Volunteer Abroad - South Africa, Volunteer Abroad Programs

This is Africa

by Olivia Scott, Greenheart Travel Volunteer Participant in South Africa
Bits from my journal…

Tuesday:
Wind is a life saver. It’s very warm and summery, but with the wind it is absolutely perfect. I went to bed right as the sun was rising over Cape Town and could see very few stars. *This is why I ended up being so confused.

It is somewhat tropical looking, all the plants have big leaves and colorful flowers. I do recognize one bush with purple flowers but I cannot remember what it is called.

It is so true, in two minutes you forget you are in Cape Town. The radio is blasting Coldplay and The Killers.

photo courtesy of Carel’s Conversations blog

Why is it that our currency is so boring? The Rand all have animals and are super colorful and covered in Celtic designs.
Now, it turns out I was very wrong about the stars. Not only do I see Orion’s Belt (brighter than I have ever seen it), I also see the Seven Sisters and two possible Southern Crosses… I need to invest in a star chart.

They have a saying in South Africa: “T.I.A.” It stands for “this is Africa”, meaning that is is perfectly understandable that I was supposed to be picked up Tuesday and was instead picked up Wednesday.

Wednesday:
Driving in Cape Town you forget you are anywhere different, I could have been in Washington D.C. for all I knew. And then you see them, as far as the eye can see a patchwork of tin roofs and red shingles. It is beautiful. The red roofs are the areas where the government has rebuilt homes where shacks were, but they can’t build fast enough.

I can see the India Ocean from my second story window. Buyiswa says we can take a trip up there with Robert some Friday. I am very excited. On Sunday a man was literally chopped in two by a great white… but I am only planning on getting my feet wet.

We drove just off the main road in Kayalitcha through the sand road and reached our project. Everything that was built between 2005 and 2008 burnt down in the fire and so far they have only rebuilt the Guest House and Creche. The large Guest House will be finished this week and they are hoping to have the community center/clinic/youth center done by May.

Within 30 minutes of being there I was sitting in front of an industrial sewing machine sewing up some table clothes and pillow cases. This was very good considering how shaky and nervous I was…

Read more on Olivia’s blog site: Olivia Saves the World…

About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.

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