Penguins, Kudu and Seals, Oh My!

Hello Everyone! It’s Lydia, Ty, and Maddy here to fill you in on our last day in Cape Town 😦

Today was the day we finally were allowed to sleep in a bit, due to protests in Khayelitsha. As we recently stated during the tours of the townships, life in informal settlements is typically hindered by lack of government effort. Residents experience many problems due to infrastructure issues. This results in protests in the townships to raise awareness of these situations and lack of support in the area. In order to get the point across, people in these settlements will stage protests, ones that typically restrict the flow of traffic around the township and entrances to the highway. Unfortunately, Thulani was trapped in the protests and was only able to exit through the township Mitchell’s Plane, an entrance on the exact opposite side of where he needed to meet us. By the time we all were ready to board the bus and start the day, it was well past 10:30 am.

The day was spent exclusively exploring the beautiful and awesome scenery of the Cape of South Africa. The cape consists of some of the most exquisite and pristine houses, beaches, and mountain ranges in the country, being most popular among the famous and elite rich.  In order to start our day of exploration, the crew enjoyed a tour along the scenic route of Chapman’s Peak Drive. This drive cuts through expensive neighborhoods, entering into a beautiful cliff-side drive that has mountains bordering one side and the seemingly endless ocean along the other.

At the end of this path laid the town of Hout Bay, a little sea-side community where we stopped for lunch at a local restaurant named Snoekies, named for the local fish used in many of its recipes. Right outside the restaurant, a seal was soaking up the sun and we obviously ran over to take pictures with it. It wasn’t long until he had enough of us and growled at us, making Tiffanie and even Thulani to sprint for their lives. After that, we decided it was time to leave him be and move onto our next location: the markets. Many vendors set up their handcrafted products on the seaside path hoping to entice passing tourists on their drive along the coast. We stopped by and loaded up on gifts for our friends and family, and of course ourselves! There, we saw more seals and Lydia and Professor Kirby even got to pet a much more friendly seal named Poppy.

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Our next stop was one we had been looking forward to since we touched down in South Africa- the PENGUINS. The cutest little penguins occupy Boulders Beach, where we got to walk around and acquaint ourselves with the colony. Outside the beach, more shops, markets and even an acappella group singing traditional South African isicathamiya music greeted us. From there, we kept moving south to the southern most point of not only South Africa, but the entire continent. The Cape of Good Hope is where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet and we hiked up to the lighthouse on Dangers Point where we watched the sun set over our last day in this beautiful place. On the way there, we got to enjoy a mini safari, seeing wild baboons, kudu (a type of antelope), and ostriches! Before leaving, some of us made sure to dip our toes into the water so we could say we’ve touched the Indian ocean!IMG_7701IMG_7677.JPGIMG_0616IMG_7787

Our last stop of the day was to get dinner at the Brass Bell in the town of Kalk Bay to meet Helen Douglas. The Counseling Philosopher, or philosophic counselor, originally from Canada,  moved to South Africa in the 1980’s to fight against the apartheid regime. She and her husband set up a safe house for ANC affiliates, especially Mac Maharaj. After we enjoyed our pasta, pizza, and rib plates she spoke to us about her involvement in the struggle and what attracted her to the fight against injustice. She read us her poem “The Housekeeper’s Tale” which we had closely analyzed and written about in our class assignment the night before. She discussed philosophical ideas behind war and oppression, love and liberation, how to relate to enemies, and violence itself. She was a very interesting, witty, and charismatic speaker which made her a great guest for dinner, we’re very appreciative and thrilled to have gotten the chance to meet her. IMG_0239IMG_0233

Our next adventure is taking to us to our home stays in Soweto, where we unfortunately won’t have access to WiFi. You’ll have to wait until Thursday to read about our first day in Johannesburg.

See you in Jo’burg! We miss you family!!!!

Lydia, Ty, and Maddy

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