Hiking and Movie Night

On Friday, we took a quick break from surfing, and decided to take the boys hiking, followed by a braai (it took me quite a while to realize that means a BBQ) and movie night. The boys’ initial reaction was the same as always; ‘but we want to go surfing’. However, by the time we returned, all of them agreed how much they’d enjoyed it. We went out in search of a waterfall, which was supposedly located 6km from MBC. We hiked up Peck’s Valley at quite a pace considering how steep it was, Asi and Themba running ahead.


On arriving at the site of the illusive waterfall, we found that it had in fact dried up, leaving behind a sharp drop down the side of the mountain. The boys weren’t too phased however, and instead explored the valley, and sat admiring the views.


We’re here, but where’s the waterfall?


The descent was not much easier than the climb up. Despite the steep and rocky path, the boys got down with ease, finding the energy to make jokes and chat as we went. Although I did slightly fear for my life as I scrambled down the mountain, the view out over Muizenberg and the sea was stunning.


Sitting round the braai












We piled back into the office, exhausted but content. Ant lit the braai and we sat round with blankets to shelter from the evening breeze. After eating a well earned dinner, we gathered round to watch the film – a documentary in which Ant took some world famous surfers around South Africa. It was full of amazing breaks and awesome tricks; the boys audibly gasping as the surfers rode barrels as effortlessly as if they were walking. Kelly Slater joined them for part of it, and his superhuman surfing and shiny silver wetsuit certainly added to the film.


Watching the movie

At the end of the evening, the boys piled into Ant’s bakkie and drove back home. The night was undoubtedly a success, with everyone leaving smiling and laughing.

Braai at Nancy’s

Yesterday was the best day of my life. I have always dreamed about being a part of African love, energy and dance. And it happened! Tonight, all the volonteers of MBC were to invited to ‘braai’ (South African name for barbecue) at Nancy’s house. Nancy lives in Khayelitsha, the largest township in Cape Town. Ant has known Nancy his whole life. She used to work for his grandmother, cleaning her house once a week, and when Ant’s gran died, Ant employed Nancy to work at Learn 2 Surf and the MBC volunteer house. After Nancy finished work on Wednesday, we all drove in the MBC bus to the township where Nancy lives. DSC_0014

When we arrived, we made a short walk among the houses to see how people live in the township. The locals have very little money and most of them have built their own houses from things they have found – but everyone was so happy and friendly – not like the rich people in the fancy houses. Behind us, a small group of kinds was following us. Very curious but also shy, they stayed at a reasonable distance from us .. and Zeus, Ant’s big white dog (is a celebrity in Muizenberg, and very popular on Facebook).



 But it was very easy to break the ice with the kids, and I’ve hardly put a child on my back when four others followed. We jumped, laughed, and spun around dancing in the street. It was a great exeperience : I don´t know who were the happiest !



And it was only the beginning ! As a gift, the children gave us a small show of their best dance and songs: national anthem and traditional dances, everything was perfect. At this time, I felt I was exactly where I belong. One of Nancy`s friends was a dancing teacher : she took and water bucket and turned it into drum.DSC_0104

At this time, no matter which color we were, everybody was just dancing and singing and having fun together.


 Then, it was braai time. We gave crisps to the children outside, and joined Nancy to eat diner: Later we took some pictures of her family as a gift that we will print for her.DSC_0235

 DSC_0247I have never met such friendly, welcoming and smiling people. This human experience was really amazing because it was definitely what I wanted to do in South Africa.

Surfing on the Wild West Coast of South Africa

Last weekend a group of MBC volunteers, one of the Learn 2 Surf instructors plus some of the Muizenberg crew headed on a road trip along the west coast of South Africa! The wave forecast looked promising along this stretch of the Western Cape and we certainly weren’t disappointed! We camped pretty much on the beach for three nights and surfed at Elands Bay (Elandsbaai) and Lambert’s Bay (Lambertsbaai). The waves were more challenging than at Muizenberg and considerably larger, which was good experience! It was quite awesome to watch the more advanced surfers do their tricks out at the point at Elands.

