Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Table Mountain

We started our hike in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

We hiked up Skeleton's Gorge, a route that has lots of ladders, big rocks, shady trees, and waterfalls.

At the top of Skeleton's Gorge, we reached a sandy reservoir where we set the 10 second timer on the camera and jumped up and down trying to capture a picture of all five of us jumping.
From left to right: Me, Corey, Amy, Phil, and Allen.

View from the top of Table Mountain.

View of Cape Town.

Resting on the top of Table Mountain before hiking down. We originally planned on taking the cable car down the mountain, but it was closed because of the wind.

Hiking down Platteklip, the face of Table Mountain. Although it was tough on everyone's knees, the hike down the mountain was beautiful because we were surrounded by clouds.
I'm going to backtrack a bit and write about a couple events that I have not yet touched upon.

October 9: Heritage Day at GRS Cape Town! South Africans celebrate Heritage Day on September 24 by celebrating the many cultures that are present throughout the country. GRS decided to host its own Heritage Day lunch to share our own traditions and cultural dishes. I decided to be adventurous at lunch and have a taste of everything. This included sheep eyeball, smiley (known as the "tastiest" part of a sheep, smiley is the cheek), tongue (I could feel the tastebuds), intestines (so salty), and hoofs (really chewy). I also ate lots of chocolate buckeyes (made by Elise, a fellow Ohioan), German cake, and Greek goodies (my contribution).

October 10-12: Rocking the Daisies Music Festival with the interns located in Kimberley, Richmond, and Lesotho! We spent the weekend camping and watching amazing music on a wine estate in Darling, about 75 kilometers outside Cape Town. My favorite bands were Freshly Ground, Gang of Instrumentals, Lonesome Dave Ferguson, and Goldfish.

October 13: Finally visited my host family in Grassy Park! I had dinner with Nazeema, Soraya, Juleigha, Tasneem, and Mischka and caught up on everything that happened since I left in April 2008. It was great to see the Valleys and I'm going to do my best to stop by more often.

October 18: I spent seven hours hiking up, around, and down Table Mountain with Allen, Corey, Phil, and Amy. It was my first time hiking the mountain and it was absolutely beautiful. I'll write another post with pictures and more details just now.

This past weekend was much more relaxed. I spent Saturday morning at the Old Biscuit Mill Market catching up with Alyssa, my program director from Projects Abroad and I spent the afternoon surfing with Corey, Amy, and Allen. We got a full night of sleep in preparation for a soccer tournament that we played in on Sunday.

Aside from music festivals, hiking, surfing, and eating, I've been spending lots of time in the office. My workload is picking up and I'm getting involved in several long-term projects, mostly involving the weekend of December 4-6. The World Cup draw takes place on December 4th and the Football For Hope Centre in Khayelitsha is opening on December 5th. Both of these events will have huge media coverage and Grassroot Soccer will have the spotlight for a small part of the weekend. Several GRS Board Members and important GRS friends will be in town for the events and I am helping to prepare for the big weekend.

Table Mountain pictures to come...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Skillz DVD Launch

October 2, 2009 marked the launch of Grassroot Soccer’s first ever Skillz DVD. The DVD was filmed in Khayelitsha, but is delivered to all GRS coaches after they are trained in the GRS curriculum. The DVD featured 21 boys and girls from Khayelitsha and over 150 people attended the premiere party, including all 21 boys and girls featured in the DVD, their family members, the 93 recent Skillz graduates from Impendulo, Skillz coaches, Grassroot Soccer staff, Substance Film crew, local media, and a special appearance by professional soccer star Thabo Mngomeni. Every child who participated in the video got to walk down a red carpet, receive a goody bag, and get their picture taken with Thabo.

Walking down the red carpet at the DVD Launch Party