Being a tourist

After a five-day week working with the penguins, I have now learnt to handle, feed, tube and prepare their medication. Amazing. Staying in a country with different rules and regulations makes a very big difference in the working world. I imagined you would have had to be trained for weeks before even beginning to touch the medication, let alone supervising my own pen for the day.

This was the case yesterday when I was assigned to supervise one of the pens due to only five of us working the day. Slightly overwhelmed by the idea, seeing as I had only just been trained, it was a great way to be thrown into the deep end and get on with it. Luckily the five of us all chipped in and worked together resulting in me understanding the schedule of the daily jobs.

Knowing that volunteering is an unpaid decision makes the experience even more worthwhile, and surprisingly I feel more effort is put into the work I do. They’re long, hard days, with many hours spent cleaning, but I am gaining great experience and learning new lessons everyday, especially living amongst a very underprivileged society.

The past couple of days I have been off, and again I tried to fill them will things to do. On the Friday I headed down to V&A Waterfront where I grabbed some lunch from the food market and had a wander around the shops. A pretty chilled day all in all.

V&A Waterfront
V&A Waterfront

Saturdays and Sundays are the days which most of the volunteers have off, but unfortunately the penguin workers have to work either a Saturday or Sunday. Luckily I had the Saturday off so I joined the group of girls at Aviva on the mini Peninsula City Sightseeing blue bus tour. For only R150 it was worth every penny. Our first stop off was at Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens. A perfect place to bring a picnic for the day and chill out on the beautiful scenic law with Table Mountain sat next to you. In the summer evenings concerts are played on the stage set amongst a burst of colourful flowers and trees. The smells and colours of all the plants were stunning, and the canopy walk through the winding trees looked across the mountains of South Africa. Mum, you would love it here…it’s like Kew Gardens (but better), set in amongst mountains and tropical plants, and you can walk up Table Mountain from here.

Back on the bus sat on the top deck, the warm breeze, fresh air and incredible surrounding views made the journey a very memorable one. Throughout the tour you are able to hop on and off as much as you like, with stops at a bird and monkey sanctuary, wine tour, township tour, Hout Bay, and finally Camps Bay.

We visited Hout Bay once again, where most of the girls purchased hair braids and henna tattoos, and delicious food. Our final stop was at Camps Bay where we watched the sunset with an ice cream. A fantastic beach for sunbathing, surfing, and volleyball with lots of restaurants and bars. Will definitely be visiting this place more. The area is very different to Table View where Aviva is based. I feel Cape Town has a very distinct divide, with Camps Bay, Sea Point, Hout Bay and V&A the touristy, wealthier locations, whereas Table View is much more residential.

Beautiful sunset at Camps Bay
Beautiful sunset at Camps Bay

Today I have another day off, however I haven’t been feeling too good the last few days, I’m guessing its my body getting used to being in a new place, so I’ve been relaxing at the house with a couple of the girls watching movies. Also purchased some new running gear so I can run along the beach in the evenings. I have missed running on Ashdown Forest with my mum and dog so much recently…how is the running going mumma?

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