The Conservation Team’s Farewell

Yesterday was bittersweet. It was Molly and my last day at the Social History Centre, and boy are we going to miss it.


On the eve of this final day, Molly and I began preparing our tokens of appreciation for our supervisors, Bradley, Janene and Alta, and for the rest of the Iziko staff. We spent our evening crafting homemade thank you cards, wrapping presents we had brought along from the States and a few we had purchased here, and making a cheese spread (made with cream cheese, gorgonzola, bacon, green onions and apricot preserves — delicious and unhealthy, as the best dishes are) for the farewell gathering we had been promised. We are so thankful for those that we’ve met and all that we’ve learned in our time at Iziko, and we wanted to be sure to show our appreciation for all our supervisors had done for us.


We arrived at the Social History Centre that last day excited to share our gifts and to spend time with those who had made our internship so great. But what we didn’t expect was an “official” party attended by many members of the Social History Centre staff who we had gotten to know. Held in the Centre’s tea room, this party was the real deal, complete with an assortment of beverages, chips, chocolate cake, donuts, and our cheese spread and crackers, of course. There were even some short speeches given in which we were thanked for our hard work and wished the best for our futures. Pictures were snapped and laughs were had. It was so great.


The highlight of the day, however, came when Janene and Alta gave us their gift: small shoulder-strap purses designed by Janene and sewed by Alta. It was obvious they had put a lot of consideration into this present — Molly’s bag is colorful, while mine is more neutral, reflecting the outfits we had worn each day during our internship. On the front of both purses are calendar patches of the months of July and August to represent the month we worked at Iziko and the month we finished our internship. They are perfect. We will cherish this gift always.

We knew the goodbyes would be tough, but after realizing we mean as much to Bradley, Janene and Alta as they mean to us, we can’t imagine leaving. The conservation team – and the rest of Iziko — stole our hearts!


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