03 July 2009

Cape Town and More!


I have the day off today, so I thought I’d spend some time at the internet café to update everyone on what I’ve been up to!

These past couple weeks have been pretty epic! We ended June and started July by spending a couple days in Cape Town, which is about a nine-hour drive from Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth. We drove down the world famous Garden Route and made a few stops here and there. The drive was beautiful!

I don’t even know where to start when talking about Cape Town. This massive city has so much to offer! We were there for about six days, which wasn't enough. Everyday there was something to do, places to go, people to see. What I loved most about the city was it’s scenery. This city is known for it's location surrounding the iconic Table Mountain! Here are some pictures… Enjoy!

This picture was taken on our little cruise to Robben Island. As you can see, using the Cape Town skyscapers at the bottom of the picutre for scale, Table Mountain is huge!
We had the option of either hiking or taking the cable car to the top of the mountain. It was pretty cold, so we took the cable car. The rotating floors inside caught everyone by surprise!
Here I am at the top of Table Mountain... looking cute as usual.
A quick group shot before we head to the Waterfront for dinner!
On day three of our stay in Cape Town, we made a trip to Simon Town. There, we got to see some penguins! Not at a zoo, not in a cage or tank... but in their natural habitat! This place is called Boulders Beach. Can you see why?
Just hangin' out with them. No big deal!
This group caught me by surprise! I literally turn the corner and see them walking towards the ocean. It was such a breathtaking moment.
This little guy was on his way to the water when he noticed me standing there. He just froze and acted like I couldn't see him. I took a quick photo, hid, then watched him waddle away.
Here's a shot of some penguins that just walked out of the ocean. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. What more can I say?
While in Cape Town, I got the chance to experience my first stay in a Hostel (locally known as a Backpackers Lodge). It was really, really cool! We met so many people from all around the world and got to enjoy the USA vs. Brazil soccer game together.
On our way home from Cape Town, we stopped by Mossel Bay. This is the part of South Africa that is famous for the Great White Shark sighting! Some of my travelmates went shark diving. It was quite expensive, so I decided to save it for my next trip!

Another big part of my trip has been our Community Service Learning Projects. The service we have been doing has probably been one of the most rewarding parts of my life. I started off the trip tutoring underserved children at a Masifunde youth center in the Walmer Township. I was a bit nervous at first, considering their living situations, but ended up loving every single moment of it. I hope these kids don’t let things get in their way and succeed, like every child should. The second half of my service was done at the Isithembiso orphan home in Central, Port Elizabeth. This service was extremely bitter sweet. It was so heart warming hanging out with these kids. They are so cute, so loving and very funny. Everyday, the two and a half hours I was there passed too quickly. I pray that one day these kids will have a stable home and loving family. They deserve nothing but the best.

"Isithembiso is a vision of Oxygen Life Church, wanting to make an impact on the community by taking babies affected and/or infected with HIV/AIDS into our care, loving and caring for them, as Jesus would, and ultimately adopting them into family homes where they will be both physically and spiritually cared for and nourished"

"Our mission is to reach the community by providing a safe home for children between the ages of birth and three years old who have been abandoned due to HIV/AIDS, domestic abuse, poverty, death of the caregivers and/or neglect, amongst other reasons. Thereafter, having the children either reunited with their families or placed into temporary foster care, or permanent adoptive homes."


Sara, Marci, and I with the Isithembiso Housemom. She's such an amazing lady and I truly do admire her for what she is doing.
Papa Alvin feeding baby Michelle.
Precious little Patricia
Meet Akona, Sima, Veronica and Dunga. Here they were having a birthday party, singing "Happy Birthday" to everyone who attended it.
My little photographer in training!
The two I spent most of my time with: Patricia and Simbanelle
I miss them already...

Well, that's going to have to do for now. This weekend is going to be another great one! Tomorrow, we leave bright and early and make our way to the Grahamstown Festival! We will be back on Sunday evening. Then, on Monday we are heading to the Addo Elephant Game Park! Stay tuned for a blog about that!

Again, I'm not sure how many times I have said this trip has changed my life. There are things I've learned about myself that changes my perspective on so many things. I guarentee my travels are only beginning.

I miss you all and can't wait to see everyone!

Hambani kakuhle!

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. Ok, so this is probably one of your best posts...so much so that I cried. It's really inspiring to hear all of the AMAZING things you're doing--especially with the children infected/affected by HIV/AIDS (one of my passions).

    I know you're already doing this--but remember to enjoy every second you have there...miss you!