Reaching Out 2 The World


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Picking Things Up Right Where We Left Off

Life back in Kayamandi is right where we left off. You head into Stellenbosch when IMG_6757you need to run a few errands and the afternoons are spent hanging out with the kids. On both Tuesday and Wednesday Dan and I went into town so we could gather the supplies necessary for the Halloween party we’d be throwing on Thursday. This is much easier said than done when you’re in a country that doesn’t really celebrate Halloween. I say not really because there were a couple stores that sold some costumes and a few decorations but nothing like we have back home. As a matter of fact they already had all their Christmas decorations out on display!

I like to throw good parties but Dan only knows how to throw great parties! This is probably why we spent two days looking in every store that may have something we could use for our party. We bought loads of candy, snacks, and drinks, as well as spider webs, wall coverings, banners, and even a blacklight. The blacklight was one of the more difficult items to come by but we lucked out just before giving up and going home. We also made sure to buy loads of props for costumes and face paint so we could transform the kids. Once we were satisfied we made our way back to Kayamandi.

IMG_6723On Tuesday a few kids came over and we discussed their options for costumes. We made sure every child knew that they were definitely invited… but they weren’t getting into the party without a costume. IMG_6721We weren’t going to provide the costume but we’d certainly help with ideas, creativity, and of course facepaint. By the sounds of it, it seemed like we were going to have a couple ninjas, a superhero, and possibly a cat. All that matters is that they were excited and that’s what Halloween is all about!

While we were discussing our costumes I found out that one of the boys is a gymnast. I found this out while watching a dance off in my bedroom and seeing this little guy drop right down into a split! We immediately went outside where he could show off the rest of his skills. All the other boys tried their best but not just anybody can do a split! IMG_6719Even Butsha gave his shot at a couple handstands when he saw us all having a contest. This really made me miss my diving team back home! I’m really looking forward to seeing all my divers!

On Wednesday afternoon I went with Eric to Judo. I hadn’t been there in nearly a month because of the ReachingOut trip and the 3 weeks we spent traveling up north. I felt bad for not seeing them in so long but really wanted to spend at least one more practice with them before I’d have to head back home. The first practice is for the younger group and a few IMG_6752of the kids I was looking for weren’t actually there. It’s alright though because Eric and I went outside with a few other kids for an ‘advanced’ workout. Eric’s my German buddy who lives across the hall from me back at Mama Zulus, and he is one of the coolest guys I know. He’s been going twice a week to Judo for nearly 2 months and has a lot to show for it! But today was different because Eric and a couple of his students were IMG_6756outside working to the extreme! After a mid-distance run these guys did pull ups and then flipped giant tires across the entire field. I’m sure after you see the picture I attach you’ll be able to make sense of their craziness. I filmed the whole thing though and rooted them on! Before leaving Judo the rest of the students I was hoping to see showed up for the later class. As hard as goodbyes are I still find them very important and I’m glad I was able to see them off. I’m hoping to keep in touch with everyone I can this time around!

After getting back to Mama Zulu’s and having a greatIMG_6759 dinner Hanneke, Mieke, Miriam, Eric, and I went back into town for a few drinks at the Cubana. This was pretty fitting since it was the first place we all went together back when we first met in September. We shared a couple hookahs and played many rounds of cards. The night was so great but there was something even better waiting for us back in Mama Zulu’s kitchen! I still had a mug full of that delicious chocolate mousse and it had my name written all over it! Literally, I carved my name in the top of it with my spoon before putting it back in the refrigeratorIMG_6763 the day before. And with Eric at my side I couldn’t think of a better person to share it with! Cheers to another amazing couple days back in South Africa! Tomorrow would be Halloween and I promise the party lived up to all it’s anticipation! IMG_6762

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A Smooth Return to Kayamandi

After a full day’s worth of traveling we finally arrived back in South Africa. As soon as we touched IMG_6703down I could tell things were going to be great. We made it through customs in a breeze and were some of the firsts to recover our baggage. It was great to finally move through an airport at a less than frustrating pace.

Once we had everything we began heading towards the exit and saw in the distance two familiar faces. Mieke and Hanneke had come to fetch us at the airport and were holding two welcoming signs. Well, actually they were “Wanted” signs that attracted a lot of humorous attention, but we received them as big welcomes in the highest form of flattery! For mine they chose a picture from when I was dressed up in Morocco and set my reward for a whopping 8 Rand. They were pretty spot on with how I could be recognized and really did an outstanding job on the sign making. It was so nice of them to be there for us at our arrival and this was just the start of the day’s surprises!

