Mary just returned from a most excellent trip to South Africa where she did a lot of posing in natural splendor with her arms up.
And leaping for the Joy and Happiness of being with twenty other teenagers instead of her way less cool family.
She did some other stuff too... she assured me that she helped the guys paint this school instead of just posing for photos... once again, with her arms up.
The other things that she did included...
Organizing some craft projects at a rec center. She has years of crafting experience and was happy to share her cutting and pasting talent.
She also got to play with and hug some cute kids at the school where they volunteered.
The little ones gave her a new name..."Zinhle" which Mary pronounces with a click. Our girl can speak with a click! She said that a lot of the older kids spoke English but the younger kids spoke Xhosa. Since my girl doesn't speak a ton of Xhosa, the clicks are pretty challenging- she had to fall back on her pantomime skills to share her craftiness with the little guys.
It's a good thing that hugs are the same in English and Xhosa... Mary grew very fond of this fellow who called himself "Lucky."
Lucky had a map of the USA and asked all of the delegates to put stars on their home states. Then he put butterfly stickers on the lonely states without stars... the final product was an inspired map covered in stars and butterflies...just lovely.
Mary took the big digital Nikon and really had fun with it. She took over 2,000 pictures and as she put it "tried to be artsy" and find some interesting shots.
I love this one of her little pal slapping her a high five.
Also, this one of the mirror in the school bathroom...
She got a kick out of the Papa, Mama, and Baby toilets at the school. I think that she spent a considerable amount of time in the bathroom with her camera.
Then there were the beasties... nope, she didn't have a telephoto lens... she really was this close to a big ole wrinkly elephant.
And this polygamist man lion and one of his proud sister wives.
Hip-hop hippopotamuses...ready to break into a muddy rap.
She said good bye to Africa from the Cape of Good Hope... the Southern most point of Africa- where this little beach guy wished her a safe journey home.
More likely he is saying something less kind- like "get off my beach" but as she speaks no penguin, she is free to interpret his stare as well wishes.