Surf Project in Cape Town
Right after having finished my last exam in school it was time for me to say: “Goodbye Germany – hello Cape Town!” After a long flight I finally arrived in South Africa where I was welcomed really friendly; I’ve been taken to my new home where I got to know all the other people from all over the world: they’ve had already spent some time working as volunteers in Cape Town and welcomed me very open‐hearted.
After a Welcoming‐Braai on my first evening I had time to experience the city: it’s really awesome and I took more than 100 photos right away…there should be coming more within the project.
Two days later, my project was about to be started:
we went to Dunoon, a big township near Table View where we should spend our morning in a small kindergarten: we just hopped off our car the kids were already running towards us and hugged me – immediately I took them to my heart. The morning passed by really fast: we were singing, playing various games, practising English with the kids. As the children weren’t able to speak English already it was sometimes kind of difficult to communicate; but in the end it always worked. It was just amazing to see how happy these children are, although they actually don’t have any belongings. In Germany it would be unthinkable that you can please a child with just giving an apple to it.
For the first two weeks I worked in an elementary school supporting kids on the computer to practice mathematics – but no worries: you don’t have to be a maths‐pro, being able to manage simple additions is enough! The kids were super awesome – especially after convincing them that the “computer class” is fun and when they realized that we were not as severe as the other teachers. Because sometimes it was a little bit scary to see the rough behavior towards the children.
During the second part of my stay I spent my mornings in the township‐kindergarten again. There was always a lot to do and with changing the different projects I’ve never felt bored or anything (but if someone prefers staying in one project the whole time that’s no problem either)! In the afternoon picked up the elder children and went to the beach for swimming or surfing: we always enjoyed awesome hours playing different games with the kids, doing rallies, having a pizza competition.
It was great to spend so many hours with the children as you get in touch with the culture directly. These kids spoke English very well so the communication was no problem at all.
Apart from these daily tasks there have been further “special actions”, beach‐days or so‐called “hand‐outdays” where we distributed food and clothes. Moreover we helped to winterize some houses in one of the settlements.
Beyond the project I can also tell that Cape Town is amazing: there were a lot of must‐see’s so we became tourists and visited for example Cape Point where we enjoyed the stunning landscape (and where we also recovered from a baboon‐robbery…)!
Furthermore we also visited Lions Head, Table Mountain, Robben Island and so on…beyond the project there’s enough time to enjoy Cape Town and to experience the awesome region! Lots of photos, lots of good memories… For the brave ones there are offers for sky‐diving, bungee‐jumping or going on a dive with sharks. And – of course – you can surf: the beach is just right around the corner and the surf boards are always available for the volunteers! So everyone who loves the sea and who’s not afraid of (sometimes) cold water: go for this project!
But to all the people who set value on punctuality and accuracy: rather stay at home! Cape Town’s just so different… For my part, I get used to spontaneous changing of plans very fast – it was harder to get used to German standards back home again…
All in all I can tell you that there are hundreds of things to see & to do: so just give it a try and go for it! All new experiences, new people and impressions are worth trying it.