IMG_6701With our pickup, they had also organized a ride back to Kayamandi, which is an awesome convenience that shouldn’t go unnoted. When we made it back they told us that they wanted to be there as we walked into our room. You can imagine our apprehension and anxiety at this point. We had been gone for nearly 3 weeks and our room had been periodically occupied?!? I had no idea what to expect but when we opened the door we were staring at what seemed like hundreds of sticky notes covering our walls. In the room we noticed that all the sticky notes had writing on them and there were personal messages written to both Dan and I. I think we spent the next half hour unpacking our bags and reading all of our notes. The girls had spent a couple weeks working with the kids from Kayamandi on the notes and the pictures that collaged our walls. Most of the notes weren’t signed by anyone but some were easy to identify. Ski’s drawings were easy to spot, Riri’s sayings and lingo were all pretty clear to me, and I could pick out a few I thought may have been written by Mawande. We found out that many of them had stuck with a consistent color for their notes so that also made it easier to identify. This was a total surprise to us and I absolutely loved it!

Before we could even finish reading all our notes the girls came back in to inform us that lunch was ready. What? They even had prepared a meal for us? We walked over to Mama Zulus and into the dining room and I saw on the table a few of my favorite things; coke, nutella, and crepes. Not only that, but there was an abundance of each and we totally pigged out. I think I ate almost half of the nutella jar that afternoon. When we were stuffed to capacity they went back into the kitchen and brought out the game changer. My absolute favorite desert ever…. chocolate mousse! It’s a game changer because no matter how full I previously was, I can always make room for chocolate mousse.

IMG_6700Not long after our delicious feast of a lunch did the kids start coming over. Our room quickly filled up with most of all the guys making their way over. A nice reunion to see them all again but we had a ton of people in a very small room. The girls and I decided to take all the boys to the park town the street and play some Frisbee and soccer with them. We played for a while, until we figured it would be time to head back for dinner. I love playing sports with these guys and it was the IMG_6699perfect addition to our big return. While we were playing I saw Mawande hanging out on the slide. When I went over he was admiring a small ladybug that had come to join us. Just another sign of how fantastic it was to be back in South Africa.

Another special treat about being back home in South Africa is Mama Zulus cooking. Chicken, french-fries, beans, and a salad were all waiting for us when we got back to her house. The Kayamandi kids waited back in our room while we indulged in our supreme meal. Before I head back home I plan on preparing a large meal that will have enough food to feed everyone that’s over. The kids never ask for food nor expect it, and Mama Zulu is already making enough, but it’ll be a nice treat to enjoy a meal with everyone.

IMG_6705More kids had come over by the time we had finished eating and were all hanging out in our room. They showed us which notes and pictures they had drawn and we told them a bit about our trip. Normally they’d all begin heading home around 8pm but they made it clear that they had no intentions of going home early on our first night back. Even once the other volunteers all got together around 9pm for a few card games the boys stuck around. I think it was closer to 9:30 when they finally had to go. It was nice seeing them after being away for 3 weeks and I’m dreading having to say my final goodbyes. When I came back to my room I saw that Ski had a new pair of shoes on. He was telling me that he wanted to trade with me for the day but I could risk loosing my vibrams haha.

After a few card games, Mieke, Hanneke, and I played a round of Catan. We changed up the rules a little bit to add some fun, and extended the game an extra 3 points. It was probably the perfect end to a perfect day back in Kayamandi and it’s all thanks to our friends from Holland. Mieke, and Hanneke, you guys rock and I hope you understand how much I appreciate all the kind things you do. Letting you beat me in Catan was just my way of saying thank you.


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Round One of the Kayamandi Goodbyes

Today would be my last day in Kayamandi before leaving with Dan for a few weeks to travel about Dubai and Morocco. We didn’t plan anything for today because we still needed to get everything ready for our trip and say our goodbyes.

Much earlier than either of us had anticipated we heard a knock at our door. IMG_4013I got up to see who it was and saw Avela standing at our door. I knew he’d be heading back to the Eastern Cape today and that this was him coming by to say farewell.

