Thank you, Cape Town!

Then my stay in Cape Town comes to an end, and I am very thankful for these 5 months down under together with Yasmin, Vlora, Stine, Henrik, Bjørn, Maria, Martine, Atla and Kristiane. Leaving Cape Town is bitter-sweet in that I am looking forward to seeing family but that it is also painful leaving behind people I have gotten to know and the places that are familiar.

We have had so many great cappuccinos at a lot of different Cafe´s. Skinny legs, Dinkel Bakery, Yours truly, Power and glory ++ This has been really nice, especially just after work. Lately as the water has gotten warmer it has also been fabulous going straight to the beach after work, visiting Clifton and Camps Bay.

We have also made local friends: Kim and Hilton working as secretaries at at some of the schools we have worked at. David, Justin and Lauren which are cousins of a good friend of mine in Norway. Simba and Tandi which we met some of the first days in the country. Yoland that we met at a cafe, and has introduced us to all the great salsa events. Through the connect group in the Hillsong Church Maria and I have also made a lot of good friends, which really has meant a lot. However work has also been hectic, just recently right before Christmas there was a shooting and killing right by one of the school we worked at, as a result of war between gangs. This is also a part of living and working in Cape Town, something that effects both learners, teachers and  us as therapists.

So when flying out of Cape Town I do somehow feel changed from when I flew down. My perspectives has somehow shifted, opening both my eyes and heart to another country and people, I hope to be back sometime in the future!

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We had multiple journeys up and down Lions head. The last weeks I went up every morning.

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Wild flowers on the way to Table Mountain

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Our supervisor Hugo

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Kim in the sunsetimg_9630

Me, Simba, Maria, Tandi and Atla

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Our great supervisor Sayeeda

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Playing the Cape Town song at Connect

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Cecil, Johanna, Hilda, Sonja, Me, Maria and Claire

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Me, Ms. Parker and Yasmin

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Mrs. Kalifa, Ms. Gaffor, Yasmin and Celist

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One of our many cafe visits

 

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Yasmin, Vlora, Kristiane, Stine, Martine, Me, Bjørn og Maria

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The Historic Cape Town

One of the reasons that I wanted to move to Cape Town was that I have always been fascinated by Nelson Mandela and interested in the history of South Africa. The history of a nation always functions as a backdrop to understanding the here and now and it is therefore important also for our internships here. In the start of our stay we visited the Robben Island Museum, District Six Museum and the Bo-Kaap .

Robben Island is located about 15 km from Sea Point and Nelson Mandela was imprisoned here for 18 of the 27 years he served. Robben is Afrikans and means seal, so the name means ” Seal Island.” It is in the hallways of Robben Island that the South African democracy was born, which makes it a special place to visit. To date, three of the former inmates of Robben Island have gone on to become President of South Africa: Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Motlanthe, and current President Jacob Zuma.

During apartheid many areas in the city were forcefully removed and declared White-Only areas and one of these areas where District Six. District Six is a former inner-city residential area in Cape Town, South Africa. Over 60,000 of its inhabitants were forcibly removed during the 1970s by the apartheid regime. The the District Six Museum opened in 1994 came into being. It serves as a remembrance to the events of the apartheid era as well as the culture and history of the area before the removals.

The Bo-Kaap is an area of Cape Town, South Africa formerly known as the Malay Quarter. It is a former township, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre and is an historical centre of Cape Malay culture in Cape Town. The Nurul Islam Mosque, established in 1844, is located in the area. Jan Van Riebeeck ( 1619-1667) was a dutch administrator and colonizer and his hedge is located in the Kirstenbosch Gardens and is know to be the start of apartheid.

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Robben Island with Table Mountain in the backgroundimg_5647

On the way back from the island

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Our guide at Robben Island – a former political prisoner

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Bjørn, Henrik, Maria, Kristiane, Martine, Stine, our guide, Vlora, Yasmin and meimg_5597

A cell at Robben Island

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Vlora, Yasmin, Stine, Maria, Kristiane and I in Bo-Kaapimg_5850

The District Six Museum

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The hedgeimg_6004

Maria in Kirstenbosch

Skydiving, Kirstenbosch and Durban

 

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Free-falling

Free-falling from 3000 meters over Cape Town, this was me and Bjørn last week. 35 seconds of free-fall then a slow flight over this beautiful city. Table mountain and Lions head looked quite nice from up in the sky, it was an intense experience.

Otherwise we have had the pleasure of attending two of the Summer Sunset Concerts in Kirstenbosch. It is great during sunny afternoons on the slopes of Table Mountain, with the best music South Africa has to offer.The first was with the South African band called Beatenberg, which is worth checking out. The second time it was with the Parlotones.

Also earlier this year we had a wonderful trip to Durban. Together with Henrik, Bjørn, Kristiane, Vlora, Yasmin and Stine, I went to Durban. Here we spent time seeing the beaches and the Great White Shark, we went out with a boat and saw the shark nets that have been put up to protect from shark attacks. Kristiane and I also visited an exhibition and that related to AIDS and stigma. South Africa is believed to be the country in the world that has the most people with HIV/AIDS, and it is therefore a major health concern.

