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Ocean Driven: The Chris Bertish Story with MBC

One of the most valuable things in MBC that we try to teach the amazing kids we work with is the ability for them to have the belief that they can be whatever they wish to be and their dreams need not be dreams. We’re always searching for new ways to inspire them alongside the local community, so when legendary big wave surfer offered tickets to the kids for the African premiere of his film, Ocean Driven, at the Galileo Open Air Cinema in Kirstenbosch, we knew the kids had to go along.

Normally at MBC we use our bus to get around and for these sort of events, however, recently it was vandalised and parts stolen. As a result, we had to use our only other method of transport to get to the gardens – Ant’s Bakkie. Squeezing seven kids and myself into the bakkie to get to Kirstenbosch from Muizenberg was a slight issue, though everybody was brimming with excitement on a picture perfect night. With the sun hanging low, the gardens had come to life in a way the kids nor myself had ever seen. Being my first and many of their first times in the botanical gardens and having heard many raving reviews of their outstanding beauty, none of us were quite as prepared for the vibrancy of the flora and their overpowering yet ultimately soothing scent.

Drinking the fresh water from Table Mountain

Drinking the fresh water from Table Mountain

Having taken our seats, everyone’s urge to explore took over as Ant led us off into the enchanted gardens. It’s appropriate to say the kids were astounded with the trails. Learning about the Cape’s past through nature; drinking the fresh water off Table Mountain; racing around the paths and Boonslang Walkway and also chasing some ducks – their enjoyment could be felt from a mile away.

With everyone’s mind in total peace from our brief exploration of the gardens, we made our way back to the cinema. Generously, Chris had given the kids perfect seats right at the front for brilliant viewing of the film with blankets (that proved to be utterly essential) and free popcorn – the best part. As everyone settled down for the film, Chris had a quick photo with the kids and made a small speech before the main event, telling us his story and how the movie was made for the kids. This had us all in awe at how this seemingly normal man had pulled through so much to achieve his goals; however, these sentiments were only exacerbated following the film.

Explorers getting a better view

Explorers getting a better view

The story told by Chris and his friends and family in the film was truly inspiring, especially for the kids. For the up-and-coming next generation of South African surfing, seeing how a local like themselves had achieved so much had evidently stirred all of their thoughts (and most of the audience included). Whilst the applause for the great cinematography rang on, Chris had a few more words to say and questions to answer for the audience. Mainly aiming them at the kids, he spoke of his own hardships on a more personal level than in the movie. Listening attentively, one message stuck very clearly in the kids minds from Chris: ‘Dream it. See it. Believe it. Achieve it.”

On our journey home, loaded into the bakkie once more but with the cover pulled over to keep the wind from getting to us and making us resemble of a tin of sardines, it was clear how much of an impact the night had on the kids. Frequently repeating the saying, they had all been motivated beyond belief by the film and rightly so. The kids of MBC are a truly special bunch, capable of achieving whatever they set out to do, and hopefully this will help them see so.

To the kids: Dream it. See it. Believe it. Achieve it. It’s only up to you, live out your dreams!

MBC meets Chris Bertish

 

Awesome seats right at the front

 

Beautiful Table Mountain and the Gardens

 

Flying above the trees

 

Jumping Bloukrans Bungee Bridge

 

Being awoken at 4am on a Saturday morning is no easy situation to deal with, especially when facing an eight-hour road trip purely to launch yourself off a 216m bridge. However, that’s what my friends and I decided we’d spend our weekend doing.

Getting ready for go time…

All nine of us feeling terribly exhausted and groggy clambered onto the bus and quickly found a spot as comfortable as we could to try regaining some rest even though most were quaking in their boots at the thought of what we were heading for. The worlds highest bungee bridge, and until 2007, the outright highest bungee jump in the world – and we were going to plunge ourselves off it. Though this was one of the main things many of us wanted to do while in South Africa, it was difficult to grasp that we were heading to it now.