Avela is one of the nicest guys in Kayamandi, and is constantly doing things for others. Initially I didn’t think I’d even be able to see him again due to the fact that he has since moved out of Kayamandi. It was such an awesome surprise to find out that he’d be able to come along on our trip and join the rest of his best friends while we explored their beautiful country. Since this would be the last time I’d be seeing Avela, for probably a very long time, we decided to present him with a few parting gifts. We gave Avela 3 things before saying goodbye.IMG_5200The first thing was his professional picture of him holding a snake at the Wildlife Ranch. The second was the name card drawling I made for him, and the third was a photo album consisting of 35 photos from out trip featuring him. As he paged through the album I noticed tears streaming down his face. I was truly touched that he loved the album so much. It’s moments like these that will stick with me forever and drive me to make IMG_5217a return trip in the future. I never thought I’d care so much for a group of kids, now young adults, so dearly. We’ve become a family in the time we’ve spent together and nobody likes having to say goodbye to the ones they love. After a few hugs, and many thanks, Dan and I walked Avela to our front gate and said our final goodbye. One day, Avela, we’ll meet again.

The next significant event for Sunday was a farewell lunch with Hanneke, Mieke, Theresa, and Dan. We all had a few minor things to take care of in Stellenbosch and afterwards strolled over to a restaurant by the name of Simply Asia. I chose this place because of how great I remember it being on my last visit. The girls and I split a sushi platter to start our meal and it was absolutely delicious! Following our appetizer Hanneke and I split a chicken and steak noodle dish. She ordered the dish with chicken, I ordered the same meal with steak, and we split the whole thing 50/50. This worked out so nicely because I was having an internal debate as to which I should order. Our meal was really phenomenal and it was the perfect way to spend our last lunch before departing. We were also celebrating having known each other for 1 month!!

Back in Kayamandi a few of the kids had come over and helped me put the finishing IMG_5502touches on the last of our postcards. At this point I think everyone’s postcard has been mailed out. In the next few weeks be sure to keep an eye out for them, and if you receive yours please upload a picture and hashtag it, ReachingOut2TheWorld.

Around midday Riri, Mawande, and Aphiwe came by to work on a few special letters we’ll be giving to our top contributors!! I couldn’t be more impressed with how well these three set to work on these letters. I know you guys will absolutely love them!!

IMG_5504During this same time our room quickly filled up with about 12 other people. We played a big card with everyone which eventually turned into a challenge to see if Hanneke and I could stack an entire deck of cards on a bottle of Axe spray. One by one we placed a card on top with the only rule being that two corners had to be hanging off at all times. As we got closer and closer to finishing up the deck of cards we began gaining everyone’s attention. Soon enough we were adding additional items onto our stack until we thought IMG_5499we would push our limit. From there we included the rest of the group in a makeshift game of jenga that had us each taking turns pulling the cards off until one of us collapsed the whole structure.

After dinner some of the guys were still back in the room playing a 4 person game on Dan’s ipad. Sometimes they are good at sharing but if you don’t keep an eye on them the older guys in the group sometimes hog the device. While I was working with Riri on his letter I heard a very loud slapping noise and looked up to see a fight breaking out in the room. I don’t know exactly what happened but I do know that Wande slapped Luthando across the face harder than I’ve ever seen anyone get slapped. Immediately I told Wande to leave the room and the other guys made sure Luthando was alright. I’m pretty sure this was all because of whose turn it was in the game. It’s pretty common to see such aggression with kids around here but that doesn’t mean it’s alright in my room! I later went out to talk to Wande to let him know that it’s never okay to hit someone in the face like that.

Just after 8 the group dispersed and headed home. The plan was to hang out with the rest of the volunteers for our last night but I wanted to first grab a shower. While I was in the bathroom just about to step into the shower I heard someone crying outside the door. I stopped what I was doing so I could hear better what was being said. It sounded like Lupho and he was really upset about something. I figured my shower could wait a minute and I went out to see what the problem was. Back in my room Lupho was sitting on my bed with Mieke by his side. Apparently after we said our farewell a couple of the older kids beat him up just down the road. Besides being noticeably upset, he looked alright, and I think he was mostly just shook up. Dan had gone outside to see if any of the kids were still around but I don’t think any of them stayed back. I’m not sure there was an actual reason as to why he was beat up, but the easy explanation is that boys around here are just a bit more aggressive. I don’t think violent is the right term because they don’t ever seem to really want to hurt each other… they just like to hit each other. At home, children are disciplined by being hit. Often, when there is a problem, hitting each other is just their first response. When I saw Dan and Mieke had things under control and Lupho was being spoiled with gummy worms I figured I could get back to my shower. The sad truth was that Dan and I would be leaving early Monday morning and wouldn’t be able to talk to any of the kids that beat up Lupho till the end of October. By the time we get back I don’t think they’d even know what we’re talking about.