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Before the jumpimg_9708

After the jump

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In the air

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The plane was rather small

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Beautiful Kirstenboschimg_9553

Maria, Bjørn, Atla, Yasmin and I

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Boats checking the shark nets in Durban

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Me, Henrik, Kristiane and Bjørn

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Botanical garden

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This is worth checking out!

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Morning sun and shark chasing

Stars and the Sutherlands

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The moon seen through a telescope

This weekend Bjørn, Henrik, Vlora, Stine, Yasmin and I travelled to the Sutherlands in the Northern Cape. The main goal of our visit was to see the observatory that houses the largest single optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere (South African Large Telescope – SALT). It consists of a primary, hexagonal mirror 11 metres wide made up of 91 individual hexagonal mirrors, each one metre wide and weighing about 100kg.

Then the highlight of the trip turned out to be Jurg´s stargazing experience, at his privately owned and managed establishment. The show started at 20:00 and we started out viewing different stars and groups of stars. Afterwards we were treated with an indoor presentation on a three meter big screen on explaining the constellations and sizes of the universe. Jung made use of a very powerful laser to help us see the different stars, constellations and planets.

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The observatory consists of many telescopes

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The biggest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere

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Stine inside the telescope

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Eating the Karoo-Lamb

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Beautiful weather

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The Church in Sutherlands

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Group photo

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The biggest telescope

The Garden Route

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Point of Human Origin

Last weekend Bjørn and I had the pleasure of doing the Garden Route travelling from Cape Town to Plettenberg bay. Our journey started off by travelling to Mossel Bay here we visited Point of Human Origin, Shark Cage diving and the Dias Museum. The Point of Human Origin is seen as one of the first modern human being settlements 162 000 years old. In Mossel Bay one probably finds one of the most accessable Great White Shark populations in the world, and here we had the pleasure of getting close to them through Shark Cage diving, quite fascinating. Bartolomeu Dias, who left Lisbon in August 1487 with two caravels of 100 tons each, and a bigger store ship. Dias sailed along the coast of Africa as far South as a harbor later known as Baia dos Tigres.

Then the journey went to Oudtshorn and the Cango Caves, which remains South Africas oldest tourist attraction. Then followed by the world´s highest commercial bungy jump from a bridge (216m) right outside Plettenberg bay. This was certainly one of the most terrifying and exciting things I have done.

We ended our journey by doing the Hakerville Costal Hike, which is a 24k two-day hike. We stayed at two different huts, the Hakerville and the Sinclair, passing through breathtaking natural scenery. On our way home we also stopped by Robberg nature reserve in Plettenberg bay which had amazing beaches

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Shark Cage Diving

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The Great White

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The Cage

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The Dias Museum

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The bridge

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Hands were marked before jumping

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Bjørn ready to jump

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Flying

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Relived after the jump

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The Hakerville Costal Hike

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Amazing scenery by the coast

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Stunning views

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The trail was well marked

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Bjørn climbing

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Flowers and views

Running in Cape Town

These last two weeks I have done my two first half-marathons (21.2k), which have been amazing. The first run I ran in in 1 hour 56 minutes while the second run I used 1 hour and 43 minutes. The first marathon is called the Landmarks Half-Marathon and is situated in Cape Town, while the second is called the Wine Marathon and Half-Marathon in Stellenbosch, one hour outside of Cape Town. The Landmark Half-Marathon includes a challenging and scenic route past key landmarks in the Southern Suburbs, incorporating heritage sites as: Rondebosch Common, Mosterts Mill, University of Cape Town, Rhodes Memorial, Newlands Forest, Josephine Mill, Newlands Brewery, Newlands Rugby Stadium and Sahara Park. It was really a wonderful run.

The Wine Half-Marathon is a difficult and hilly route, which goes through the vineyards and strawberry fields in Stellenbosch. Both runs started around 06:o0 in the morning and the temperature was really amazing. After running the Wine Half-Marathon we spent the weekend in Stellenbosch, which is the second oldest European settlement in South Africa. Stellenbosch is part of the Cape Winelands.

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Mom and Dad in Cape Town

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of having my parents on a visit in Cape Town. The nature was definitely a highlight, we visited Table Mountain, Lions Head and Cape Point. We learnt about the historic background of the city by visiting Robben Island and the District Six Museum. Then we went to  Hillsong Church on Sunday and the Aquila Game Reserve. Finally I also had the pleasure of showing my parents the schools I work at and the Tygerbear clinic, which was special as my parents got to greet my supervisors and the local teachers.img_3483

Flower at Lion´s head

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The new flag of South Africa after 1994

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Lion´s head

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Eating breakfast at our house

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Hillsong Church at Century City

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Boulder´s Beach

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Robin Island Nelson Mandela´s cell

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Robben Island

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Visiting one of the schools

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School visit

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Grot Constantia Vineyardimg_3808

Aquila Private Game Reserve

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The view of Lions head from Table Mountain