My first week @ MBC

Hey everyone!

My name’s Helen and I’m just beginning my first week of six, volunteering at Muizenberg Beach Club. I met the kids yesterday, and I think its fair to say that they are already better at surfing than I will ever be. They have so much energy!

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I’m really excited to be here. With my endless list of things to do and see, I’m not sure six weeks will be enough. Top of my list is climbing Table Mountain, although definitely using the easier route; shortly followed by seeing the penguins at Boulders Beach.

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I’ve never visited South Africa before, and as someone who was brought up in a comfortable home in England, I was quite shocked by some if the poverty here. It makes me very glad that there are projects like this that are working to improve the lives of kids who have grown up in some pretty tough conditions.

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I have to say, I was struck by how polite the kids are. Each of them was keen to shake my hand and introduce themselves, and I have no doubt that they all have so much potential to grow up to do great things. Hopefully as a volunteer I’ll be able to help give them the opportunities that they deserve; keeping them from getting involved in gangs, and allowing them to get out and enjoy themselves.

Adios for now, I’ll let you know how it goes



My last weekend I spent with Saskia and Will in Hermanus. Hermanus is a small fishing village close to Walker Bay and much affected by tourists. We rented a car in Cape Town for the trip. We were all really excited because neither Saskia nor I had ever been driving on the left side of the street. Luckily Saskia is a good driver and she managed driving at the wrong side of the street pretty fast, only the use of the blinker was difficult, instead of the blinker you would see windshield wiper turn on.

We went over the highway until we arrived Somerset West and from there we drove along the Whale Coast Route. Driving through Somerset West you need to lock your doors and close your windows, because there are all kinds of people trying to sell you stuff when you have to stop at a traffic light. But you also see funny things. One guy had a sign saying “Wife and kids kidnapped by ninja fighters. Need money for teakwondo lessons.” At least he was creative…

Our next stop was at a parking lot at the Whale Coast, somewhere close to Gordons Bay. We had lunch there and saw something in the water that might have been a really big dolphin or a really small whale. Actually I think we saw both.

Whale Coast Route

In Betty´s Bay I saw for the first time penguins in the wild. They were so cute waddling at the beach or falling into the water. Unfortunately you cannot see them from close because you are walking on a footbridge over the penguin area. Next to Betty´s Bay there were baboons crossing to road. When I texted my boyfriend, that I saw baboons, penguins and an animal similar to a whale he asked me if I went to the zoo. Nope, that´s South Africa, honey!

BettysBay1Betty´s Bay

IMG_5436Baboons crossing the road

In Hermanus we went straight to the beach and tanned in the sun. When it became darker we went into the town and there to a tapas restaurant. On Saturdays there is a flea market in Hermanus where you can get animals made from plastic pearls, recycled paper necklaces or solar-powered lamps in jam jars. The night we spent in Hermanus Backpackers but sleeping was quite difficult, thanks to two loud and drunk roomies.

Hermanus1Exploring Hermanus

Very early on Sunday morning Saskia and me went to Kleinbaai Harbour in Gransbaai where we wanted to do shark cage diving. Due to my map reading skills we arrived 20 minutes too late but it was no problem because the waves were too high and the wind was too strong, so the shark cage diving tour was canceled. Still we had a really good and gratis breakfast and watched a movie about sharks. When we came back to Hermanus it was still very early in the morning, so we decided to have a coffee, climb up the local mountain of Hermanus and just stray around in the town. After sightseeing we enjoyed the finer things in life: shopping!

Mountain1Local mountain of Hermanus

Lunch we had together with Will in Bientang´s Cave, which is an incredible seafood restaurant built in the cliffs of Hermanus. You can sit there and watch the waves crash into the rocks. The water sometimes sprayed so high that you could feel drops of water on your skin but never so much that your food got wet.

BientangsCave1Incredibly good salmon at Bientang´s Cave

After another time at the beach we finally started our drive back. It was a great weekend in beautiful Hermanus and on our way to Muizenberg we could watch the sunset at Whale Coast Route.

SunsetSunset at Whale Coast Route

Anna, MBC volunteer from Germany