No Regrets Tour 2008-2009 travel blog

Volunteer House where I am staying

The Volunteers

The Kids from Red Hill putting on a show

The Kids and Staff

Nelson Mandela Cell at Robben Island

Sunset at Camps Bay

Noordhoek Beach

Me on my horse Heffie at Noordhoek Beach

Abseil from Table Mountain 1

Abseil from Table Mountain 2

Abseil from Table Mountain 3

Abseil from Table Mountain 4

Abseil from Table Mountain 5

Abseil from Table Mountain 6

Abseil Team at the top of Table Mountain

As the sun is setting on this Friday afternoon, let me tell you about my experiences so far on this project. I re-located to Fish Hoek on Monday 18th August. Amanda the project coordinator picked me up from my backpackers and drove me the 45 min trip to Fish Hoek. So I am really not far from Cape Town.

What I am doing is working in a pre school with 3 to 6 year olds. This is from 08.15am to 12.40pm. Then in the afternoons we work in the community. The afternoon work changes daily. It could be helping older kids with their homework or going to the library or school and working with kids on various subjects and themes, or we could be helping build something needed for example a jungle gym or new resource centre. So its all good.

The kids are remarkable and little heart breakers. The work here is needed and very rewarding. There are two pre schools where we work, Children of Hope and Red Hill. I am based in Children of Hope. For the first 2 weeks there have been 3 volunteers with me at Children of Hope. Now on my last 2 weeks it will be just me. So I have to prepare and give the lessons for the remaining weeks myself. I hope to have help preparing for the afternoon project in the township community. The pre schools are in a township called Red Hill situated in the hills about a 20 min drive out of Fish Hoek. The afternoon project is in a township called Masiphumelele. The people are needy they have very little, some don’t even have a shack to call their own. What effects me the most are kids shoes at the pre school. Or rather the lack of appropriate and water tight shoes.

On the positive side they love to colour. They never get tired of this and can colour in all day long. They also love to sing and dance. The kids are naturals at both and its a joy to watch and even take part in. I have learnt great new songs and new steps. This is my third week now and I am really settling in. I have learnt all their names (which are very difficult to spell and pronounce) I am also learning some key words in Xhosa (pronounced Co-Sa). I cant believe next week is my last.

A big Thank You must go to Mark who helped me with ideas for what to do with the kids this week. Our theme was Emotions - Happy, Angry, Sad and Afraid. Watch out though as I still have next week to cover.

As for life in Fish Hoek. This is a lovely seaside town with all you could need right on your doorstep. For example I joined the local Gym which has all the mod cons. Every morning and evening on our way to work we are constantly watching the ocean in case we spot a Whale, and we have been lucky enough to get a few sightings! Today a fleet of battle ships docked in Simons Town for a Presidential Review. We didnt hang around to see the President but I hear they all passed. Oh by the way, we had a storm here last weekend. The wind raced and the skies emptied for almost 5 days. This was one of the worst storms to hit the Cape in about 7 years or so the newspaper said. However since yesterday the sun has re appeared and I hope to hold onto it.

Well thats it for now. I will let you know how next week goes. Then we move to Asia.

As this is my last full weekend in Cape Town I decided to make the most of it. On Friday after what was a great morning at Children of Hope. I say great because the lesson went extremely well, introducing the dice was a great idea! All the kids were singing and dancing, so were the teachers. So the only way to follow such a great morning was to visit Boulders Beach at Simonstown to see all the African Penguins and then we went to Cape Point. I stayed at the top for an hour just taking it all in. Stunning! Plus this is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean, you can see it. I have to use that overused word - awesome!

Then on Saturday (yesterday) I thought what can I do today, oh I know I will do an abseil down Table Mountain and thats just what I did. Check out the photos. At times this was scarier than the bungy. On the way down the instructor shouted - there is a surprise waiting for you about half way down, you cant miss it. Yeah it was a surprise all right. The wall I had my feet on fell away, this is called an overhang I believe so I just had to take in the view and lower myself down. My legs were like jelly, but it was worth it! All we had to do now was hike back up to the top of the mountain.

After all this, I ended my last day in Cape Town with lunch at the V&A Waterfront with Flo. I met Flo in Pretoria and she arrived in Cape Town on Friday. So good to meet up again. Great Day!

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