Recycle, up cycle and Respect

Recycling and litter in the UK compared to Hawaii, two islands, the respect so polar opposite. What will a waste to art project in Cape Town bring…

Right I’m off, 22hrs travelling to touch down in Cape Town,SA!
This feels like the beginning of a huge exciting journey! I have no idea what awaits and I could turn around in a week or fall in love like I did with the big island! Apparently SA has a “heart beat” like no other place, his is what I felt on The big island, Hawaii and I am so pumped to see what South Africa has to offer. I can’t imagine how much more it can but I’m open to everything it does.

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Up cycling, recycling and our environment  is something i’ve become incredibly passionate about, especaily after living on an island for the last 6 months ho respects loves and is so proud of the huge rock they call home.

I found myself not even wanting to bypass the tiniest piece of litter, to think about not buying water in a plastic bottle and paddling out to surf to bring random bits of rubbish back to shore.

Coming back to the UK I’ve been bitterly dissappinted in the state of the hedgerows, walk ways and even today the sides of the motorway I drove along, we have become such a disposable and self disrtuctive island and we need to stop this ruin before its too late.

Paying for fuel this morning a man came in with handfuls of the plastic gloves provided for our use, he had found them in the local hedgerows and what he was carrying was only a portion of what he had found! As I drove away I could see his concern. No one else will pick up our crap, its up to us, one piece at a time.

 

So where I’m off to is called The revival project is so exciting and I feel so lucky to be a part of this in whatever capacity I can.

Three men found themselves on a dumping ground in cape down and are reviving it into an Eden, an Eden where the communities waste is turned into objects of comfort. A

down and are reviving it into an Eden, an Eden where the communities waste is turned into objects of comfort. A sustainable living environment using everything from water and waste to revive seed to organically nourish themselves. This project is built by travellers for travellers.

Their start was a blank scrub land but with pure love and enthusiasm the hope and dreams for the future of this commutning and children is beyond possible and with mine and many other helpers….life changing!

https://www.facebook.com/therevivalprojectgordonsbay/

 

The Me in M.E! Outside in…It finally clicks!

For 16 years, half my life, my health held me back emotional and physically. Finally I have found myself after working with the Three principles and focussing internally rather than externally on healing myself. My M.E shifts to the m.e!

I haven’t written in a while and was going to write a post about the lovely things I have been getting up to, but decided it’s time to write something very honest.

The last few months have been tough for me. People close to me know that my health has been an issue for a long time – 16 years to be exact.

Disappointingly since arriving in South Africa, I have had a bad spell.

M.E or chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and Adrenal fatigue are all a complete bitch to describe, the list the doctors give is endless.

This is a general searches result – https://www.verywell.com/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-symptoms-716110

  • Sleep & Energy-Related Symptoms
  • Incapacitating fatigue*
  • Post-exertional malaise* (extreme fatigue after exercise, lasting 24 hours or more)
  • Poor stamina
  • Unrefreshing sleep*
  • Flu-Like Symptoms
  • Pain in joints without swelling or redness* (can be constant or move between joints)
  • Muscle aches* and/or weakness
  • Sore throat*
  • Headache of a new type, pattern or severity*
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Low-grade fever or low body temperature
  • Chronic cough
  • Nausea
  • Recurrent flu-like illness
  • Other Pain/Sensation-Related Symptoms
  • Morning stiffness
  • Earache
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as an overlapping condition (abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, bloating)
  • Numbness
  • tingling and/or burning sensations in the face or extremities (paresthesia)
  • Chest pains (Always treat chest pain as a serious condition warranting immediate medical care.)
  • Jaw pain (possibly TMJ, as an overlapping condition)
  • Cognitive Symptoms (Brain Fog)
  • Short-term memory or concentration problems*
  • Word-finding difficulties/impaired speech (dysphasia)
  • Inability to comprehend or retain what is read
  • Inability to calculate numbers
  • Impaired reasoning
  • Spacial disorientation
  • Mental fogginess
  • Psychological Symptoms
  • Depression, as an overlapping condition
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Personality changes
  • Mood swings
  • Sensitivities & Intolerances
  • New or worsening allergies
  • Sensitivities to noise, light, odors, foods, chemicals or medications
  • Sensitivity to heat and/or cold, causing symptoms to be worse
  • Alcohol intolerance
  • Sensory overload
  • Cardio & Respiratory Symptoms
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Neurally mediated hypotension (dizziness & balance problems upon standing)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent, hard to treat respiratory infections
  • General Symptoms
  • Visual disturbances (blurring, light sensitivity, eye pain, worsening vision, dry eyes)
  • Chills & night sweats
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dry mouth & eyes (called sicca syndrome)
  • Rashes
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), as an overlapping condition
  • Unexplained weight changes
  • Muscle twitching
  • Seizures
  • Recurrent infections
  • Frequent canker sores
  • History of herpes simplex or shingles
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), as an overlapping condition
  • Endometriosis, as an overlapping condition