Post shower we all met up in the house shared with the girls from Holland and Germany. There were 7 of us in total and we played a game called Things. To play this game someone must first read a statement like, “Name something you’d find in the trash.” All participants then write down a suitable answer and fold it up before giving it back to the reader. The reader then reads aloud all the responses and gets one guess as to who wrote what. If they are right they get another guess, if they are wrong the person to the left of them gets a guess. This continues until everyone’s response has been guessed. This is a fun game with a large group and is much harder than it may sound. Dan beat everyone fairly easy but he later told me that he was able to tell who wrote what based off of their reactions when the responses were first being read. Twas very clever Mr. Sellers.

Even though the games were fun the real highlight of the night was the chocolate mousse cake which we all split. I thought the cake was delicious and the perfect way to cap off our farewell night.

After a close game of hearts, which Hanneke beat me by 2 points, it was time to head back to our room and begin backing for our trip through Dubai and Morocco. The next few posts may be spread out a bit because I can’t say for sure how well I’ll have internet connection along the way. This trip may also leave little time for updating but I’ll see what I can do 🙂 Hope you Enjoy!!


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ReachingOut2 a Couple Great Programs

Thursday and Friday were both catch up days.

Back home when I need to run a few errands I just get in my car and drive to the store. I can usually take care of everything I need pretty quickly. I hardly ever need to worry about what times stores are closing, and I don’t have to worry about being home before it gets dark. Over here in South Africa you have to constantly be mindful of those things. I don’t mind walking places and taking the mini buses but a simple trip into town to mail a few postcards could take over an hour. With this in mind we typically try to accomplish as much as we can each time we have to make the trip and that’s basically what Thursday and Friday were all about.

DSC_4932After utilizing the Wi-Fi at the trust center within the township we made our way the primary school. We wanted to catch up with a couple teachers and see a few students. We didn’t stick around too long because Dan and I both had other things we had to take care of. Pam is doing well and is looking for any ideas for helping fund raise money to buy furniture for her church.

Our next stop was the BMX track, run DSC_4911by Songo Fipaza. If you can remember, Songo is the guy who started the organization in Kayamandi called Epic. His program takes children off the streets, gives them a safe place to study, learn, and hang out, all while keeping them active with BMX riding. He’s created a custom BMX track, right next to his office, which is next door to the primary school and he trains kids on how to ride and race. DSC_4913Our plan was to meet up with him and discuss a bit more about his organization but we arrived just after he had left. While there I was able to borrow one of the kid’s bikes and take it around the course. It was a lot of fun but I took it pretty slow. I was worried I’d crash and ruin the poor guy’s bike. The very last bit of track had a low spot where there was mud. I wasn’t able to avoid it which made for two very muddy tires. At least I didn’t break his bike…

From there I split up with Dan and DSC_4918went into town. I got really lucky and caught a ride in with Papa Zulu, while making the walk. In town I visited the bank, a couple ATMs (because the max you can withdraw is just not enough sometimes), and the post office to mail out another 7 post cards! I actually made good time on everything and was home in just over an hour.

My afternoon was spent updating blogs, finalizing the pictures for the photo books, and many more post cards. It’s certainly helping to have the kids participate in writing the post cards, and they seem to still enjoy writing to you all! Please don’t be too critical with their writing, I think it’s a lot harder for them to write in English than to speak it.

In the evening all the volunteers got together for another game of true colors. We’ve now played that game all the way through so if we are interested in playing again we’ll need to first come up with some new questions. After our game the group divided and went off to bed but Hanneke, Mieke, and Gesa all stayed up to learn one of my favorite 4 person games. Spades is an excellent strategy card game played with partners but you need just 4 people to play. Our first game was mostly based around teaching the other three how to play but I’m sure we’ll play again in the future!

Friday wasn’t too different from Thursday with Dan and I having to take care of a few more errands.

