Be the Cause

Seventeen Travelers will visit the HIV/AIDS rampant country of South Africa to engage in a “Service Vacation”.

December 13th, 2004

Today, we will be visiting HOKISA (Homes for Kids in South Africa). This is definitely one of the activities we’ve been looking forward to, since HOKISA was one of the beneficiaries for the 3rd annual Walk for Hope at Bolsa Chica Beach in Huntington Beach, California. Before our visit to HOKISA, we were informed of some beautiful sights to see in our very own Cape Peninsula Tour. The seventeen of us, with Joanne Baker from Tias Arms and our van driver, Sharky leave Cape Town early on and drive along the coast line of the peninsula…the views are heartstopping to say the least. We travel from Sea Point to Bantry Bay and then through Hout Bay. From Hout Bay, we travel through Chapman’s Peak, Noordhoek, Kommetjie, and arrive finally at Cape Point. Before arriving at Cape Point, we stop at a few viewpoints and take more than a few pictures. When we go through a toll road, we decide to give a smile card to the toll operator, plus some cash to cover toll expenses for the car driving behind us. When we’re parked at a lookout point, the passenger of the car, a young man gets out and takes a picture with all of us and holds the smile card in front of him with a smile on his face. What a miraculous event! We carry on from our lookout point and when we reach Cape Point, we have an hour or so to explore. Groups of us head up to the top of the point, where there is a lighthouse and a little further on, there’s the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet!! The sights are beyond amazing…even on a somewhat cloudy day, the ocean beams back at us and all is good in our worlds. Before we know it, it’s time to go to HOKISA…this is an awesome opportunity to see where the dollars we raised goes to and how it will benefit. The orphanage has taken some tough hits receintly…mainly with a doctor hurt in the leg, and some of the suffering that has come with that throughout the community. We all are able to see the joy on the faces of the staff of HOKISA as a check is presented to them from Be the Cause. We briefly get time to play with the kids at HOKISA on their playground and inside. Some volunteers talk with these children, some help them on swings, and at the end, some children give stickers out to us as we leave the premises…we are told that being with the children too long hurts the children instead of helps them because of how they can become attached to new adults in their lives. After this experience, we head to an open market area that leads to Boulder’s Beach…where we’ve been looking forward to swimming with the penguins! The area is just beautiful….rocks surround the atlantic ocean and penguins accent. After most of us make our way into the water…either playing on the rocks or swimming with each other….after another heartening, funfilled day, we head back home to our hostel in Cape Town in order to prepare for our adventure to Durban tomorrow.

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.

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