As you can see from what I expect was merely a skim-read, there is a multitude of symptoms one can experience. If  you experience  approximately 10 of the above – the medical system will tell you: “You have Chronic fatigue”.

The biggest issue I have struggled with for half my life and on meeting new people is the fact that this can’t be physically seen so it’s hard to explain unless some has experienced it or lived with it.

Experiencing a ‘bad spell’ whilst traveling away from my usual circle was even harder as one doesn’t necessarily believe what I say – I can look so normal to the outsider! (Ok maybe not that normal) I have found myself having to constantly explain how I feel which can make me feel rather pathetic and weak.

Some days I feel full of life and want to go go go, only to find two days later I am wiped out, my joints hurt, my skin is sore to have clothes on and my brain is a fog struggling to get sentences together. I’m tired, so tired, but also wired, my brain won’t switch off but my body feels like it is giving up on me! I might eat some rich food or indulge in some booze and I’m outta the game again! My thoughts after a tough day can be along the lines of: ‘Why am I not able to do what everyone else can? Why do I feel like this? I want to feel normal!’

Recently I hit my physical and mental rock-bottom. This was something I hid from everyone and I went through a real personal battle with it. Eventually, I visited a GP. I didn’t want to have this going on any longer.

This was the best wake up call I could have given myself. I was going to see the GP at my weakest, I’d had a bad stomach virus and had been staying in an active, unsettled environment. Anyone would be feeling low, right? But the remedy was not at all what I expected.

“You my dear are depressed.”

I’ve realised a lot since the visit to the GP who decided after knowing me 5 minutes that my symptoms were depression and being packed off with bundles of pills. Yes, depression is very real, and sadly I feel it’s STILL so misunderstood in our modern world. However after 16 years of similar symptoms and these “flare ups” thrown in along the way, I now suddenly realise it was just an easy option to umbrella me under so they could be done with the appointment and throw me some pills.

For me the coaching I have been having for the last few years finally kicked in after this visit and has given me more clarity and freedom than any pill could of. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be introduced to the three principles. These were first spoken about by  Sydney Banks, where he found the “formless” mind, consciousness and thought explained our whole behaviour and feelings which in turn create our behaviour.

What I heard was: there’s no such thing as insecurity, it’s only Thought. All my insecurity was only my own thoughts! It was like a bomb going off in my head … It was so enlightening! It was unbelievable … [And after that,] there was such beauty coming into my life. Sydney Banks

I have spent a lot of time over the last few years implementing the principles into my life and understanding  I am in constant change, no thought is ever permanent and within a moment a new one comes along. It is Only me who has the power to affect me and nothing outside of me can impact me. I have learnt that if  I give fuel to thoughts of anxiety then fatigue of my mind and soul, then my body kick in, I’m essentially giving rise to my struggles and allowing them to control me!  So I simply now am allowing the anxious and stressful or “negative” thoughts to be acknowledged. This now means they move on and pass quicker.

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It has finally clicked with me that ‘normal’ does not exist for me (or anyone for that matter). But the more I relieve my mind from trying to control the state my body is in and just live in the moment, day or week – I am taking the pressure off my physical body, my health and my mind. I am releasing myself of the control. We can’t control ourselves so holding on to the hope that we can only continues the spiral of self-abuse! In  short I feel by understanding my thoughts  I have been able to start embracing  who I am and loving what simply goes on within my mind and body. I now empower myself with detachment from it being “MY M.E” it’s more just “the m.e”

I felt I could write this down now because I have had an awakening whilst being away I am no longer embarrassed of how I am and I’m now learning how to manage these “episodes” with acceptance and dignity. The more I beat myself up about things, the worse my symptoms become. The more anxiety I create around it and the more energy I waste leads to the exhaustion lasting longer and ultimately I feel worse than I probably would have. I’ve been creating stories and negative connotations around real-life symptoms which I now will be nurturing, accepting and simply riding the wave with.

