Stand UP South Africa: Stand UP For What You Believe In

Hey everyone!
These past two days have been full of excitement for our group. After a short flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town on Sunday, we drove to our new accommodation, Team House. When we arrived we were all in awe of the beautiful location right on the water. We went to bed exhausted, but excited for our Cape Town experience! Monday morning we were out the door at 6:45 on our way to catch a ferry to Robben Island to see one of the prisons that Nelson Mandela was kept in. We all learned so much about the prison and about Nelson Mandela from a man who was a former prisoner on Robben Island. We then went back to the mainland and had a delicious lunch hosted by our tour guide Jeremy’s brother. During lunch, Mandela’s former prison guard, Christi Brand, spoke about his experience being Mandela’s guard, and their personal friendship.
After lunch, we headed to the beach to go surfing! Despite some of our fears of great white sharks and cold water, the majority of us faced our fears and went in! Before getting into the water, we had a quick lesson on how to stand up on our surfboards. Once we were all in the water, we were all very supportive of each other and everyone cheered when someone stood up on their surfboard. We couldn’t get over how beautiful it was there. Seeing the Table Mountain range while in the ocean watching the sunset was a breathtaking and fascinating view. Tired yet triumphant, we then drove back to the Team House to shower and eat dinner. We ended the night with a reflection on the trip so far, and we set more intentions for our next service project. 
On Tuesday, we got on the bus bright and early and drove to our next service project. On the way, we stopped at a children’s home and interacted with a bunch of kids before heading to the site where we would be volunteering. At the site, we got a taste of the work we are going to be doing for the next week, which is helping to rebuild shacks. We carried a lot of materials such as wood and metal and held it in place while the builders secured them with nails. Later that day, we went to see African Penguins on the beach. We all loved looking at them and saw so many cute baby penguins! We are now on the bus on our way back to the Team House to relax, and later tonight we are having a guest musician come. We love Cape Town and are excited to explore it more! 
Talia, Brooklyn, New York 

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