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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
( 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!!!!