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Have I dealt with my knocks the best I could? Well yes, I like to think we are all doing the best we can in any given the moment.

Am I finally on the path I would like to have been on a long while back? Yes!

Do I now realise how fucking powerful one’s mind is? Hell yes, we have the power inside us to not be bound by labels and society’s umbrellas for health. We control how we look at ourselves and the world, we can be kind, we can be loving.

I can now openly say without feeling shame that it’s been pretty tough, I have tried western medicine as well as holistic. I’ve been misunderstood and I’ve misunderstood myself for 16 years. I have been called ” a witch doctors dream” as I would of tried any treatment, supplement or medication to sort out how shit I felt!

Primarily I strongly believe our mind is the most incredible tool we have in our life to heal, be happy and lead a wholesome rewarding life.

I’m excited to continue my journey of understand my thoughts and nurturing myself from the inside out!

Outside in is so passé!

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P.s the next stage of my journey is pretty bloody exciting!!!!

Railton Foundation, Swellendam, helping each other to help the township community satrting with the Children.

Trying to help the Township kids in Swellendam, Cultural differences, challenges and realisations!

 

 

The last couple of weeks I’ve been based In Swellendam, Staying at the stunning Imangale with The Shakleys who have treated me like their own and indulged me in fabulous mind opening conversation every evening. My days have been with the Railton foundation on the kids Easter camp. I came to South Africa specifically to get involved with communities and try to help in any way I could, so this was a perfect introduction.

In 2006 a Dutch lawyer travelled through SA and decided to start a NGO in Swellendam which would assist with community development and provide financial support with projects, The Railton Foundation was born and their Motto being ‘From the community, with the community’

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The Railton foundation is a not for profit organisation which partners with other community projects to provide health care, sport, youth development, education promotion & community welfare. At the same time recognising the poorest residents are the ones most in need of help, support and guidance and possible solutions to their very real and everyday problems.

Since the foundation has been set up many projects have been started, ranging from a community research project in 2010, a structure that teaches young to play musical instruments, a local bursary fund, a community action programme, a reading/literacy programme at a school and a leadership programme for school age youth.

 

 

 

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I was lucky enough to be involved in the Easter youth programme which included sport, athletics, craft, dance, singing and more. Everyday for two weeks in various locations around Railton action packed mornings were organised and always ended with a cooked lunch. Tiny tots to adults with disabilities joined, first day we had about 40 increasing everyday to over 100! It was organised chaos but everyone had smiles on their faces.

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I loved this camp, the joy and energy the participants had, the dedication and commitment the workers and volunteers gave blew my mind. It was the most mentally, physically and emotionally draining experience i have been in and knowing how little a difference i could make made this harder. Growing up in a western world but travelling from a young age i was aware of how differently countries and cultures do things, structure and organisation is so variable, neither way is right or wrong just very different.  However now when trying to give hands on help this seemed accentuated.  The way i may of thought things should’ve been run was completely opposite, i struggled with not sticking my nose in, and when i did put my spin on things it was forgotten then next day! Ive learnt to stand back and understand that the differences are what makes us all unique and hopefully with patience we can learn from each other. Differences aside the result was essentially the same, the kids had fun, and more importantly they had a meal and time away from what is often a very hard home life. I saw snippets and heard stories related to their lives (drinking and stabbings included) but i will never truly comprehend what they go through.

My heart broke when i could pick the HIV babies from the crowds or the children that simply turned up for the meal, also the discipline being violence, this was a shock and after the first time i learnt to just turn away and accept it isn’t my place to speak up, and truly wondered what the hell went on in their homes if this was normal in public. I really wanted this to be my area of influence, for people to realize control and respect does not get earnt through violence, it can be gained by structure and verbal communication, hopefully one day this will change. At the end of this camp iam now aware of how much help is needed and that one person can’t do much at all in one sitting, i’ve learnt that my purpose here is quite possibly to show the children love and give them attention, beyond that i can support the foundation leaders and management as much as i possibly can. Hopefully assisting them and alleviating some of their many many tasks and jobs.

