Amarula is a cream liquor popular in South Africa that, when consumed alongside tequila, vodka, and gin, has the ability to force your new Spanish roommate to sleep in the bathtub on a Wednesday night.
Braai is a traditional South African dish similar to BBQ that is popularly served at and/or is a reason for parties, events, and social gatherings, such as the braai at a local hostel kitchen/bar put on by the Dreams to Reality organization for all its 40 volunteers.
Cape of Good Hope
Driving south for one hour along the costal mountain roads (reminiscent of Big Sur, CA) through cute beach towns leads to the most southwestern tip of Africa where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet and friendship and experience was shared between the Californian, the Canadian, the German in Amsterdam, and the South African.
The closest living relative of an elephant can be found skirting over rocks and looking cute within Table Mountain National Park.
A large reason he travels to the destinations he does is because of the favorable exchange rate that allows him to do and experience life without worrying about the dent it is putting in his bank account: abseiling (harnessed and lowered by a rope down a vertical drop) Table Mountain or quickly grabbing an Uber around town.
Friday Night Market
Blue Bird Goods and Food Market, a three block walk from their home, hosts dozens of food vendors of all backgrounds (restaurant owners, stoners, bakers) offering local and global cuisine inside a warehouse decorated with string lighting centered around long, crowded wooden picnic benches with people filling their stomachs with tastes and their hearts with community.
Though the majority of his meals are vegetarian, local musicians played live instruments inside the restaurant Mama Africa as he experienced new meats from a wild game kabob (R115, USD $7.50) including Kudu, Springbok, and Ostrich.
One of the best moments each day occurred as he entered Mrs. Peterson’s grade R (kindergarten) class when he was met with calls of “Hiii Trevor,” accompanied by dozens of small humans hugging his waist.
It doesn’t seem that children in tattered clothes without guaranteed meals should have positive attitudes, however; many are more positive than children raised in large estates and sent to expensive summer camps for a few weeks each summer.
Jack Black Brewing Company
Serving the tastiest Pale Ale in town, Jack Black Brewing offered familiarity and comfort not only with hops and malt but a recognizable vibe and décor reminiscent of his life working at Ventura Coast Brewing Company.
This year he has been to seven countries and driven through 16 states and has learned It does not matter if a person is an Uber driver from Zimbabwe relocated to Cape Town or a volunteer from Lebanon spending a month in Muzinberg, the best people root themselves in kindness.
Five Germans, two Americans, two Australians, a Canadian, a Swede, a Spaniard, a Lebanese, a British volunteer and one box of South African white wine hiked a wide trail that leads to a smaller trail that leads to ladders that leads to scaling a wall using chains that leads to a narrow ridge path that leads to the most rewarding sunset in Cape Town.
His home for 5 weeks felt similar to his beach home in California because it is equipped with surf shops and cafes he skated around but felt dissimilar because every house had fences and sharp wire and fellow volunteers were mugged during his time there.
One of the biggest limitations of his experience was the inability to take night walks due to the unsafe nature of the area (ie muggings), however; it did allow for more time spent together.
The children in the townships had very little and they always shared food and treats without batting an eye; the volunteers learned to share time, food, and build a community without batting an eye.
While exploring foreign countries he enjoys snacking on brand name potato chip flavors catered to the population; in South Africa these flavors include new favorites Lays Caribbean Onion and Balsamic Vinegar and Pringles Sour Cream and Thai Chili.
Up until booking his flight a few weeks before departure he never thought he would experience life and schooling with children in Africa because he thought why would it ever be him, and then it was.
The power of everyday realities he had never experienced showed themselves to him: the commonplace occurrences of drug use or not having meals, or living in shacks of the townships, or the differences and similarities among twenty young adults from all over the world living under one roof, or the fact any place can feel like home with the right people and the right attitude.
Sunrise and Sunsets
The sun casts a magnificent and unparalleled light upon everything it touches each morning it wakes up and each evening it goes to sleep; he watched as many as he could.
The ferry shuttled them to the empty cells of Robben Island, a former prison during Apartheid that held political prisoners including Nelson Mandela, where a past prisoner toured them around retelling stories of life on this island and detailed the biggest inspiration to keep fighting for the right cause was looking to Table Mountain and promising themselves they would climb that beautiful piece of land once they were free.
One of the new seven wonders of the world is a national park with a mountain range plateaus flat that offers hiking trails or an aerial tram ride, abseiling, and a playground for exploration that is so beautiful he thought until he arrived every picture of this gorgeous landscape was photoshopped and layered with filters.
Uber is his primary mode of transportation and primary source of learning about life and culture in South Africa as well as mentalities and wisdoms.
The allure of standing seaside and staring into the open ocean never leaves him; staring south knowing the next land mass was Antarctica sent shivers through his body in the November Spring of the southern hemisphere.
The rolling hills set amongst dramatic mountains of the Stellenbosch region facilitated their tipsy tour (re: full glass flight pours) to posh estates, including the third oldest in South Africa and the home of the first bottled Pinotage.
Table Mountain Range backdrops the entirety of Cape Town and provides hikes to overlooks and rock outcroppings that are blasted with wind and offer a window to geez down on life in the towns below.
Though American music is played around the world, tracks featuring inappropriate slang and filthy messages from South Africa like Cape Towns’ own YougstaCPT’s track “Yassis” are not played in his American life, until now.
With volunteers coming and leaving, the mindset of doing everything and experiencing more consumed him; zero time was wasted in those five weeks.