Heading through the Garden Route, the trip was enough to keep many of us from sleeping however. Flying round every bend, everyone pulled out his or her cameras for another snap of the dream world we were in. Encountering elephants; zebras; springboks and ostriches amongst some of the most outstanding scenery I had ever seen was truly making me fall deeper and deeper for this wonderful place.

Doubting these leg wraps will hold

Driving over various huge valleys and being jokingly condescending to their height from the bridge, we eventually hit Bloukrans Bridge. This wasn’t one to joke about. Towering above the valley floor by 216m, to think we were jumping off it was absurd. Watching others plummet until the bungee rope gave some resistance was stomach churning. Our guide told us we had 5 seconds of uninterrupted free fall at 120kph. We couldn’t possibly register how that felt until we were falling.

The walk to the platform along the bridge was when we really began to realise what we were doing. Watching our distance ground grow with every step, it was amazing how remarkably calm everyone managed to be, though that all changed when your jumper number was called up. Getting tied round the ankles and aided up to the ledge, you could see too well what you were launching yourself into with blind faith for the rope around your ankles to hold. Though the pounding beats on the platform soothed the nerves slightly, nothing could prepare you for the drop.

Being hoisted back up, adrenaline through the roof

Free falling into a rocky valley at the speeds we hit is simply unexplainable. It was a compete blur. Though as you hit the ending of the plunge, you begin to question whether it will ever end. When the elastic heaves you back up toward the bridge, a huge sense of relief comes over oneself – but the adrenaline and urge to keep falling overpowers it entirely. To say you feel indestructible may overstep the mark a little, but its tough to find another way to describe the feeling afterward.

Since I can barely remember the moment, I stuck together a video from clips I gathered that day to see the madness unfold for my own sake and my friends. Have a watch and if your in South Africa – most definitely have a try.

No going back

When you think you may die…

 

 

Skating Muizenberg with MBC

As always at MBC, when the surf ain’t up, we’re always out and about doing something active regardless. Last week, one of our kids, Asi, and myself (Dan) took to the streets of Muizenberg to cruise around the town to find some nice spots to skate and see the town from a different perspective whilst catching as much as we could on the GoPro for MBC’s first skate edit.

Following our hike up Peck’s Valley, Asi and I both remembered just how insane it would have been to hill-bomb Boyes Drive – this was our first stop. Flying down the hill on our small, wobbly boards in the baking sun overlooking the cape flats and Muizenberg was quite an extraordinary cruise – even though it was incredibly tough to take it all in whilst battling every urge to jump off your board before your face made your acquaintance with the road…

Luckily however, we both came to the end of the hills unscathed and stoked beyond belief as a result. Hooking down Old Boyes Drive and skating back along the main road, our next stop was up by Bluebird Garage (http://www.bluebirdmarket.co.za), site of the legendary Muizenberg market and a must see for all new to the town for great food and a great start to every Friday night. Passing by silkily on the smooth roads, we diverted into the back streets and residential areas of Muizenberg. Full of beautiful and colourful little houses, this quaint part of Muizenberg is heavenly to have a little walk around to get away from the main road and bustling beach – and ideal if you’re a skater for its wonderfully smooth roads.

Coming out the other side of the village, we doubled back up to Surfers Corner, where Asi broke out his bag of tricks (which were unreal for the amount of time he’s spent on a skateboard). Skating every possible spot he could trick on, Asi’s confidence was clearly growing by every attempt until he was nailing everything he set his mind to. In fact, he shredded so hard that he managed to stomp his foot through the kicktail on his board – a serious mark of commitment!

In light of all this, I managed to stick together a video from our cruise around town (it’s also my first edit) that you can check out above. To the truly remarkable kids that we get to work with here at MBC – keep shredding!

Peck’s Valley Hike with MBC

Even when the waves aren’t pumping at Muizenberg, nobody here at MBC is happy taking a day off and not being out and about. I found that out for the first time went we went hiking up Peck’s Valley (just behind our offices).