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This Foundation is going from strength to strength however the key in all the countries projects and foundations is money, money makes all of this possible, it enables the foundation to employ driven focused men and women from the townships to run the projects continually not just ones off, it enables transport, food, materials and equipment. Everyone can have the enthusiasm and passion to help but $$$$ is what really counts. I hoped and hope i can make a difference but i have come to the conclusion that even if one child smiles and feels some love then that for now is the biggest help i can hope to give.

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Option and the choice to be happy

Happiness is a choice, we have the option to live simply and happily, inside not outside ourselves. Looking at the Children from the townships so bright and cheerful with no materialistic values my realization of this becomes even clearer.

After arriving in Swellendam and seeing some stunning sites and getting the feel of this lovely town I was ready to start what I had come here to do. And what a stream of emotions arrived! 

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A lot of my life I have always wanted to do charity work, but I have always said “when I have money ” “when I’m older” “after I have a family”. However since I made my little leap of faith out of my bubble,  the view I have on that changed. I can do it now, I don’t have to limit when I can help or try to help other people.

Looking back I see I was actually breaking free when I mixed up my life. Breaking free from everything that I worked towards and was encouraged to believe would give me a happy, secure, safe and fulfilling life.

I had become to feel and do now feel very strongly that I and everyone around me has a really privileged life. In many ways-health care,  education, financially,  environment and mostly because of the experiences and lifestyle we have grown up with and continue to live. Travel is normal, even if to other parts of your country, fresh food constantly available and new clothes and belongings when we fancy. What we have is choice. Choice and options. With choice we get to have the option to be happy, but with choice we already have a base line of happiness because we can decide how we live, which path we take.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this doesn’t come without a price for many…. long hours, estranged parents, living for the weekend or living for the wine after the kids are in bed or your home from work! All of this is obviously merely my opinion but…I feel we all live an outside in lifestyle, looking for the external to fulfil our happiness. A raw simple life doesn’t make sense to so many and the cliché of keeping up with the Joneses really does apply.

On my return from Hawaii to the UK I re packed for SA, I had a complete melt down, I was disgusted in all the stuff I had. The shoes worn once, tops with labels, the sheer volume of things! I realised I had accumulated all of this because in the moment I believed that “it” would make me happy! I had been living from a suitcase for 7 months, gifted a few dresses along the way but living frugally and happily, they were the most invigorating and inspiring and free months of my life. I was incredibly lucky too with the love people gave me but compared to my life before it was very simple. I have one suitcase with me in South Africa and my budget is incredibly tiny, allocated for food, communication and travel, I love living with out much, outfits may be less but who cares, the people, the sites, the experiences and the now is what is most important.


The reality kicked in seeing the poverty around me here. When I stand in the Township playing field for the second day looking at all the children walking from all over to join the Easter programme, 99% with no shoes, some wearing what they wore yesterday, items way too small, holes in tops and dirty items. BUT  what shone through was they all were happy, they all played together, ok some fought at times but that’s kids right! They all interacted and joined in the games and activities with a zest and complete enthusiasm.

It sticks in my head on the starting point of the relay stand where a ping-pong needed to be bounced on the table into the bucket, a boy, shirtless and in tartan boxers as shorts, was kissing the three balls in his hand and before every bounce he kissed then bounced. He was determined to win. His satisfaction in life coming not from what he was wearing or had in life but in the competition and fun of this busy bustling morning of fun! An equal playing field, his option along with the rest of the kids is to do or simply to sit back and miss out, they either join in with us or that is it. Two options, two choices, two paths.


I look today at my search of happiness and how I always looked outside of me to find it, the limitations I’ve put on myself because of what I thought I should have/do, the ungrateful person I have been at times and the ignorance of how blessed I truly am. I choose currently to live minimally but fully, to be rich in self-love & love for others than to be surrounded by material belongings and in search of the next new shiny thing that comes my way. I know I’ve made this choice, I have the choice to do this!

Life can be simple and while watching the children dance whenever a song blasts out gives the area such entertainment, energy and life! This makes them happy, they don’t know what new toys and clothes are like but they are still happy and smiling with a simple dance off! Maybe we should all take a moment to be grateful for the options we have, sometimes work and life may seem limiting but you have the choice to change or just tweek your life and be happy. And maybe when you think things are so bad, do a little dance, even if you feel silly and awkward,  I guarantee a moment away from your computer screen or phone, wiggling your hips will put a bigger smile on your face than your Facebook feed or working out what thing you’re going to buy or save for next…. maybe not for you but its worth a try surely!

