It's been a busy 4 days here in South Africa and I can't believe all that I have done in such a short time. I arrived on Saturday morning after a few flight delays, and trying to deal with the "city" of Heathrow. Coming from Ireland I nearly got run over trying to get to the escalator. Having just reminded myself to slow down and take it all in during my days in Ireland the shift was quite overwhelming. However, I managed my way 'cross town and eventually onto British Airways flight 059 to Cape Town.
Immediately upon arrival in Cape Town, Karen brought me to our lodge for the week. Home. Located in the Pinelands suburb, just 15 minutes from downtown and a short walk to Leap Math and Science schools, the Beulah Lodge is amazing. My room is spacious and warm. I like it here. A quick check in and I was off to Leap Schools for a quick tour.
I was welcomed with open arms, toured the school, made a connection with a township school teacher who teaches similar level math, and began thinking more and more about how lucky I am to be here and what my goals of the adventure. The day ended with some good food, new friends, a fantastic sunset and the true discovery that I really do live in a city with a ridiculous cost of living. h
Day two started with an 8 am departure for a hike up Lion's Head. That happens to be the peak in the photo above... yes, the one behind us. The climb was spectacular, a mix between a hike and a solid rock scramble. We enjoyed some time on the top and headed down to the city. Next up was a car ride to Fish on the Rocks at Hout Bay. Spectacular family feed of fried food and BBQ prawns followed by a stroll through the adjoining marketplace. WOW! The fun didn't end, we spent the evening enjoying some time in the waterfront district. Sushi roll anyone? Clearly this is a diverse and metro city. And beautiful to boot!
Day three we returned to Leap to meet more folks in action AND then got a driver to take us out to Cape Point and Boulders. Cape Point is the southern most tip of Africa. I want to claim that I have been to Antarctica in pursuit of my continent challenge but alas, while we saw Penguins, it's not Antarctica. In fact, it was a beautiful day, and the sun was shining for us. Cape Point is where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet... pretty cool to be there.
So I haven't slept. And seeing that I am the person that feels the "need" for 8 hours a night this is tough. BUT all I want to do is suck up this city, this country, this place. So a 9 am Robben Island Ferry felt appropriate to book. Thank goodness we choose that one. The rain was coming down, which was a bummer after 3 days of gorgeous weather, and the boat was ROCKING! Halfway over we discovered that the 9 am ferry was the only one that was going to make it that day, we were so happy to have made the decision to do the early shift. Robben Island was a very powerful place. We learned alot about the apartheid, segregation, and Nelson Mandela's life on Robben as well as many others. It's kind of like visiting Alcatraz, but then again, in many cases these individuals really should never have been imprisoned, or at least not in the manner that they were. Post Robben we walked the city, hit up the District 6 museum-wow powerful-and took an evening stroll down Long Street.
All in all, I feel that I have seen so many aspects of the city but need another month to really get to the bottom of it. But stay tuned... Day 5 and 6 include some time in Langa Township, a meeting with my new math friend, Day 1 of the Ed Tech Summit and who knows what else...