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Mike leads us along the path

It had been quite a hot day and with the sun beginning to set, we – Mike, Asi and fellowvolunteer Lèna – set off up the valley in perfect hiking conditions with a strong wind keeping us cool. As we followed the rocky trail up, led by Mike, our guide for the day, I was quickly shown the extent and beauty of the Cape Flats that are so visible from the beginning of the hike.

The walk up was swift with everyone keeping a good pace, stopping only to drink from some of the great fresh water streams that had filtered through the rocks and fell down the cliffs. After around an hour of climbing we hit the top of the valley and were presented with an open landscape. Unscathed and sand covered with mountains as far as the eye could see – it was closed to perfection in my hiking eye. We battled on across the plain against the howling wind toward the caves where I was told we’d be able to crawl around and explore (when we eventually found them).

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Up the Valley we go

However, following finding them I was completely astounded. Mike and Asi hurriedly took us into the darkness assuring Lèna and I that they knew the caves like the back of their hands, though after a few tense minutes of crawling we were all a little confused as to where our exit was. Though this was a slight issue, everyone was completely relaxed by the serenity of the caves and the wonderful silence they brought. The extent of the caves was too very impressive, with many smaller tunnels running far deeper into the mountains; we could only wonder where they’d take us if we were small enough to fit. After a few photos were taken, Mike then found us the exit through a gap in the rocks and a path back down the mountains.

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The path – completely open and gracing us with mountains as far as our eyes could see

Stumbling back down the mountain covered in soot from the charred plants and with tired legs after running sections of the path and hopping from rocks, everyone was clearly tired from the hike. Regardless, it was clear how inspired by the enjoyment it brought we all were and ready itching to do a few more. Once again the MBC dudes have shown me an epic day out and I can only wonder where this experience will take us all next.

 

 

 

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Asi, Mike, Lèna and I (Dan) stoked at the top of the valley being blinded by the sun trying to take a selfie

 

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Beautiful views of Cape Point from a cliff edge

 

 

 

My First Day in Muizenberg

For the past year, the thought of being essentially on the polar opposite of the world surfing some of the worlds best waves has been a distant dream whilst in the rough, murky waters of Scotland getting pounded by wall after wall of mush. Frequently struggling to breakthrough the impenetrable battleground of white water in thunderstorms and temperatures as low as -2 degrees Celsius, you’d think most places would be better, however, I could not have dreamt of such a fine day for my first in Muizenberg with the Muizenberg Beach Club.

signFrom first stepping through the door into what’s currently a movie set surrounded by hundreds of boards and the soothing bass of Bob Marley, the crew at MBC wereinstantly welcoming and within minutes we were out to the water. As a Scot, we tend not to have the opportunity to surf waves of any commendable quality, so stepping down to the beach to see wonderfully forming glassy waves in clean sets with many breaks sitting empty left me truly itching to get out there myself.

As the session went on the quality of the Muizenberg surf began to reveal itself. With the waves growing in size, steepness, glassiness and beauty, my surfing also followed suit. The resulting effect on this poor Scot having never been subjected to surf of this quality could only be

huts

described as super stoked as one last wave for the morning was ridden the whole distance into the beach.

Completely exhausted and with arms close to dropping off my sides from the countless waves surfed, I type still incomprehensively amazed by the events of today. With a brilliant lunch from the Stoked Backpackers café next to the MBC offices I prepare for another day, aiding in the teaching and support of the kids from the Cape Flats involved with the project.

Being a young Scot and not necessarily the greatest surfer just yet, the irresistible urge to travel and progress with your skills that comes with surfing has now been addressed with my arrival in Muizenberg, however, I doubt myself that there may have been a finer introduction to my surfing travels elsewhere in the world. With such great waves and in such an amazing backdrop, maybe heading back to the frozen seas of Scotland will be a big problem.

Cheers to the MBC guys for a great start, now to progress even further.


