Sunday, October 02, 2005

I Heart Africa

I am on the ship as we are about to set sail after a perfect, long stay in South Africa. After much badgering, I convinced the lovely, funny, beautiful, all-around good-girl Sara to write a guest blog entry (a move shamelessly stolen from TMTTV). Below are her unedited comments; I’ll post my own at sea.

hi all. Sara here. I am taking a year off from med school in NY and living in Durban, South Africa for the year doing HIV research. this past week I had the good fortune of being able to take a week off of work and hang out with Rico in Cape Town. such fun.

Rico has asked me to write a guest blog entry – maybe he's worried that his readership is floundering and thinks the blog needs a bit of a boost (only kidding!)… I'll do my best.

in looking over his past blog entries, I feel confident that Rico will do an able job of thoroughly regaling you all with the details of our adventures together. so I'm going to gloss over much of the week and focus on a few highlights about Rico – a few vignettes that he might not necessarily relate…

first off – Rico as mayor. or at least that's how I now think about him with the SAS crew. whenever we ran into any of the students from the ship (and with 700 of them – it's not an infrequent occurrence) – they would all get huge grins on their faces and come running up to greet him. Rico would reciprocate with a big grin of his own, a series of friendly pleasantries, inquiries about their travels, etc. it's like he's some sort of celebrity – or a small-town mayor, if you will. shaking hands with all, making everyone feel welcome, sharing a bit of the Rico-love with all… if there were babies to kiss, he would have been doing that too (although thanks to the readily available supply of condoms on the boat it sounds like this hasn't been an issue!). it's very cute to see. Rico is definitely in his element.

despite all of the attention, Rico is still the same loveable, goofy guy as always. one of our many stops was at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – a veritable Garden of Eden, truly the most serene, beautiful place I've ever been. we wandered around the grounds with Table Mountain looming as a backdrop and just couldn't get over how lucky we were to be in such an amazing place. at one point, we were wandering down one of the many paths and were both so totally engrossed in our surroundings that we had one of our rare moments of silence. I didn't even notice it was quiet though until the silence was broken. all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Rico started singing "Eternal Flame." yes, the Bangles. as soon as he realized what he was doing, he quickly stopped – but it was too late. I was on to him. he at first tried to deny the episode but I wasn't fooled and couldn't help but burst out laughing. clearly the fame and celebrity of his prestigious SAS audiovisual tech job hasn't quite gone to his head.

Rico also liked to engage in conversation, albeit one-sided, with the various animals that we encountered. this tendency first became apparent on our first afternoon when we stopped at Boulders Beach, a penguin reserve on the way down to the Cape of Good Hope. Rico launched into various imitations of penguin movements and then proceeded to narrate the internal monologue of a pair of penguins walking along a rocky precipice ("hey larry, you think I can make that jump?" "I don't know fred, looks awfully big to me…" "I'm gonna go for it… 1, 2, 3!" "man, that was awesome!"). similar scenes subsequently played themselves out with baboons and whales (with different voices, of course).

we had a great week though. a little of everything – hiking, mountain climbing, local music appreciation, whale-watching, museums, wine-tasting, eating up a storm… I'll let Rico tell you all about it in his own blog entry.

Rico is definitely having a true once-in-a-lifetime experience (as cliché as that sounds) and it was wonderful to get to tag long for a small piece of it. I'm only jealous that I can't stow away for the rest of the trip..

Sara,I miss you already. -Rico

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