(Worth a read-Inside Out Revolution, Michael Neill)

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Yes I’m trying to dance…

Road to Swellendam…https://bombshellsoulsearcher.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/Garden Route-to-Mossell bay-Swellendam

Garden route drive through Mossel Bay to the stunning town of Swellendam and Barrydale- route 62.

So i leave calm, free and openness at Surfari yesterday and head across to Swellendam. It’s a couple of hours drive from George and I managed to hop in with some guys who were heading to Cape Town, so much more of a fun trip than the bus again!

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(Map of Africa for sunset for my final night in Victoria Bay. Great company and even better views)

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The land changed again from lush to incredibly dry but always with mountains lining the horizon around us. We passed Mossel bay on the way and I was disappointed, seemed a cute fishing town but not much to look at and pretty much a complete tourist stop, i really do prefer the untouched areas and less commercial.

Service stations were the only place for coffee, we had a pit stop and filled up with fuel, over here you don’t have to get out of your car (dreamy) and you even get a screen wash… I had written in the dirt and the guy who cleaned the screen decided to leave my graffiti, humour in the middle of nowhere!

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Arriving is Swellendam it really felt like we had found a gem, stunning little town, bright white church with mountains behind it and cute restaurants. Before fidning my new “home” we went to a place called the Old Gaol for lunch, which happened to be one of the oldest buildings in town, it was a buzzy but calm place and pretty yummy food.

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Driving to Imangele guest house i reflected that 17 years ago I fled my high school as quickly as I could after a shit time! Fleeing to Australia to really have no contact with school memories again. However a positive influence and memory being my theatre studies teacher Mrs Shackley! And as luck or now we have decided fate would have it I’m about to knock on her door.

Amanda and Dave are opening their wonderful 1920″s home to me so I can stay in Swellendam and become apart of the numerous foundations and charity’s they have either set up or played/play a huge role in. I’m apprehensive and nervous but as soon as the door is open the beaming beautiful Mrs Shackley squeezes me tight and im swept into my room, wow, i was exepcting a dorm…  but no! In true theatrical style each room is themed, and I’m in the zebra room! I feel so lucky to have this huge, clean, cosy room and en suite. Rather like the little lady in the cave said to me last week…”I feel like queen if Sheba”  Quickly after we head to the vine-covered veranda for a glass of wine! I don’t think we have stopped chatting since!!!

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Next week is set to kick of my involvement with the Railton foundations Easter club! It’s packed full with activities from nature park visits to sports days! It’s going to be a wonderful way to get stuck in, explore where I can help most and  meet contacts to take this forward beyond the Easter break. My first night though is kicked off by going to the local bar, bands play there frequently and it really is the weekend hub of the town! I was going to stop drinking again once I came to SA but it’s proving rather easy to not….. oooopsie!!!!

My first full day in Swellendam we actually left and drove to Barryale- Route 62, which is a small but buzzing village on the border of the Overberg and Klein Karoo regions of the Western Cape. The drive was stunning (apart from our fuel gauge hitting super low half way across the winding mountain roads)

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We made it though and after lunch popped into an arts and education centre in a nearby township. The building a rustic shack but inside it was bustling with activity, even a computer room with about 15 kids all checking out arts ideas on pintrest. Music rooms, art rooms and more, it really was the place to be and so awesome to see everyone hanging out together rather than alone at home on their very own tablets on phones like we are so used to witnessing in the western world. So excited now ive been here to get stuck in next week, the kids are so happy and engaging, and a cheeky smile or two from them has put a serious spring in my step.

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Wilderness hike hiccup! 

Wilderness hike & canoe, Victoria bay braii at Surfari to now stay at Impangele in Swellendam, to join the Railton foundation in giving a helping had to the local township communitys.

I’ve been waking up to rolling Wilderness every morning for the last 10 days , the sun pounding in while I sit and stare at the ocean. Coming to Surfari and Vic Bay was the best thing to start this trip even though so far from the plan.


Travellers to me are the most interesting, one wants to share their stories of ups and downs, interactions and sites. We thrive off of the adventures and crave to experience them too.

The Garden Route has so much to offer, Wilderness being only a small section. We did a small hike today to a waterfall. Canoed to the start of the trail, the wind wasn’t our friend with every bend it turned to hit us head on.

