My second week in Cape Town has been an absolute adventure.
After spending more time at the children’s hospital and the school for children with hearing challenges, I explored the beautiful sights of Cape Town during the weekend.
I enjoyed scenic train rides to the beaches on the Indian Ocean side of the Cape Peninsula.
I spent time at Fish Hoek beach where I enjoyed a beautiful walk along the rocks, creamy ice cream, fish ‘n’ chips, and conversations with an older South African about the realities and current consequences of apartheid.
I also explored Muizenburg beach where I saw surfers, kite surfers, wind surfers, and met a social worker who talked to me about child abuse and domestic violence.
I then spent a day testing my physical limits with a full day tour of major Cape Town attractions.
We started by driving to Hout Bay where I boarded a boat that took us to Duiker Island to see the seals. In order to get the best view possible I climbed onto the boat’s engine where I sat alone and enjoyed the beautiful sights of the seals in their natural habitat.
Next, we enjoyed the stunning views of the beaches and cliffs as we drove through Chapman’s Peak Drive just one day before a forest fire raged through the mountains and destroyed many of the beautiful sights.
Then we stopped at Simon’s Town at Boulder’s Beach to see the penguins.
Our next stop was Cape Point National Park where I tested my physical limits and biked 8 kilometers. That was my first time on a bicycle for more than seven years and I didn’t realize how difficult it would be!
Our bike ride ended at the visitor’s center where we had lunch and snacks.
We then made our way to the edge of Cape Point where we hiked to the top of a hill to see the cliffs and the lighthouse.
Then we hiked along the Cape Point trail to the Cape of Good Hope.
The next day Johann, a teacher from the school invited us to spend the day with his family. We had a scenic drive through the wineries and then explored and ate lunch at a market in Stellenbosch.
We next went to Big Bay, a beach on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Cape Peninsula, and then we enjoyed some great snacks and wonderful conversations at their home.
After a week of exploration, adventure, and fun memories I had to say goodbye to a great friend.
My housemate Marc has helped make my first two weeks in Cape Town absolutely amazing. He helped to kickstart my project by inviting me to volunteer with him at the hospital and the school. We also spent fun days at the beach, exploring Cape Town, and shared wonderful meals together. I will always remember how he always took the time to accompany me on walks into town and how he always helped me to feel safe as we encountered some difficult situations together.
He became my “French father” and I will always remember his kind heart, fun and easy going personality, and his caring and thoughtful spirit. I believe it takes a special person to spend his own personal vacation time in a foreign country helping children in need and I feel privileged to have had the chance to get to know him. This is not a goodbye, but simply a “see you later”.
I am so grateful for everything that I have experienced in the past two weeks. I have made incredible memories with new friends and family, I have viewed stunning sights around Cape Town, and I have explored my project while making children smile and laugh.
I feel so free, so happy, so confident, so beautiful, and so strong! I am excited for everything else that Cape Town and the rest of my Watson fellowship has to offer.