Surfing the point at Elands

During our trip we had braais (South African BBQs) overlooking the beach and an incredible all-you-can-eat seafood dinner at Muisbosskerm, the famous open-air restaurant right on the shore that was featured in the cult surf film ‘The Endless Summer II’ – a perfect place to watch the sun go down and refuel for surfing the next day.

Road tripping!

Road tripping!

We had some impromptu yoga sessions at sunset and dusk – it was pretty special looking up at the darkening sky and watching the full moon and the stars come out one by one over the sea, especially as there’s so little light pollution there.

Surfer at Elands

This particular section of coastline has a rather wild, untamed beauty which is quite stunning. Ancient rock paintings, dating back to the San Bushmen, are located in a nearby cave up in a cliff face and we did a mini hike up to the cave to see them. The rock art includes paintings of elands and hundreds of red handprints thought to be connected to ancient rites of passage. We also saw some cool wildlife during our trip – seals, dassies, flamingos, ostriches, baboons, lizards . . .

Ancient rock art at Elands Bay

Ancient rock art at Elands Bay

Muizenberg is a perfect and safe beach for learning to surf and for practising your skills while you’re working on the MBC project but there are so many good surf spots here in South Africa and Elands Bay makes an amazing surf trip from the Cape Town area for MBC volunteers.

Spot the birdie at Elands


Maddy, volunteer from England

My First Week


My name’s Rob and I’m MBC’s newest volunteer. I’m a bit of a blogging virgin so here goes. I’ve had a crazy first week here in South Africa so I’m going try and sum it up. I got the bus from Joberg into Cape Town last Monday and started volunteering with MBC on Tuesday. In the mornings we get to practise our surfing and improve our skills. I came here an absolute beginner but since have started to be able to stand up and catch some waves! It’s an unreal experience. At first I was using the long boards but now in my second week, I’ve progressed to the short boards. These are a lot more difficult and require more balance. It’s fun but I’m usually knackered by lunch. After something to eat and some office work, we usually go and collect the kids who have just finished school. The children are great, full of energy, maybe too much energy… On the Tuesday and Friday afternoon we took them surfing at Muizenberg, they really know their stuff. On Wednesday we played soccer with them.  They really enjoy it and are very appreciative of getting the chance to do these activities. 

On Wednesday evening I experienced my first braai, which I’ve learned is what the South Africans call a barbecue. It was cool spending time with the other volunteers. The volunteers I’m with have come from all over the world; America, Sweden, the UK, the list goes on. So it’s pretty interesting learning about and getting to know them. 
We have the weekends free on the project so on Saturday I headed to the Cape Town centre with Hannah. We went to the waterfront, looking round various shops and restaurants, even had time for a quick haircut in a retro barber shop. It was a chill afternoon and soon enough we headed back to our hostel to meet the Swedish girls, also MBC volunteers. We had a braai and experienced the famous long street nightlife. On Sunday we did something a bit more adventurous: paragliding from Signal hill, next to Table Mountain.
It was awesome, flying over the buildings below, definitely a cool way to see the city. We ended the weekend in Camps Bay, just outside of Cape Town, siting on the rocks watching the beautiful sunset. 
And now I’m back in Muizenberg and the project goes on! 
It’s a really ace set up here and I can’t wait for my next 3 weeks with MBC!
Robert, volunteer from Scotland

Heritage day (National braai day)

It was Heritage Day and the boys were off from school so they came to spend the day with us at the beach club.

We started the day by going out and surfing in the wonderful sunny day. When we felt satisfied and all surfed well we returned to the office and get dressed.

While we were prepared the braai, the boys played outside with skate boards, some of them fixed ​​their surfboards andothers just took it easy to listen to music and dancing. We had a nice time.

When the braai was ready so we all ate together and drank soda. We all had a really good braai day.

My friend and I are from Sweden and we have no Heritage day, so now we know what it means, and we also tested the African sausages (boerewors) and ginger beer. But we did not like it so much but lucky that the boys did it anyway!

Ellen, Swedish volunteer