Day 1: Long Awaited Arrival

Posted: September 7, 2013 in Children, Deed 30, South Africa

I woke up early on a beautiful Saturday morning from the comfort of my bed in Hoboken, NJ and headed JFK airport.  I was filled with mixed emotions.  I was not looking forward to the long flight but was excited to get to Cape Town.  After a few complications and missed connections, 27 hours later, I arrived at the airport in Cape Town to head to what would be my home for the next 2 weeks.

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View from my host family’s home

Immediately after leaving the airport I was struck by the beauty and poverty of Cape Town.  Cape town is surrounded by mountains and is just plain gorgeous.  After living in a city and working in New York City, not being surrounded by concrete and steel was quite refreshing.  However in between the beauty of the mountains is extreme poverty.  I have seen and experienced poverty in America, but this was just on another level.  It was just shack after shack after shack as far as your could see.  There are no bathrooms and there is no running water.  Some of the lucky residents have a single toilet similar to a “Port-o-John” that they are able to use.  I tried to mentally prepare myself for the poverty before the trip, but to be honest, it was hard to witness first hand.

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My bed for the next 2 weeks

After I finally arrived, I met my host family and the rest of the volunteers. Everyone was very nice and interested in my background.   There are 6 other volunteers staying at the home from all over the world England, Japan, Canada, Germany, and Holland.  I am staying in a bunk bed, and sharing a bathroom, which feels a bit like college…just without the heat. It gets down into the 40’s at night in the winter so it gets quite cold.  Either way, the accommodations are better than I anticipated.  After a brief conversation with my host family and other volunteers,  I headed to my bunk bed early to prepare for the all day orientation I have tomorrow.

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