December 12th, 2004
Today, many of us got up at the crack of dawn in order to meet our hiking guide, Luke Angel downstairs in front of our hostel. He offers us snacks and drinks as we make our way up the beautiful hillside called, Table Mountain. On the way, we see vineyards and pine trees and we even see the house where Nelson Mandela has lived in. We park and at the base of the mountain, we start to hike…it is still very early in the morning, but we are ready to make the trek up this mountain that we’ve only viewed from afar. Hiking up, we see a number of distinct flowers and geckos of all different colors hiding out and basking in the light of the rising sun. It’s quite an incline as we hike to what looks like it could be the top. There are some viewpoints that are beyond breathtaking…and we see the mist that Table Mountain is known for. It’s completely surreal. When we get to a lake at the top, we stop and have some mangos to eat and admire the scenery. We then hike a little more and climb up on these incredible rocks that overlook such striking scenery!! We take some group pictures and sit in silence for a few memorable minutes. We head back down beloved Table Mountain in joy and with good spirits. At the bottom, there is fruit being sold and South African fruit is beyond delectable. Some of us purchase Lichys…which we’ve come to enjoy tremendously. We head back into the van and join Karuna, Sonali and Cheryl who have gone to the other side of the mountain to check out the botanical gardens and try and get a ride on the gondola that promises more amazing views. After these lessons in beauty, we head out to an Agape Orphanage in the outskirts of Cape Town. The children here have many disabilities such as Cerebal Palsy and the like. And there are children infected with HIV as well. We play and play with these children and comfort them either by playing on trampolines with them, singing with them, or holding them. At the end of the day, some of us put them to bed. At the end of a beautiful, fulfilling day, we head back to our temporary home in Cape Town with much thought and reflecting back on what we saw and experienced today.