It has been a great few days with the family as we have taken on Cape Town together… in a very short amount of time! Friday was a fun-packed day beginning with a cultural minibus experience… and the chance to see how I’ve been getting around now for half a year. It certainly makes one appreciate the convenience of a car when people are climbing over you to get on or off and a ten-minute trip takes thirty by minibus… but it was certainly an experience for them! Next, we were off to the Waterfront where we spent some time walking around and enjoying the gorgeous weather! Then we were off to Green Market Square and Longstreet for some souvenir shopping—the bargaining skills definitely came into play… which is always a fun to do! We attempted to visit the top of Table Mountain but because of the strong wind gusts, the cable cars weren’t running so we opted to enjoy the sunset on the top of Signal Hill which also offered an incredible view! We had a wonderful dinner before spending some time together and calling it a night.
On Saturday, the exciting activity of the day was skydiving! We headed out to the hangar just a bit outside of town and got suited up for our jump. The original plan was that all four of us were going to go but because the planes were pretty small, we had to split up and go in twos. My brother and I were first to jump—with just about no instruction what-so-ever, the two of us were in the plane and ready to go! We headed up and up and the view was picture-perfect! Directly under us was the shore and in the distance was Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak, and of course Table Mountain! Scenery-wise, everything about it was just about as perfect as it could be! We got the okay signal and free fell before we had the opportunity to guide and control the parachute as we glided back to land. My parents were all suited and up and next on the list (yeah, my family is pretty awesome!) but unfortunately the wind picked up to the point that it was no longer safe to go skydiving so unfortunately they weren’t able to which is certainly a bummer (however… fortunately they have had the opportunity to skydive before)! We headed out towards the township areas to a restaurant called Mzolis. From the road, the townships might not look all that bad but once you are actually in them, the reality of the living situation kicks in… a bit of a shock to the rest of the family. For my brother’s entertainment, we stopped at a Ferrari dealership… you would be amazed with the number of Audi’s, Mercedes, and BMWs that fill the streets of Cape Town along with a few Maseratis, Lamborghinis, and Porsches. We spent a little time at the beach but it was beyond windy so we made it back towards the hotel where David packed up to head home. Although David was here for only a few days, he got to see a lot of South Africa! Before heading home though, we enjoyed a nice, traditional and local South African meal—the boys split an ostrich steak and a springbok steak while mom had bobotie and I had a peanut stew… it all was delicious to say the least! We dropped David off at the airport—sad, but at least we got to spend a few days together as a family… I couldn’t really ask for more!
Today was spent showing my parents around UCT’s campus and showing them firsthand what it is like to build a school on the side of the mountain as we even did a little bit of hiking up to a Parthenon-like area where we were able to see a spectacular view of Cape Town along with the ocean below. Then we walked around as I showed them the campus and we even made a pit stop so my parents could meet my wonderful RA for the semester. The afternoon activity for the day was a showing of the Phantom of the Opera at a gorgeous theatre downtown. The Phantom of the Opera is hands down my favorite musical so when the opportunity arose and I learned that the musical was going to be here in Cape Town, it was a must-do! The performance definitely didn’t disappoint either! Following the musical, we headed west towards Betty’s Bay, driving about an hour along the absolutely beautiful False Bay the entire time before reaching Betty’s Bay. Along the way, we got a little extra surprise as we were able to see two whales just about fifty meters offshore… wow! Betty’s Bay is home to one of three land penguin colonies—and oh my gosh… there were hundreds! Literally everywhere you looked were penguins, penguins, and more penguins… the little guys are pretty darn cute!
Family time here in South Africa has been great… especially when it was all four of us! Despite the time going so fast, I have loved every second of it and I love just being with my family! Unfortunately time spent with the family also means that the inevitable is coming… today was actually my last full day here in South Africa… I am not sure how that happened or where the six-months have gone but all I know is that they were six of the best months of my life!
Oh Cape Town… how I will miss you!