The scenery was amazing with reeds blowing making a whistling song and mountains lining our route. We parked our canoe (at the wrong “beach”…. this was the start of why we should of turned back) I fell into the water trying to get out whilst being yanked into the beach and then the squishy squeaky hike began!

 The trail was awesome winding up and down and round the forest. We climbed across over rocks to the other side which then turned into broad walk, cleverly carved through the forest so ducking under the trees it had been shaped round was part of the fun. Soon into this bundles of monkeys ran in front of us to hide, then baboons started grunting, every time we moved they all moved and what seemed like more kept on joining them! Clapping and shouting we tried to carry on but they now all sat and stared… after the baboon breaking into the kitchen the previous morning we decided to turn back.

So we never did make that waterfall!!! But a good effort of a funny canoe ride, awesome trail and a pulley back across the water to our canoe! A nice adventure done!

Tomorrow I leave here to head to Swellendam, a beautiful town half way back to Cape Town. I’m heading there to help with the Railton foundation (http://www.railtonfoundation.co.za/ ) as well as other things they have a gym which is a safe space, and caters for all types of people young old and all colours. They want me to go and help with classes from boxing to yoga to general activities as well as a blog for the charity.

I arrive in two days to a big party for the community to say farewell to the summer then kick off Easter break with the kids… I’m so excited to get there and see what it brings!

For many days now I’ve wondered why I’m in South Africa, I’ve missed Hawaii so so much and be comparing and craving what I loved about it! Plus , it has been like a mini holiday which was as far from what I was expecting to happen. So hopefully this is the start of a brilliant ride and I can throw myself into this charity and hopefully pull off a few good classes for everyone! Ha!!!

Another braai last night and a stunning sunset leading to a sky of clear bright stars. Life ain’t so shabby when you take the time to look!!!

Song of this week has been, Follow the sun by Xavier Rudd!

Have a follow- https://www.facebook.com/railtonfoundation.co.za/

Victoria Bay, exactly where I’m meant to be!

Victoria bay surf spot to wilderness bay along an old railway track, finding a hippy cave embellished with creativity for the homeless along the hike!

So Plans don’t quite go the way at you have expected, it seems that way for me. They seem though to work out for he better. The way they were obviously ment to but with out my control.

I’m staying in Victoria bay which is incredibly stunning. An amaizng hostel which is more like a home I would dream of living in. I can see the ocean not so far away and the wilderness in front, I can hear only birds, then the occasional freak out from the dogs who are chasing the Baboons away! The baboons are super cheeky, trying to come into the kitchens and pinch food, and that they did two days ago, thankful only some bread and caused more commotion than harm.

Surfari hostel is just too cool, it feels like home already, its rustic architecture, calm vibe and insane views just make me never want to leave.

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Today I set off on a walk along the old railway, old wooden sleepers leading you around the cliff edges from Vic bay to Wilderness, through tunnels and across an old slightly suspicious bridge. I only wished to be on the old train, how stunning a ride back in the day.


After the bridge we hit some structures along the edge of the track to the right and to the left some caves. I had heard here was a “hippy cave” but never imagined what I would actually experience.

This cave was  a home, it was an art gallery, it was a place of peace for the homeless and a working project for the last 10years for the founder.

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I was blown away, Stunned, amazed and totally shocked at the effort and love that had gone into what was simply a cave along a railway track.

10 years ago a man had a message from God to find a bridge, he went off with his bible to find this bridge, the first few were not right and finally he came across the bridge with the cave, this was the one in his message. It was previously a restaurant but he made the cave his home, for many years the railway and council fought with him for rights but now it is his, his and the homeless people he gives a home to.

Shirley (below) a lovely lady living in the cave had been living on the streets since coming out of an abusive relationship with a heroin addict. After seriously failed stomach surgery she was taken into the cave. She said she feels like “queen if sheeba in my room” and it’s the first place she feels she has family, happiness and is grateful everyday.

So this is not only a home though, it’s a community, a family, a room, a place to be themselves!

This place is the most eccentric, elaborate and intense environment I have ever been in! We went inside all around the most decorated, detailed, dark maze, so many shells hanging from high up, so many religious artefacts and so many trinkets and collectibles that seem to have been washed up by the sea below.


