Lien's Volunteer Journey Part 2

My first two weeks in South Africa, flew by really fast. I spent a lot of time with my new friends and they dragged me along everywhere they went. It was a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but it actually turned out to be a really good thing. I got some good impressions of life in South Africa and the volunteer house. Most volunteers have been here for a while and know all the nice local bars and places to go to have a good time.

My time here started with a night at Barneys, a local bar/restaurant that gets turned into a karaoke-bar on Tuesdays. Although I have been to karaoke-bars before, it was still a strange experience, but it was so much fun! It’s great to see how these people really enjoy themselves and give their best!
I also got dragged along to Beershack to drink some milkshakes there, although I really don’t like milkshakes. It was another place to visit and another South African experience.

One thing I’ve noticed so far, is how hospitable and kind people are here in bars and restaurants. They help you as much as possible, are mostly smiling and come back to your table to ask if everything is still fine every 7 minutes. In the beginning it’s a bit strange and maybe even a little annoying cause it is not what we are used to, but once you get used to it, it is actually really nice. They really want to be as helpful as possible and want you to have the best time.

When I say that people drag you along, I am being serious by the way. I was here for only three days when some other volunteers went to Maitland’s River Mouth and decided that I was joining. I didn’t really have much of a choice, but I don’t regret it now either. It’s was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.
I have been trying to say ‘yes’ to as many things as possible and I am happy that I do, because it makes for some great moments. A lot of them are very spontaneous and unexpected.

Khaya organizes Friday afternoon outings for their volunteers as well. These go from city tours, to nights out bowling and day trips hiking. One of the hikes we did, was the sacramento hiking trail, that goes to Sardinia Bay. It was absolutely amazing! One of the prettiest short afternoon hikes I have ever done

Lastly we also went for a Kasihop. Joy, an amazing South African woman, organizes some sort of pub-hopping in a township. It’s a very special experience. The townships are not really a place where white people usually come, but this gives you the opportunity to take a look at what township-life might be like. In the beginning it feels a bit weird, like you don’t belong there. But give it some time and you will find out that it is actually really cool and that the people in the townships very much enjoy a party as well!

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