Hello from a miraculously sunny, breezy, beautiful Cape Town!

24 September is Heritage Day in South Africa! It is a public holiday when people are supposed to celebrate their heritage and culture. It is also, unofficially, National Braai Day! (Braai is the equivalent of an American BBQ)

I spent my day with Dean de Vries Bock and his family. The Dean is, in essence, the head pastor of a circuit in ELCSA. He is one of my hosts, and he and his family stay in a house on the same property as the church and the youth center where I live. I spend a lot of time with his wife and his three kids, all of whom are welcoming, funny, musical, and trying to teach me Afrikaans. For dinner, we had braai! YUM! The Dean braais (it is a verb and a noun, just like BBQ) over a wood grill outdoors, and it was super delicious. Then, the Dean and his kids took advantage of the gorgeous weather by bringing me on a sightseeing tour of Cape Town (“Kaapstad” in Afrikaans)! Below are pictures from our little tour! Check the captions for details!


 ImageAn awesome group of musicians, showing off their heritage at The Waterfront! The Waterfront is a very popular tourist attraction in the heart of Cape Town.


 ImageAn awesome seal showing off his cute-ness for the tourists at The Waterfront!


Image The view of Table Mountain (my one true love) from The Waterfront! The water in the picture is the Atlantic Ocean.


ImageThe ferris wheel and Cape Union Mart at The Waterfront. One of my favorite parts of the hill in the background is watching giant tour buses drive across the top under the trees, because I’m always amazed by the skill of the drivers and reminded of all the amazing drivers I have had the pleasure to meet in my international adventures.


ImageA view of the sunset from Chapman’s Peak. I never thought I’d find a place with more beautiful sunsets than Arizona, but these are pretty swell.



 ImageA marimba band playing on top of Chapman’s Peak as the sun set. In the background is the Atlantic Ocean, and the small piece of land you can see is Robben Island. Prisoners have been kept on Robben Island since the 1660’s. During the Apartheid era, political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, were kept on Robben Island. Now, it is a museum and people who were kept there as prisoners give tours of the island and the role it has played in South Africa’s history.


 ImageWe got a fantastic view of the Cape Town Stadium as we drove back down the mountain. Parts of the 2010 World Cup were played in the stadium, and you can practically hear vuvuzelas just by looking at it.


 ImageThe Dean stopped the car about halfway down so I could snap this photo of Table Mountain. You can see parts of Cape Town at the bottom of the mountain. Have I mentioned that I am totally and completely in love with Table Mountain? Counting down the days until I can make it to the top! 


ImageOur next stop was Camps Bay! You can see that gorgeous sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, and all the big rocks where we sat and appreciated the beauty. I could sit and listen to the tide lap up over the rocks for hours, but that will have to wait for another day.


ImageHere I am at Camps Bay! This picture should serve as proof that I didn’t get these pictures off the internet- I really do live in this gorgeous and complex city.

Just for fun,  I made a map for those of you who want a reference point. The red circles indicate where these photos were taken.  Image


I hope those photos/captions give you some inkling of the complex history, fantastic diversity, and stunning natural beauty of Cape Town! I think the Dean summed it up well by saying, “You know, people from the West always expect something different when they come to South Africa. We have so many diverse cultures that mix here; we’re still trying to figure out just what our collective culture is. There is so much influence from all over the world. Just remember- this is not the final draft of our country.”

Happy Heritage Day!