Location: Cape Town, South Africa

It is day 2 aboard Argo but the general sentiment of the crew is that it feels as though we’ve been here much longer than that. The V and A Waterfront has changed a lot since our arrival, filled with more flip flops, more laughter, and most of all, more people on their way to shower walking through expensive restaurants’ outdoor seating. We’ve gotten so close in just two days, discussing deep topics from time travel to whose hair is really clogging the drains, the boys’ or the girls’.

Today we had quinoa, pita, and pasta, and chicken tacos for dinner, all delicious and made by Smash. The students have now been tasked with creating their own menus for when they become head chefs in charge of meals for a day, and the jury’s still out on whether or not delicious will still be the first word that comes to mind when describing our meals.

Now for the part that will shock the parents. When asked for volunteers to hand wash dishes and scrub the deck after meals, everyone’s hands shot up – yes even your child who never seems to be around when cleaning needs to be done (Hi Mum and Dad!).

We had our first class today at the Two Oceans Aquarium, a much better setting than our lecture halls back home. We took down some species names and tried to sketch them (with varying degrees of success). We saw everything from Rockhopper Penguins to Great White Sharks to Evil Eye Puffer Fish. We watched the fish and penguins being fed and heard the stories of cool animals like Annette, humorously named because she was found trapped in a fishing net and has been rehabilitating at the aquarium ever since. When hearing their stories we were reminded of how important it is to live sustainably and to respect our place in nature, a lesson especially fitting given our current home on the ocean.

Our excitement for the trip is palpable, as when we were walking into the aquarium I overheard a passerby say “I’ll have what they’re having!”. If you were to write down “what we’re having” it’d probably be a mix of learning how to sleep with all your belongings on your bed, pumping the toilet 50 times to flush it ( if we come home stronger know it’s because of this, not pulling ropes), and overcoming jet lag, none of which adds up to the energy and smiles the woman was commenting on. Getting back from the Aquarium, we had some time to explore Cape Town, and we also tested just how many people the net at the bow can hold. We ended our day looking up at the stars (commenting on whether or not Orion really looks like a person) and went to bed excited for all that is to come.

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