DSC_4928When we visited Songo today, he was there and we were able to sit down with him and talk all about his program and our thoughts on working with him. Like Dave’s Surf Program, we were both very impressed with the work Songo’s been doing and felt confident that our contributions would be received in the highest regard. Both Dave and Songo have both successfully started programs that take less privileged children off the streets and provide them with a safe environment to learn and grow. Both programs also aim to keep the DSC_4930participants busy and healthy by teaching them how to balance work and play. While Dave trains his guys how to surf, Songo trains his group to ride BMX. As an added bonus, both of these awesome gentlemen work directly with the schools Dan and I volunteered at. This means we’ll be able to keep tabs on how things are going and what our students have been up to. Once Dan and I return from our trip to DubaiDSC_4931 and Morocco, we’ve set up a date where we can get all the kids together for an afternoon filled with sports (November 1st). I’m already pumped for this and will be contacting the Stellebosch Frisbee gang to see if they’d be interested in joining us. If you’re interested in visiting Songo’s website it’s www.songo.info.

After our visit with Songo we went into town so we could deliver the 350 photos that we’d need printed so we could begin putting them into the photo albums. We  grabbed lunch at Asta La Pasta in the meantime and ate a delicious chicken and pasta dish. When we finished eating we still had enough time to send out a few more postcards, visit an ATM, and stop by the Western Union where I’d be able to pick up a very generous donation from my friend Eartha. Thanks again Eartha! Our timing worked out pretty great because the photos had finished printing just before we walked back into the shop. Before heading back home we picked up Dan’s laundry, and ate an ice cream cone from Steers. We’ve gotten pretty good at coordinating our visits into town so that we could accomplish everything we need to in the most efficient time possible. And yes, we always make time for ice cream.

Back at home we met up with the rest of the students that will be joining us on our DSC_4073beach trip tomorrow and wrote out another dozen post cards. We’re trying our best to get these cards done before we leave on our trip. We still have a handful more to go but I think we can do it!

I’m really looking forward to taking everyone to Muizenburg for our surf outing. I’m not exactly sure what to expect because a few of the kids struggle to swim, but I’m sure Dave has something up his sleeve. speaking of sleeves, I’m curious if all our crew will be geared up in wet suits tomorrow?! Time will tell!


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The Views From Table Mountain Will Never Get Old

Dan and I had a lot to do over the next couple days. For those supporters who contributed enough to have their names written on Table Mountain, this one is for you.

Before catching the train into Cape Town we had to first run into Stellenbosch so that we could pick up a few supplies. We bought masking tape, a butterfly net, a 16/22 inch custom poster, and a McDonald’s breakfast. With our supplies in hand we walked to the Stellenbosch station and boarded the next train.

DSC_0922We didn’t know how long our endeavors were going to take so we were sure not to waste any time. As soon as we arrived into Cape Town we hailed a cab to take us to the Mountain. We had just been up Table Mountain a week ago and we both concluded that our best bet would be to use the rocks from the ground level rather than the rocks at the top. There is so much foot traffic on the summit that we were worried we would spend too much time looking for rocks. Besides having to carry a bag full of rocks, this worked out really well because we were able to find and use orange rocks which would stand out a lot better.

Dan’s climbed this mountain threeDSC_0938 times, and I’ve climbed it twice so with our supplies and bags of rocks, we were more than content just taking the cable car up to the top. We had business to take care of and didn’t want to miss our train headed back to Stellenbosch.

DSC_1029Dan had made a promise to one of his friends that he would print out a picture of her dog and turn it into a flag. Once at the top he set to work on creating the flag using the handle from the butterfly net, masking tape, and the poster. I have to say, it looked pretty great when he was finished. You can imagine the looks we got as we walked around the top of this mountain carrying a flag with a dog’s face on it. While he made the flag I set to work on the first names.

The process for creating names out of stones was a lot more tedious than either of us had thought. First we had to find the right locations for the names to go, next we had to shape the letters using the rocks but only had limited space, and most importantly we had to get perfect pictures showing our hardDSC_1018 work. I’m not going to post any finalized pictures because our contributors will be receiving something a bit nicer once we’re home. I don’t want to spoil it for them. I can tell you that we were up there for several hours working on those names and ended up having an audience of sorts trying to figure out what exactly we were doing.

When we finally finished with the names we had to hurry back down the mountain, return our rocks, catch a cab back to the train station and quickly buy or tickets to get back to Stellenbosch. The board read that there were two trains headed in the direction we needed them to go, one was leaving at 5:15 and the other was leaving at 5:30. We decided to move quickly and board the 5:15 train.

