Love Letter to the Valley

Madison Foltz
10 August 2017

My time with Nature’s Valley Trust somehow seemed to be over before it had hardly begun. As an American traveling outside the States for the first time, I was so excited to take in as much as I could from South Africa, its people, and its culture.


One of my favorite photos taken during my stay – view of the sunrise from Lion’s Head in Cape Town.


I was able to explore other parts of SA like Cape Town and the Addo Elephant National Park, but Nature’s Valley was home. The beauty of the Valley was striking, and is something I continue to dwell on as I look back at photos. Everything was so pristine and bright. The water seemed to be an impossible shade of deep blue, the grass a vibrant green, the sand soft and nearly yellow. It’s a wholly natural beauty unlike anything I’d ever seen before.



I was able to do a little bit of everything during my time with NVT, jumping in on a range of projects. How cool is it that work involved walking the beach for hours and handling gorgeous birds?



The best part of this experience is that I never felt like just another intern completing work during my time with the Trust. I was truly made a team member; it was amazing and inspiring to work with people who are so passionate about what they do. I’ll always miss waking up to the sound of the ocean in the distance!


I’ve seen firsthand what a small NGO is capable of, supporting conservation at every level by addressing it from several angles. I’m proud to say that I was part of such a great organization. This trip was way beyond my comfort zone, but I left with new confidence and big experiences for a 19 year old. Thanks to NVT for making my stay such an enjoyable one, as well as an awesome learning experience.