I've arrived, all going well so far

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Dec 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
Volunteer House

Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Sunday, May 9, 2010

Well, I got here with no hitches-  it was a very long journey though and the flight from Dubai to Cape Town felt like it went for ever but overall it wasn't too bad. I didn't get any sleep at all so was shattered on arrival.  I was sitting beside a really nice guy on the way to Dubai who was from Afghanistan and he was making his way back there as he had a job interview with the UN to attend.  I was very impressed with Emirate airlines, can't believe how much food we got to eat and it was all edible which is no mean feat for an airline. Also, their interactive flight entertainment system is fab!  There are hundreds of things to watch or listen to which is brilliant when you can't sleep.  I think I saw 4 movies on the way over!!  Excellent introduction to long haul flights!

I was met at the airport by Karen, the wife of the man who runs the volunteer project here and was transferred to the volunteer house which is next door to them.  This means I am not staying with a host family near the township as I was originally informed but all the volunteers are sharing a house near the town centre.  Despite Real Gap telling me there weren't any other volunteers here, there are 3 guys in the house and 2 other girls who are in a flat nearby. I am sharing the house with David, Thomas and Paul and we are chumming each other round until we all get our bearings!  I have a room to myself with a double bed and ensuite bathroom which I share with Tom so not a bad start, better than a hostel!!  We haven't exactly had the promised orientation from the organisers.  They gave us a welcome meal and drinks which was great but we weren't told anything about the project. It was more of a social, getting to know each other evening. The other girls here on the project have therefore been our source of information so far.  So, we get driven to and from the school each day and we rotate between a primary and secondary school each week.  The kids sound like a nightmare from what they have said but I guess I'll find out tomorrow for myself!  Rather worryingly they said the only way the kids respect you is if you hit them, especially the primary school kids, so I might be in for a bit of a culture shock.

It was a fantastic day yesterday so we all climbed Table Mountain.  It was not too bad a climb but certainly isn't to be taken lightly! Some of the steps were really high, my whole stride length, which was quite tiring so I did have to stop to take a few breathers along the way.  Still, I did it in just over 1.5 hours though which isn't bad at all if I do say so myself!!  The views are stunning and the climb is well worth it.  We got on a hop on, hop off tourist bus after that so went along Camps Bay for lunch and then into town and had a walk around the harbour.  There are some pretty impressive boats moored there, definitely a few million pounds worth so obviously some people have money here!  The waterfront is really pretty and it is a working harbour which is interesting as we saw men working on the massive boats. 

Completely different weather today, it's pouring down! It is winter here so we have to be prepared for some rain.  (It gets dark at 6pm which is taking a bit of getting used to!)  We are therefore just having a chill day today.  We are going to the pub in a while for a couple of beers and we are going out for a meal tonight at Mama Africa's which is apparently one of the nicest restaurants in Cape Town.  Should be good!

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TJ on

Hey Cazza Maccer... good luck for the next 3 weeks, will keep track on you via your blog. Hope your well and having a good time so far. Lots of love TJ xx

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