Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Finish Line



Hello everyone! Just wanted to give a very brief update to let you know I DID make it into Cape Town on May 10th! Hooray! It was very exciting and emotional and GREAT to have family there waiting for me. We came into Cape Town with very cloudy skies but great spirits. It was a short riding day with a police convoy from 15 miles outside of the city center. We arrived on the waterfront where a band was welcoming us down the finish line. Champagne was splattered everywhere as we slowed down to ease past the final banner. It is very hard to believe that we are here after 4 months of riding our bikes through Africa. A surreal feeling indeed. Lots of hugs and kisses were thrown about and our male and female American consulates/ambassadors were there to congratulate us! We were eventually directed to stand behind our country's flag and then we proceeded in processional style to the stage where awards were given out. I was the only female to receive the EFI award. It is not that I am too attached to awards but it was pretty special. It was so great to have my parents be a part of the celebration.

After the awards ceremony, we were invited to a champagne reception, lite canapes, and then we returned to our hotel to get ready for the evening's festivities. We all dressed up that night since it was kinda fun to do so after seeing each other in our biking clothes for the last 4 months. That night was tons of fun too. We had a great meal at the Rugby Club and the wine was flowing. Cape Town's best DJ was there from 10:00 pm on to help us boogie. And, that we did!

Now my parents and I are enjoying the sights of Cape Town, a tour of the winelands, and a safari before returning on the 24th of May. So far, I find Cape Town a town that I could live in. It is unbelievably pretty with the mountains as the backdrop. Currently, we are in Franschoek-one of the wine valleys and it is super-scenic here as well. It bills itself as the gastronomic capital and I would say that our palates agree with this. We are also looking forward to hopefully seeing the Big 5 in a few days.

I will post pics of S.A. once I am home or if I get another chance to be at an internet cafe.

Thanks again for all your support, encouragement, and love! I couldn't have done this trip without you guys.

P.S. I achieved my goals of Phase 2 of my research-I successfully interviewed every person that answered my survey. Looking forward to analyzing my results this summer!

19 comments:

Angie said...

YEAH KERRI!!! WE ARE ALL SO PROUD OF YOU BACK AT HOME. Congrats on the EFI award! Simply Amazing.
Enjoy the time with your parents in Capetown! Take lots of Safari pics and watch out for the Teetsie flies.

Love
Angie

WPG said...

Great Job Keri. I'll look forward to riding with you when you get home (that is if you feel like it). Take care, and travel well.

Ms. Gail and Mr. Bud said...

Congratulations Kerri! What a feat. Now kindly explain what an EFI is and can I have my trainer back? (Just kidding)

edju1960 said...

Congratulations Kerri!!! I am VERY proud of my cuz!

Eddie

Ms. Gail and Mr. Bud said...

Keri, your email bounces back-here's Bud's comment:
Congrats Kerri. We are all so very proud of that which you have accomplished. Please let us know when you are back in Michigan and available for a welcome home bash at the Prestons where you honored us before you embarked. We want to hear all about your tour.

All the best from all of us.

Bud and Gail

Tanya said...

Thanks for the last spout from Africa! I knew you'd be the only woman left in the saddle! :)What an acheivement.

Have a swimmin' safari! Can't wait to see you!

Luv,
Tanya

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the E-xceptional F-emale I-nspiration!

hi-5,
anyonmouse

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!
Lynn Evans

Andrea said...

Kerri,

Wow-- An end to an amazing trip. I absolutely cannot wait to see you and hear about your journey. We miss you and are so glad you got through safe and sound! You are truly... hard core!
Andrea

Anonymous said...

Congrats Kerri! I stand in awe. (I am now bowing in worship with hands over head and chanting "I am not worthy!") Can't wait to see you when you return home.
Thomas

Anonymous said...

INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! Can't wait to hear the stories.

Tim

Lin said...

CONGRATS!!!!! I can't wait to see more pictures! :-) I thought of you many time while we've been out in AZ looking for a house and I see the desert landscape and think of your trip. :-) Wondering if we'll see snakes. LOLOL Enjoy the sites and have a safe trip back!

Lin

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you, that is awesome!!!
You'll have to do some presentations of all your pics on your journey, can't wait to see them.
Enjoy being able to relax before coming back to the states.
peace,
gwenn

Anonymous said...

Hi Kerri:
We are so proud of you. We have missed you so much & can't wait to see you. You will have to carve out some time this summer to come and stay with us in GR. xoxo Jen, Adam, Dereck & Julzees.

Louise said...

Hi Kerri,

Back home yet? We are, physically at least...

I can't find an e-mail address, so I'll do it this way... I remember I promised to give you the title of the book about the guys who travel the Nile all the way from Ethiopia to the Mediterranean. I kept remembering that in the last weeks of the Tour, but always when I didn't have the computer at hand... so now, here it comes: Richard Bangs and Pasquale Scaturro Mystery of the Nile. Adventure and danger on the Everest of rivers. (Summersdale, 2006.) It's really good, in every aspect, and I learnt a lot from it about the Lake Tana region.

Also, the column in Fiets (Dutch cycling magazine) that I told you and Joachim about has appeared. If you send me your e-mail address, I will send you a scan. I don't know if my e-mail address becomes visible for you, if not, you can find Henk's through our blog.

Greetings from Rotterdam,

Louise

robyn g said...

WAHOOO!! what an amazing accomplishment! i'm so happy of you. i wish you safe travels home.

-robyn

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Kerri!!!

Can't wait to hear stories you didn't write in your blog:)

Love

Miho

Anonymous said...

Ker-
1) So glad you are back safe and that you're parents were there to welcome you and celebrate this huge accomplishment. How cool to meet the US ambassadors too! Hope you had a safe flight back yesterday.
2) Got the Namibia post card this week! (so ironic to get faster than something mailed from Mexcio). Anyways, your best card yet!
3) I second Miho - can't wait to hear the untold stories! Please call or email when you are back in SE Michigan. No rush. Take some time to relax!
- Fro

Anonymous said...

Kerri
Just caught up on your blog and acheivements...so very proud of you.

It seems like yesterday that you were buried in a book, waiting in the Betty Johnson Dance Studio with your mom and I for Lauren & Tracey to finish "dancing". You were always so quietly determined,
no surprise that you now tackling such fun and life enriching opportunities. Hope all is well back in Michigan and with the family (Hi Tracey! Hi Sue!)
Love, Cindi Helisek