The Hills, Far Afield

Black Rhino spotted by Hill family in South Africa

It was great to come home to Williston following a vacation that took the Hills far afield to visit family in both the UK and South Africa. As is so often the case after such an experience, one cannot help but return with fresh perspectives.

I recalled the diverse beauty of South Africa from a previous visit, and so that viewpoint was not new or changed from the impression I gleaned over 20 years ago.  But what seemed different to me was the human landscape, epitomized by the recent celebration for Nelson Mandela’s birthday, or the colossal World Cup stadium that marks one view into Cape Town and carries its memories of “Bafana Bafana.”

Cape Town is a city made for tourists, much like San Francisco or Boston, and even though we were there during their cold and wet winter months, there were no shortage of families like ourselves, from China, Europe, and South America queuing in lines at major attractions.

Viewing Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope (the other side of False Bay, Cape Agulhas, is actually the furthest southern point on the continent) with its dramatic coastline is a must-see for anyone making the trip.  The Cape Town waterfront reminds one of Boston’s Faneuil Hall, the waves which attract surfers to the beaches of Kommetjie could be in southern California, but animals in the Kalahari are sui generis.

We delighted in learning about the various types of antelope, from springbok to roan.  Black Rhino spotted by Hill family in South AfricaAnd spotting the elusive Black Rhino, an endangered species, was a present reminder of the fragility of animal life and the need for worldwide conservation efforts.  All in all it was a remarkable trip and I am looking forward to sharing stories and pictures with Williston students at our first open house of the academic year.

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