Avital’s Summer Vacation

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Avital Alpert

In one week I’m going to Africa for the summer, my first trip out of the Americas. I am excited, but at the same time have some fears I hope to overcome. My biggest fear is screaming when I see animals, scary animals like snakes – really, sometimes every animal is scary to me (except cuddly bushbabies). Still, there are some animal I am excited to see like bushbaby, springhares, pangolin, leopards and penguins. Despite being afraid, I am hoping to see a lot of animals, just not a lot of spiders. In the end, I do want to find the 95 mammals on my checklist and I would be amazed and proud if I am the one to spot the rare creatures in the bush.

In preparing for the trip we put together a big map of Southern Africa and our route. It was fun pinning the places we will be and organizing the map. Some of the places I am most looking forward to are the vineyards near Cape Town, the campsite in Moremi that is in the water on google maps and Swaziland (cause the name sounds like an amusement park). I am excited about visiting many towns and villages and making new friends along the way. I am excited to be trying new foods, after making sure I like them of course, and helping cook them on the fire. I am excited to visit all the parks and wild areas and being able to build/take down camp and maintain the car on my own (ok, maybe with help) and all the adventure that comes with it.

Southern Africa Wall Map
Homemade wall map of Southern Africa itinerary

Really that is what I am most interested in this summer. Making our own adventures in the wild. When I think about how I will change I expect I’ll want to be in the wilderness more, be outside more, seek out adventure more. Even though I have some fears, knowing my parents have been in the wilderness before makes me feel it will be ok. And because of this experience, when I come back I expect that I won’t be too scared anymore and have confidence to face my fears in the future

My teacher Tasha wants me to bring home a monkey, my teacher Paul wants me to bring home a lion, but I will be content bringing home a souvenir that reminds me of the trip and our family adventure.

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