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Meet Merijn Rozema - Our Intern Monkey from Groningen, Netherlandsby Asanda Mcoyana

One of our interns Merijn Rozema from Hanze University in Groningen in the Netherlands recently visited Knysna with his friends. In this interview we get to know him better as he tells us all about his bungee jumping road trip experience.

Merijn taking the bungee jump on the Bloukrans Bridge - Image by faceadreline

Meet Merijn:
1. What do you study at Hanze University?
I am studying marketing and sales.

2. Why did you choose to visit or come to do your workplace experience in Africa & particularly South Africa?
I love the experience and adventures of other countries and people, the different way of living and culture. I have been traveling through South America for a long time, so I knew what it would be to be so far away from home. So after one and a half year of study I was so exited when I had to do my internship. I could choose any place in the world and a lot of students stayed in the Netherlands. However, for me, this was an excellent opportunity to go abroad again.

From the beginning, I wanted to do my internship in South Africa and especially in Cape Town because I heard so many good stories from earlier interns who have been here. This in combination with my own experiences from 7 years ago when I visited South Africa made it an easy choice.

3. How has you experience been like so far?
Except from the early morning every day, I love South Africa, the city, the nature, the different culture and especially the people. What I really love about the city are all the opportunities to do several different things which makes Cape Town an excellent city to me. Cape Town has to offer everything, from beautiful beaches, crowded streets, atmospheric markets, good lookout points and nature just around the corner. Oh, and of course the many and always crowded bars and clubs are perfect for a long night of going out.

4. What were your misconceptions about Africa before you came here & if any, has any of that changed? If so, how?
I have been in South Africa before, so I knew what to expect. Of course there might be crime in Africa as in other places but it is wiser if you don’t walk alone in the dark. If you just act normal and not go to an ATM with a stranger or walk in the streets with big watches or anything like that you will be fine. It isn’t that dangerous as everybody is always saying and thinking, as long as you keep thinking and use good judgment. 

Merijn getting ready for his big jump  Image by faceadreline

More about the trip to Knysna:
5. What was included in the itinerary?
I had a long weekend free so I wanted to go away, to explore a bit of South Africa. Together with two friends we rented a car and went directly to Stellenbosch to drink some beers. Next morning, on our way to Knysna, we stopped at an ostrich farm where we just chilled out and enjoyed the ostriches, the view and the pool. We also visited Monkey Land which was a lot of fun. There were more than 400 monkeys and 12 different types of monkeys. We saw many of them and they came very close by, so we had a good time. We also enjoyed zip lining in the Tsitsikamma Nature Park. The track was going over a little river with waterfalls and big rocks, so the view was nice. The target for this trip was to do the bungee jump and to explore South Africa.

6. Where did you stay & for how long?
First night we stayed at a hostel in Stellenbosch and the second and third night we stayed at a hostel in Knysna. The hostels were cheap and fine, however, we didn’t spend a lot of time in the hostels.

7. Bungee jumping: How long was your jump?
The Bloukrans Bridge is 216 meters above the Bloukrans River and when you jump you get a free fall from 170 meters.

8. How was the experience of being suspended in the air?
I have already jumped twice in my life, but never this high. It was crazy, from the moment we walked on the bridge where we could see how high we were till the moment that we actually jumped in the air. I had a free fall from more or less 4 seconds which was unbelievable. That feeling was so cool, pure adrenalin!

Hanging 46 meters above the Bloukrans River and 170 meters from the bridge
Image by faceadreline

9. Would you do it again?
Yes, I would definitely do it again. It was such a nice experience. I just loved the adrenalin.


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