession with celebrity culture and gossip magazines is unwavered even when living in a 3rd world country
it’s ok to be alone and feel lonely
it’s ok to surround yourself with the craziest people
it’s ok to have a tantrum when you’ve been perved on for the 10th time that day
learning is way more fun when it’s out of choice
ice cream at the waterfront is always a good idea
cheap flip flops will break within a week or two
no one understands when i tell them my name is Mary
I have to put ‘like jesus’ mum’ afterwards to make it clear
learning afrikaans is impossible for me
learning spanish is pretty easy though
it’s almost impossible to leave a supermarket without a piece of fudge and a bar of dairy milk top deck
seasons don’t make sense
taking hundreds of photos a day is completely fine
if you click with the right person they can become your best friend in 5 minutes
a hug from a stranger can sometimes be the best kind
crying in public gets you nowhere
it’s alright to think $40 (£2.50) is too much for a pair of fake ray bans 
if in doubt for what to make for dinner, pasta and cheese never fails
baby food is essential when battling painful wisdom teeth
it’s easy to make money if you have an open mind
South Africans have the best fashion sense in the world
I’m physically incapable of leaving Mr Price without buying something
talking to strangers is fine
hearing someones life story over a drink can be fantastic or mind numbingly boring
children can make you smile in the most difficult situations
never turn down free, unlimited wifi
nothing productive can happen on a sunday
be a free a spirit
don’t reverse from a herd of elephants
game steak is always worth the calories
fanta grape dosen’t fail to make me want to throw up
the Atlantic Ocean is strong enough to pull down any bikini top
bikini malfunctions will only happen when someones there to witness it
putting the camera on self timer can be the most rewarding part of any day
seeing flamingos fly is a beuatiful sight
seeing ostriches poo is one of the most disgusting sights I’ve ever seen
being labelled as ‘the blogger’ is very strange
being labelled as ‘the photographer’ is demanding
newborn babies are surprisingly hairy
putting your bins out will result in a flurry of homeless guys looking for breakfast
Justin Timberlake can get you through any bad situation
appearing in South African Heat magazine isn’t too hard to achieve
reggae festivals are not the ideal place to be when its 42 degrees C
foreigners in Cape Town think of it as home
one night spent in Windhoek is one night too many
powder paint is really hard to get off your hands
a lot of people claim to be on a ‘gap year’ 
super mario is the best taxi company in Cape Town
golden arrow buses are only reliable when you don’t need them be
townships are places of amazing happiness, freedom and community
people in townships aren’t there to be pitied
skype conversations will never be smooth
little girls love plastic tiaras
gorgeous sunsets never get old
sitting in the back of an open bakkie for over 4 hours results in matted hair and dry lips
the sun lightens your hair more than you expect
the sun does not improve the condition of your hair
goldfish can be evil pets
Penthouse on Long feels like home
if you don’t know the answer to something just smile and hope for the best
rand and dollars will last longer than any other currency
volunteering makes you happy
hair braids can apparently last for 10 years
food lovers market is the best place to eat
biltong looks like dog food but tastes amazing
all Otjikondo GAPs (past and present) are lovely/bizarre/talented/mental people
nowhere else is like Otjikondo
Africa will always feel like home to meImage
Thank you to everyone who has made these past months so special and thank you Africa, you’ve been wiiicked!
Mary x
p.s. an extra massive thank you to Callum. Not sure if I’d still be sane at this point without him


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