DSC_1066As it turns out we should have waited for the 5:30 train because the 5:15 one skipped right passed where we needed to go. Not only was this train ride the most cramped ride I think I’ve ever been on, but it was also taking forever. There wasn’t even any standing room for the majority of the ride and I found myself having to stand on one foot because there wasn’t enough room for me to put the other one down. After riding the train for nearly 2 hours we finally got off at Strand. This wasn’t where we needed to be but we were told that we’d be able to take a train back in the right direction. Once on board the next train we asked a gentleman for help and he directed us to get off at the Eerst River station, move over to platform 2, and catch the next train to Stellenbosch. There also happened to be another couple that was in a similar predicament so we all waited at platform 2 for the train. Some time went by before someone came by to tell us that there was no train coming and that the last train had already been through. It was just past 8:00 and we didn’t really know where our next step should be. Dan still had his phone with him, so we were able to contact the Zulu’s by calling Mieke. Fortunately, their son knew where we were and came to pick us up. I think it was closer to 9:30 when we finally arrived back in Kayamandi. We were both pretty wiped after our long day but I was able to get a bit more work done on those name cards before calling it a night. Wednesday would be another early morning and long day!


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So Much to do, So Little Time

Sunday

There was only one plan for Sunday and that was Mzolis. Mzolis is an outdoor braai (barbeque) located in the township of Kayalitsha. This place is well known as being the place to be on Sundays. The music is great, the vibe is fun, and the food is incredible!

Mieke, Hanneke, Dan and I all caught a cab to the township just before noon.IMG_5141 When we got there the place seemed packed! There were cars and people everywhere! Most places close down on Sundays so if you’re looking for a fun place to eat, IMG_5142this is your spot! The first thing you do when you arrive is head to the butchery to pick out the meat your group is interested in. We picked out a few steaks and a lengthy amount of sausage. After placing your order, your next task is finding a place to sit. There were so many people that we ended up having to share a table with another group.

While we waited for our food Dan and I went next door to grab some drinks. We grabbed red wine and coke, but had no glasses. Lucky for us they were also selling custom glasses out front. The glasses were created by using recycled beer and liquor bottles. I thought these were super cool IMG_5144but definitely not realistic for taking home. All the meat, the glasses, and the wine cost us 110 rand each. That’s a total of 11 USD and I can promise you we got our money’s worth of food and drink. Dan shared with us how good red wine and coke taste mixed together. I liked this but probably wouldn’t do it with expensive red wine.

IMG_5143Our afternoon was certainly fun filled and I think we all had a really great time. Like I said before, this place was very crowded and unfortunately I let my guard down at just the wrong time. Our table was located near the exit so there was a constant flow of people walking past our table. At some point while I was standing up a group of people passed by me. It was during this time that I was pick-pocketed. I remember feeling something and quickly reaching down to my pocket, but it was already too late. I felt my wallet, I felt my keys and in my other pocket I felt my iphone. It took me a second to realize that I was missing my South African cellphone. My feelings were pretty mixed after this took place. IMG_5146I was bummed that I no longer had my SA cellphone but thrilled that they didn’t take my wallet or iphone. I would have been pretty devastated had either of the latter been taken. I have a week left in SA before departing on a trip to Dubai and Morocco, so I’m not too concerned about not having the phone. It’s a small inconvenience and if anyone needs to reach me they know they can contact Dan. Honestly, the part that I felt the worst about was that I was planning on leaving that phone with Mawande. It’s just the most basic phone you can have but it’s still a phone, and I had told him I was planning on leaving it with him. Mawande is one of my favorites over here, he’s always the most helpful, always uses his manners, and is a joy to be around. Bottom line is that he’s a really great kid and I’m sorry I’m going have to let him down.

Not long after losing my phone our cab arrived to take us home. I had a fun time at Mzolis despite losing my phone. I later described to Dan how it was a “One and Done” kind of experience for me. Great times were had, but I won’t need a day like Mzolis anytime soon.

Monday

The start of the new week meant Dan and I had to get down to business. We need to hold up our end of the bargain which means we have some incentives to fulfill. This meant that we needed to run a few errands in Stellenbosch.

I tried using the internet café as a means for delivering the video I put together depicting a day in Lupho’s life. It’s becoming clear to me that there is no realistic way that I’ll be sending that video while in SA. Maybe next week while in Dubai I’ll have a better opportunity to send the video. I’m doing my best friends.

