The beauty of Cape Town and to do something that matters
by Emma Engström, Volunteer, Sweden

It’s kind of strange how two months can pass by without you even noticing it. It still feels as yesterday when I was heading to the airport in Stockholm, ready to finally let the adventure begin. I had no idea what to expect, I mean I left all I knew as my comfort zone and just threw myself into something unfamiliar and new. During that long flight down to Cape Town I had plenty of time to actually question my choice. Was I really doing the right thing? What if I got homesick the second night or had to share room with various unidentifiable bugs? What if I wouldn’t make any friends or even worse, get eaten by a shark while dipping my toes into the freezing Atlantic Ocean.

But hey, two months just flew by and I’ve been having the time of my life. Cape Town itself is an absolutely breathtaking city, and the people I’ve met here are hands down the most kindly and warm hearted people. Not to speak about the food which is beyond delicious. Bye cooking, hello dining out and take away.

After all, the main reason I came was not to try out various sushi platters nor working on my tan at the beach. I felt I wanted to do something meaningful and valuable while still in this beautiful, yet unfair, world. So for the first two weeks after arriving I got the opportunity to throw a holiday program for the kids in a community nearby. The purpose was both to keep them occupied and hence out of trouble, but nonetheless to give them a chance to do something they otherwise wouldn’t have done. Thanks to a successful fundraising we were able to bring the kids to a local cinema, take them to a fair and host an Easter egg hunting in the park. I really enjoyed my time with these adorable and sweet children.

The rest of my time I spent volunteering at a primary school, being involved in the first grade. One thing I learnt for sure is that teachers deserves all the respect in the world. Furthermore I was involved in Breaking Bread Community and their honourable initiative of the Friday soup session. It was truly something extraordinary to participate at the soup kitchen. The visitors were people owing barely nothing in a materialistic point of view, yet so grateful, caring and loving. Forever blessed I had the very privilege to meet these men, women and children. May the life be kind to all of you.

So to end up my story, I would recommend either one of you considering might going abroad to get involved in charity to just do it. Just throw yourself out of you comfort zone and don’t give a damn about all
those things that might could go wrong. Seize the opportunity and you’ll eventually realise that for every single thing that could go wrong, there are a hundred of things that could fall out perfectly well. Just as it did for me. No bugs nor shark attacks.

Lastly, my deepest and sincerest thanks to all of you people I’ve met during this journey. You made these two months a fairytale. Thank you African Sunrise for exceptional good hosting and for always being helpful, supportive and welcoming. Thank you Cape Town for being such a lovely second home. And thanks to myself for finally saying screw this, I’m going to Africa.

Until next time Cape Town,

Emma

If you want to read more from Emma, check out her blog at www.byengstrom.se
 
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