Share the Stoke Outreach Surfing Games

Today is the D-Day ! Today it’s the Earthwave Beach Festival ! MBC kids are ready ! Three of them will brave waves and win in the first Share the Stoke Outreach Surfing Games.

Despite the bad weather 14 teams made of 5 surfer each were ready to play and to completed for gold medals and surfboards. But during this games, the performance wasn’t the main skill, each team had to shpw the most support and enthusiasm for their tag teammates in hope of wining the “Team Spirit Award”.

The goal was to surf two waves to the best of their abilities and to touch the hand of his tag teammate before the final siren.

 

Waiting his turn...

Waiting his turn…

 

At the end of the day, when kids are a little bit frozen, the results were announced !

Even if the MBC kids didn’t win a surfboard, they have a very nice medal. But especially, and the most important, they are more motivated than ever to surf and to progress !

And as we said in France, the most important is not to win but to participate !

So proud of their medals! Well done guys!

So proud of their medals! Well done guys!

 

Ant coaching kids

Ant coaching kids

Goodbye Cape Town!

My little “Africa adventure” has already came to an end. My last week in South Africa was fully packed with unforgettable activities.. so let me report about it!

I had an awesome last day at MBC project and also at Muizenberg beach. Ant and I organised a little surf competition, therefor we all met at 3:30 pm at Muizenberg beach excited for today’ s surf session. The waves were quite brilliant that day. After warming up, Ant briefed everyone about today’s surf rules. Surf competition started!

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While one part of the kids surfed against each other the rest of us cheered happily. Ant made the judge. It was an heavy neck-and-neck race, the kids are all quite good surfers and showed us their best surf moves, Ant judged fairly… but we all know, in the end there only can be one winner! Third place went to Siminkiwe, second to Asi and first place was made by Godfrey!! Back in the office we had a little award ceremony and then it was time to say goodbye to all the lovely MBC kids…:( I will definitely miss them!

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Next day I left Muizenberg early in the morning going on the 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour for my last weekend which was organised by Cape to Addo. I spent 3 exciting days on the tour seeing wild animals, having the chance to do the World’s biggest Bungy Jump, having an elephant encounter and visiting the incredible caves.

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On Monday morning I had to say goodbye to Ant and Zeus and also to the beautiful village Muizenberg where I spent the last month. My last 3 days I stayed in Cape Town with a really good friend of mine who I met here in South Africa. We just enjoyed the City for the last time, we did the Cape Point Tour (Boulders Beach, Cape of Good Hope, Bo Kaap… ;)), the Red Bus Tour and visited the Water Front once again where we bought some souvenirs.

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On Wednesday we both started our journey back home to Europe. I firstly flew to Ireland, Dublin to visit my boyfriend (he’ s studying there…).

When I finally arrived in Germany, Stuttgart, I left the airplane and realized I was back home where everyone around speaks my mother language, I felt really strange.

Now it has been about 3 weeks when I landed in Stuttgart and I still love to reminisce back about my trip in South Africa and MBC project. Everything here is so much different than it was in Cape Town… I may have left South Africa but South Africa will never leave me… one time I will definitely come back! :)

Anna, Germany

Last week at MBC project…

Time runs so fast…

…unfortunately I have to realize that there are only 10 days left until I have to fly back home. Today my friends in Germany text me that it is still snowing over there. So I guess, I will miss the sun, the lovely Muizenberg Beach and of course the MBC project. But now I don’ t wanna think about leaving, I’ m still here.

Having a good time at Muizenberg Beach

 

The last days with the MBC kids were fully packed with exciting events. School holidays has just started! Last week the kids and me enjoyed some great days at the beach full of surfing, relaxing and just having fun. Waves were quite brilliant but as a consequence too many surfers outside ;)

On Tuesday we went to “Lifestyle Surfschool” to try on brand new, super cool wetsuits which will be sponsored to the MBC kids.

