Volunteer in a Township and Surf Project in Cape Town
After finishing high school in July, my boyfriend and I went on our big, three-month-long, adventure to Cape Town in November. As I couldn’t imagine what to expect in South Africa I just decided to take things as they come. Yet, I was definitely counting down the days until my time abroad started - I was so excited!
Arriving in Cape Town
After a very long flight we were welcomed warmly-heartedly and, in the evening, we were served Braai, a traditional South African dish, in the volunteer house where we had the chance to meet a lot of other volunteers from all over the world.
The next day we were introduced to the city during a tour to get to know Cape Town better. On Monday, our “teacher training” started during which we got an explanation about what our everyday work life would look like at the school. Moreover, we were given advice on how to deal with the kids while on site and on how they would behave towards us as well as treat each other.
On Monday, we drove to the school in a Township called Dunoon - we were so excited to see everything and everyone in person! The second we arrived the kids were running towards us screaming happily and with huge smiles on their faces. That was a great feeling! We then proceeded to play, sing songs and dance with kids from all age groups during the day.
A couple of days before Christmas, the school started the initiative to collect donations to buy Christmas gifts for the children. With the money, we were able to put together bags for every single kid which included toys, clothing, a toothbrush and a few other bits and bobs. It was so lovely to see how happy the children were to have received those presents.
Every morning, we were responsible for school children from age two to eight while in the project. In addition, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays there was an afternoon program which consisted of skating, swimming, surfing, football or netball. Every day we were assigned to a different type of sports and were teaching and playing with the kids and teenagers from age 13 to 17.
In general, the kids were very open and sweet but so different from and definitely not comparable to European teenagers. They are being raised very different and have a totally different ideal and moral concept of life. Yet, every single day was interesting and exciting and it was such a great experience to have an adventure with the children and to see their zest for life.
Life in South Africa
Next to the project in Cape Town there are, of course, a lot of other things to see and to do. My boyfriend and I, for example, rented a car and drove the Garden Route all the way up to Port Elizabeth. We also participated in shark cage diving and a three-day-long safari which was my personal highlight of the whole trip. It was something so special to see the Big Five in person as well as stroking leopards while visiting a sanctuary. In addition, we also got an adrenaline kick from doing a bungee jump off of the highest bungee jumping bridge in the world - an amazing and unforgettable experience!
We can also really recommend seeing the Lion’s Head during a hike early in the morning to see the sunrise over Cape Town once you’re on top.
All in all, our three-month-long stay in South Africa was an experience we will never forget and which influenced us in a very positive way as we have experienced so many new things that have expanded our horizons immensely.