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First day South Africa

Simon's TownHello my name is Julio Pachon, I am a sophomore in Agsci and Plant Sci. I have an internship with ZZ2 which is a large tomato grower with headquarters in Limpopo, South Africa. Dr. Janice Thies, Masters student Christian Pulver, and two other undergraduate students (Jacob Benedict and Peter Narby) are also part of this internship with different roles.
Although I am trying to be flexible to as what I expect to be the outcome of my work here, my internship is divided in two; biochar research alongside Dr. Thies and Christian Pulver, and analyzing outreach project from the grassroots.

Port Elizabeth

Since this is my first day, we are currently getting to know the area and the people with which we will be working with. I am more concerned with writing on things I have learned on an internship abroad. Because of reasons out of my control Jacob and I ended up arriving two weeks prior to the start of our internship, and we decided to go backpacking in South Africa. This has been a great decision that has lead us to meet many people, see many places, and experience many things.
On our first day Jacob and I took a 31 hour train ride from Johannesburg to Cape Town. The changing landscape of this enormous country and the conversation with other travelers made this long trip enjoyable and very amusing. At Cape Town we did cage diving with Great White Sharks and we went to a site nearby, Simon’s Town, to see penguins. Because of our short time, we had limited areas to visit and next visited Storm’s River where we jumped off the highest bungee bridge. Then we stayed in Port Elizabeth where things got calmer, then to Coffee Bay where we surfed and hiked. Finally, returned to Johannesburg via Durban to meet the rest of the group and travel to our internship location.

Bungee near Storm's River

These incomplete and rough descriptions of the successions that have happened to this point are unequivocally an inadequate way to portray all the positive and educational things I have experienced. I write this first post with the intention of proposing to all those who go abroad to do an internship to spend some time traveling and backpacking around the country.

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