 

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Just taking a shower after a great surf

 

 

 

 

I should not forget to report about the big soccer match against the Surfshack kids last Thursday. We have been all quite excited. Both talented teams met at the soccer field in Muizenberg. After a 50 minutes head-to-head fair play filled with struggle, swaet and fun the winner was absolutely visible. The MBC kids made the match (5:1!!!) against Surfshack. Atmosphere on our way back was just excellent.

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“1, 2, 3 MBC!!!”

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head-to-head against the Surfshack kids

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We made the match!!!(:

The MBC soccer team

 

I still can’ t belive that I had the oppertunity to come to South Africa. The last 3 weeks I collect so many different impressions and made some important life experience which will definitely shape me and my life. I have an amazing time here in Cape Town and at MBC project!! One of my favorite activities here was climbing up on Table Mountain. After a 2 hour hiking tour it seemed like being at the end of my rope. But as soon as we reached top of Table Mountain all effort has blown away… The view was just incredible!!!

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On top of Table Mountain

 

Anna, Germany

My first week at MBC

Hey… May I shortly introduce myself…?;)

I’ m Anna, 18 years old. I normally live in a small town in Germany far away from South Africa, Cape Town where I just started volunteering at Muizenberg Beach Club.

Full of anticipation on sun, beach, surfing and a good time at MBC project I started my exciting journey to my world’ s other end.

On Monday I finally arrived at Ant’ s house in Muizenberg where I will stay the coming 4 weeks. After he showed me around the house and his lovely facility I immediately felt like I am home and fell asleep tiredly and curiously for the next day.

On Tuesday my first day at MBC project started. I waited excitedly until the kids arrived at 3.30 pm for their one hour surf session which I enjoyed with them. After my first day with the kids they’ ve made me already feel like being part of their team.

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#warm-up #readytosurf?

On Thursday we met for playing soccer together at a field near Muizenberg.

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#soccer #havingfun

On top of that my personal highlight of the week with the MBC kids was the soccer game on Friday at Athlone Stadium, it was also Phila’ s 19th birthday. After visiting Muizenberg Market we picked the kids up to the stadium. In aid of flags and vuvuzelas we cheered for Ajax Cape Town who finally made the match against Bloemfontain Celtic.

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#cheering #AjaxCapeTown

I enjoyed my weekend staying with some friends in Cape Town where we climbed on Lion’ s Head, spotted Cape Town nightlife and just relaxed at Cliffton Beach.

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#Lion’sHead #amazingview

Now it has been more than a week when Ant welcomed me heartly in Muizenberg and I’ ve already fell in love with the beautiful and breathtaking landscape of South Africa.

I just can say that I am really looking forward to spend my next weeks at MBC project!!

See you, Anna :-)

My 4 weeks with MBC

I’m Selina, a volunteer from Germany and I decided to come back to South Africa to do another volunteering program. This is now my 4th week in  Muizenberg, South Africa, and also my last week unfortunately. It’s my first time in Muizenberg and it is a really nice town as everyone is really friendly there and you get to meet a lot of different people. This is a picture of where I work during the week. Can’t complain!

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                                                                                                                Me, Harry, Whymth and Sorcha

I’ve never done surfing before so I was really excited on my first day to learn it. At the beginning I found it a bit hard but during my stay I improved  my surfing skills and it was a lot of fun! One of my highlights was the surfing in the mornings and in the afteroon with the kids. All of the MBC boys are so lovely and it’s always fun to hang out with them. I’m really going to miss them! Every morning I was looking forward to go surfing with the kids, play soccer or go for a hike with them and it was so nice to see how excited they got every time we went surfing. It was great to see that the kids tried to get more people coming to MBC and to learn how to surf as well and spend their free time efficiently.

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During the weekends the volunteers have time to see a lot of Cape Town or other places, for example we hiked up Table Mountain and visited Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope and Robben Island.

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Some of the volunteers at Cape Point

I can highly recommend to volunteer at MBC and hope that all the following volunteers will have an amazing time as I had!