Among other things we mailed out more postcards and purchased more postcards. I think when all is said and done the number of postcards sent will be rounding close to 100! I hope everyone else enjoys receiving these postcards as much as I know I would. Just a reminder to share your card with the world by hashtagging it #ReachingOut2TheWorld when you get it. This can be done on Instagram, Twitter, maybe Facebook, who knows… I’m hoping that I’ll be able to check all these cards out again sometime and know if ya’ll ever received them.

IMG_5095Before heading back to Kayamandi Dan and I stopped at the Mug & Bean for a quick bite and some free Wi-Fi. Our sweet tooth got the best of us and we both ordered the smore waffle. This Belgium style waffle was loaded with chocolate, marshmallow, and ice cream. I’m sure you’ll have no problems trusting me how delicious this was.

My evening was mostly spent going through pictures from our trip for the photo albums we are putting together for the guys. I’ve also been working on creating custom name cards for each of them. I’ll explain these name cards a bit better once I finish them and can take a picture of the finished work. They are coming together, but it’s a slow process and I want them to be just right for this group.

The next few days will have Dan and I running all around Cape Town, fulfilling perks, meeting with a couple organizations we’re both interested in working with, visiting the school Dan worked at, and much much more. “So much to do, so little time,” it’s what will be playing in my head until all is finished. Wish us luck!


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An Encore to Our ReachingOut Trip: Day 5

Dan and I had arranged one more special thing for the boys to do and with the IMG_5035help of HotSpots2C we’d be visiting the Cape Point Stadium. This was something we had wanted to do with the kids during our four day trip but it wasn’t possible due to closings with the stadium. The one thing these boys love is soccer and I really wanted to take them to their home stadium.

Around 8:30 Saturday morning we DSC_0344 (2)all met up for one last adventure and head into Cape Town with our group. We arrived a half hour early and used our time to take some fun pictures outside.

IMG_5022The tour was great and took us all throughout the stadium. Our group got to see everything from the VIP areas to the locker rooms and even had the chance to stand on the soccer pitch. My absolutely favorite part of our time there was filming the boys running out of the gathering rooms and into the stadium to the sounds of us cheering. You could tell they were living their dream being down there on the sidelines and I was so happy to take part in it. Once they ran out they lined up and starting singing their National Anthem. Don’t worry, we caught it all on film.

The Cape Town Stadium was built for the IMG_50242010 World Cup and played host to the semifinals. The Dutch remember it well because they were able to beat the Germans. Something I’ve heard more than a dozen times sharing living arrangements with two Dutch girls and now four Germans. The stadium can hold up to 68,000 people. In recent days they’ve been using the stadium for Cape Town’s home soccer teams and concerts. I think Rihanna will be playing there in the coming week, and there’s a long list of other big named musicians that have played there. Our guide told us that the stadium was completely paid off but I’m not sure I totally believe her. The stadium cost 4 billion rand and I’m pretty sure they haven’t been able to fill it since the 2010 World Cup.

IMG_5019After our stadium tour we went to lunch at the Waterfront. The Waterfront is a popular place along Cape Town’s harbors and offers an incredible view of Table Mountain. The place we took them to eat was Spurs. Dan and I both use to take the boys to Spurs on our previous visits because of how much the kids loved it. Not only is the food pretty good, but there is also an arcade that the kids can play at for free while they wait for the food to be prepared. The only thing we forgot to keep in mind was that all the boys are older now than on our last visits and the arcade is age restricted. Lupho and Mawande were the only ones that looked young enough to play the part.

Before heading back to Kayamandi we made oneIMG_5017 final stop at another favorite location. Boulders Beach is located in Simon’s Town, a coastal town where you’ll find penguins on the beach. We walked all along the coast spotting the penguins in their natural habitats. The boys really wanted to go swimming but it wasn’t something we had properly planned for. I also don’t think they realized how much colder the Atlantic Ocean is than the Indian Ocean they swam in last Wednesday.

IMG_5014Today was a pretty great encore to the first half of our travels and I’m sure we’ll be grouping up for a few more adventures before Dan and I have to go our separate ways. I know we are both interested in taking everyone swimming at least one more time, and we may even consider a surf session.

If you receive a postcard in the next few weeks be sure to share it with the world by hashtagging it, #ReachingOut2TheWorld

 

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