We left and carried on through the bridge which opened up to the most awesome view of Wilderness, the waves rolling in, in strong lines as far as I could see. Totally breathtaking!

On the way back we saw a rock pool down below, so made our way to the most idilic private pool I’ve been in! The climb up was less desirable but I made it! The walk back to Vic bay was just as breathtaking, especially when you came around the corner to the stunning bay and most beautiful beach setting.

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I feel very lucky to be here and to be experiencing this Amazing place in such decadent way. This journey is far from how I thought it would be, I’m clean not dusty, I’m flying more solo then surrounded by a community, the beach break doesn’t draw me like the reef break does, I’m doing things for me than others. I know this is about to change and I’m excited. I do know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be though, and what is more perfect than that!!!


 

Plans Change!

A stunning bus ride from Gordon’s Bay to Vic Bay on the Cityliner. Uber disaster, Checkers blessing and hoping the surf awaits me along with a hot shower!

Ha! So throw me a few curves balls why don’t you universe!

Took the plunge to leave and do the work remotely instead of doing it in dust land. A few personal issues were causing tension and without the extra volunteers nothing was going to happen on the site itself. I am disappointed as my vision for the last few months has obviously been different to just sitting on a laptop.

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I booked my bus ticket, 325r which is about 20 pounds for a 6 hour trip. I worked the day out until time to uber it across to bus station which was apparently 15 minutes up the road!

The car arrived and off i went but…When Your gut says something then bloody listen, this Bru had no idea where the hell he was going ,even from the sat nav and obviously I hadn’t a clue either…. I had left 40 minutes to get there but now in the car I knew I wouldn’t make it! 1hr 21 minutes  later and a crazy expensive uber ride I was back on site. We had ended up driving in a huge misshapen circle around, the end of the journey being a corrugated community where they were bbq’ing animals brains on the side of the road, huge groups hanging around and to be honest not a nice vibe. The fact also I had used up all my mobile airtime calling the bus company made it even more of an edgy situation, all the warning and stories I had been told about safety were now ringing through my head! Another night on site! I was so angry, furious and disappointed I didn’t even know what to say. First lesson in never to fully trust an Uber when it is very new in a country.

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Kindly I got driven around (for about an hour) to a “Checkers” kind of like a post office in a supermarket, where someone was on my side and changed my ticket to this morning! With only a 10r difference! That was a result! Why did we drive not call or use the internet? Because that would be too easy for South Africa to adopt, old school way is the way here!

So back to the pod I finished all my peanut butter, re made my pod and went to bed spending the night bashing mosquitos with my trainer and surrounded by my bags that I moved in with me as the dogs were going crazy and I thought if someone gets in then seeing how the day had gone I was better to be safe than sorry!

I luckily got dropped at the bus stop and had company thankfully until I got on it correctly, and am now on it excited to see the countryside and get to my next destination Victoria Bay!

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And wow what a trip!!!!! Out of Gordon’s bay up the mountains and a beautiful country side exists behind the wall of mountains encapsulating the Cape! Im Heading to George which is east along the coast line between Gordon’s bay and Port Elizabeth. It went from windy mountain range to incredibly vast beige land that just went on and on as far as I could see. Some horses and cows along the way but more scrub land than farmed.

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Ever so often we would come across a little town, Swellendam was so pretty and a teacher from my old high school has a beautiful b&b there and is heavily involved with the children in the community which is an amazing synchronicity in what I think I’m here for, its far from the beach but the community looks lovely but behind that it is incredibly in need of role models and support for the children!

As we hit town I see the ocean for miles, finally surf, waves for days. Also again a mass of corrugated iron hut communities, then industrial buildings and then lovely homes, the contrast is insane in this country!

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The longer the journey goes on the more I become intrigued as to where this journey is actually going to take me! So many options and exciting projects around, it feels a little out of my hands as to where I will end up but I think this may be the beauty and the personal challenge of my adventure! This country has so many places and reasons one can help and make a differnce, i really hope i find the place i am ment to help!

Nearly there can’t wait to see what greets me this time! A warm shower I hope! That it did get along with the most spectacular grounds and views I could of imagined! Sometimes the decisions you don’t want to take can be the best.

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Cape Town arrival!

