This week was a holiday week across South Africa which meant that there were no lessons in the pre-school so I decided to help out in the day room with the toddlers instead. As it was a holiday week we were allowed to take Friday off to go to Coffee Bay for the weekend.
When we arrived on Friday evening at the Coffee Shack backpackers there was a trip to visit a traditional Xhosan family in the nearby rural village. We tried traditional South African food and joined in with the dancing. We had beans and rice for our first course and pap, boiled cabbage and a sweet sauce for the second. For anyone who wants to know pap (to me) tasted very similar to cuscus as it was quite dry and lumpy. I really enjoyed that food that we had and I’d definitely eat it again. The Xhosan dancing and singing was fantastic. We’d seen a bit of it already at Bethany Home as the kids dance every morning but it wasn’t quite the same, as seeing the Xhosan ladies dancing was completely different. They made us feel so welcomed into their culture and tradition as well as opening my eyes to a different way of life to what I was used to.
Many families of up to 10 people live in one small hut that typically has one bed for everyone. Their lifestyle is very different to what I had ever seen before but it was a new experience that I will treasure forever. I am very lucky to have the lifestyle that I’ve had and it made me think about just how fortunate I’ve been.
There were children and adults desperately trying to sell you bracelets and necklaces as it’s one of the only ways they can make money. We were stopped by a group of school children on a walk and they were putting as many bracelets and anklets on us as possible to encourage us to buy them. We bought the ones we wanted and they seemed so thankful that we’d chosen to buy their bracelets.
On Saturday we did a 9km walk from Coffee Bay to Hole in the Wall. The scenic but challenging hike is a must-do for anyone visiting Eastern Cape. The weather wasn’t too good but this meant no one got sunburnt and it wasn’t too hot to walk in. We were greeted with cheese and tomato toasties when we finished.
We spent the rest of Saturday night at the hostel, speaking to other travellers to find out their story. Every single person who I spoke to had something inspirational to tell me and it was so nice to be able to speak to a bunch of open minded, free spirited people. I also went to my first braai in South Africa (not so good when you’re a vegetarian) I had a delicious lasagna instead. We headed back home on Sunday but I wish we had more time to stay at the hostel and I think we’ll definitely return there in the future.
I hope everyone is well back home and if you are wondering why I haven’t posted any photos of the kids it’s due to safeguarding reasons, but if you want to see some please message me and I would be happy to send you some.