Lessons from the Wild

Here are 10 things we learned from the Wild Coast:

1. When you stay on a farm, roosters actually do crow at daybreak.  That isn’t a myth they tell city folk to keep us away.

2. Driving here is very pro-passing.  Slower cars move into the emergency lane so the faster drivers can pass them easily.  When you pass, it’s polite to flash your hazards for a moment to say thank you.

3. Animals in the road are a VERY common occurrence.  From cattle to monkeys.

4. Many villages in Africa still operate as a tribe system that are run under the authority of a Chief.  The title is passed from father to child but not necessarily the oldest child and not necessarily the male.  The title is passed to the “wisest” child (which would put Ryan and Blakely solidly out of the running in their family).  The village we were in (Mqanduli) had a female chief which isn't an extraordinary situation.

5. The government recognizes the local authority of all Chiefs and tries to always yield to their judgment.

6. Foam surfboards are easy.  Hard boards are…well…hard.

7. Many accommodations in small villages make efforts to constructively give back to the communities of which they are a part.  They’re aware of the benefits and hazards of tourism and try to control both.  For example, the Coffee Shack had signs warning us NOT to give candy to children (NO DENTISTS!) and they've set up a scholarship fund so a few of the rural children who show promise can go to secondary school.

8. We talked to a teacher from London who's here teaching at a scholarship school.  We asked if there are any differences in the children in Mqanduli and those in London.  She didn’t hesitate-- the children in Mqanduli are so much more eager (if not desperate) to learn.

9. Learning a few simple words in the local language goes a VERY long way. 

10.  Xhosa (the language spoken in much of the Eastern Cape) is one of the “clicking” languages in Africa.  We can’t describe it, please come visit us for a demonstration of our Xosa skills.  Until then, here’s a fun video of Xhosa tongue twisters.

That's What We Learned on the Wild Coast and Drakensberg and Click Here to read details on What We Did.