Arriving in Cape Town as a lone traveller, off to volunteer at an up cycling, community project! First to test out the South African Uber drivers…

Landed after 22 hours of travel and got an Uber from Cape Town airport, I had been advised to get a SA number and ignore any taxi offers, wifi can be hooked up to while waiting in line at immigration, its pretty easy to go get a SIM card inside the airport and then book an Uber, would say easier to have the app on your phone already so with all your bags you are not standing around on your own trying to sort transport.

I arrived at night so instead of going out to the project at Gordons Bay I stayed in a hotel local to the airport, best decision, yummy wine, nice bath and great sleep!

My first day and I was excited to get going to the ‘Revival Project”! My Uber driver on this occasion was amazing, he was like a tour guide for me story telling of the shanty town areas lining the main highway. He talked of how so many races and religion live together and that causes constant conflict. That drugs were the main cause of issues, a new drug is being bought in from china and exchanged by fisherman for specific shell-fish and fish, people will scurry around after dark for anything to scrap to make money to get their next hit. These communities are places no one goes into! Especially a huge area we drove past of corrugated huts, this is famous for being the area where the most wound injuries and deaths come from, i.e stabbings and they are very particular that no witnesses are left so if its you and a friend your both going to be goners! IMG_5199

It was a real reality kick that life was going to be very different to what I have been living in Hawaii, the freedom, the trust, the lack of concern of leaving your house door open or possessions in your car all changes from now!

I arrive at the “Revival Project” a project I’ve been super excited about getting my teeth into, hands dirty and hopefully makings a difference going forward in this community.

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It’s a building site. It’s scrub dust land with shipping containers as the bathrooms, kitchen and living areas. I knew this but the fact of no hot water, minimal food and the concept of having four dogs which although soft to us were in fact there to guard the property was a real eye opener! My disappointment wasn’t the hard work and being grubby and hungry it was the lack of freedom, I want to be free to wander to the store or beach but you can’t!

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Safety is a real issue, you don’t go out alone and most defiantly not as the sun goes down, ironically the time that’s most dangerous is the time the ‘Rastas’ praise the sun going down and are grateful for the day and new one to begin. So actually when I did go to watch the sun set the vibe was awesome but that was because I was with a local who knew where to be and knew who to walk away from, although it would have been nice to be alone and reflect it was so nice to hear him talk story and explain why to him the sun is the thing in life he is most grateful for!

Sadly the project only had me at this time as a volunteer, the stage it is at is hard labour and also work online asking, begging and setting up fundraising platforms. I’ve spent my fist two days, painting primer onto the containers ( a graffiti artist arrives to add some art in a few weeks) , cooking, full on cleaning as a day before had been a dust storm and everything was insanely dirty! plus working online asking for copious amounts of pallets, barrels, soil and more!

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My works become basically all online now as other volunteers are not arriving for a while. So after a lot of self questioning I  decided to head to Vic Bay to a hostel, a 6 hour bus drive through was is promised to be some incredible views.

I can do the work I need for Revival as well as experience the Cape, and when more people give their time to the project I can get back to getting physical and get the outreach community projects going once the place is less of a building dust site.

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( Plus side of dust, dirt and cold water showers, I actually slept really well in the pods, can’t complain, cosy and kinda peaceful in the midst of chaos! )

I’m disappointed it hasn’t rolled out how imagined but maybe this is better. At first I felt like moving on for a period of time was failing but the ground work of sourcing seems more important and if I can do that looking at the surf not dust then why not!

I’ve got to say that the Cape has a calmness even with all that is going on in a negative way right on your door step. It has a peaceful energy and I can only imagine in the mountains and near the water this is heightened.

I’m looking forward to my journey through this mother land!!!!

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Take me home

Take me home.I dreamt so big. 
Having little in my possession was perfect. 

Now so much around me is making the walls close in.

No one said coming back would be so hard.

I never knew I would change and they would be the same.
Take me home. 

Where the wind blows strong. 

I didn’t expect such simple pleasures to fill me so full.

What once ticked boxes now seems so bland.

All that I thought I wanted is a distance desire.

Give everything away and just be so minimal forever. 
With a full heart and free spirit.

Please take me home. 
No one said no plan would be so satisfying.


Embracing today’s new moon and then a brand new sun.

Trust that new things are coming my way .

I feel like I’m dreaming and it’s better than when I sleep. 
I wanna go home. Where is home. Home is me. 

Follow the sun. Keep breathing in. Cherish this air and in this moment be free.