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21 posts categorized "Cape Town Service"


Last night, the students participated in their first FoodJam! FoodJams are a concept developed by Jade de Waal, who was a contestant on Master Chef: South Africa several years ago. Jade provides the space, the beverages, the recipes, and all the necessary ingredients; participants prepare and eat the dishes they make! It's always rewarding to see the finished products, and the environment definitely brings out the chef in all of us. The Ned Doman High School students reunited with us too. The students LOVED it, as you can tell by the photos below! 
















Thumb_IMG_0564_1024Caption: Jade, welcoming us into her home for the FoodJam!

















Thumb_IMG_0612_1024Caption: Fried mashed potato balls. There was also a red pepper-based sauce to go along with this dish.

Thumb_IMG_0613_1024Caption: Pan-seared salmon that went into this group's fish tacos.

Thumb_IMG_0614_1024Caption: Fried mashed potato balls pictured with bunny chow!

Thumb_IMG_0615_1024Caption: The fish tacos! Everything, including the wraps that held the tacos and the guacamole, were made by this group of students!

Thumb_IMG_0616_1024Caption: Part of last night's spread!

Thumb_IMG_0618_1024Caption: A "chocolate bomb" brownie cake with coconut brittle on top is on the left. A cheesecake (in a homemade crust) with strawberries and caramel-covered popcorn on top is on the right.


Caption: Jade dishing out desserts for all of us! In addition to the brownie cake and cheesecake, the dessert groups also made strawberry and banana ice creams.


Until next time,



CIEE "Education as a Human Right" Program Leader


Bo-Kaap Tour!


As the rain poured down on us as we attempted to explore the great township of Bo-kaap! Luckily we were able to take refuge in the grand mosque. The kind members of the mosque allowed us to view 4 o clock prayer. Our tour guide gave of a phenomenal overview of Islam, we hit the streets to view some famous Bo-kaap streets. From the colored houses to the beautiful murals, Bo-Kaap brightened up our rainy grey day! To finish up the tour we made our way to two local’s homes for a Cape Malay cooking class! The students learned to make samosas before sitting down to a delicious chicken curry dinner!







Until Next Time 


CIEE Service Learning Program Leader 


A day full of Impact!


Here at CIEE in South Africa, we refer to a volunteering activity as an impact project!

Our students began their day at Groenvlei High, painting a room that will act as the recreation area for the Leadership Club! This room will give them a meeting place for their daily activities as well as act as the dance studio and music room! We began by completing the base paints, then took a short lunch break to mingle with local high school students, and finally came back to complete the look! Students worked with the Groenvlei High students to apply the final touches applying wall stickers depicting love, dance, and movement!




Just when the students thought their day’s impact project was over we whisked them away to a Local farm to participate in the weekly soup kitchen. Here students broke up into three groups, one of which provided door to door soup delivery to individuals that could not come and receiver their food. During this experience they were invited into these homes to see how they live their daily lives.  Many Capetonians, including the individuals on the farm, live in makeshift houses that are highly susceptible to the elements. Though these individuals do not necessarily live in the best of conditions, students found that the joy and the love was overflowing. In this community, they may not have a lot, but they always have each other.



Meanwhile back at the soup kitchen base, our students held down the fort by providing soup and using play therapy with the local children from the farm! 





Mountains and Oceans galore!

Hi, my name is Kylie Reinhart and i am writing about the Cape Town, South Africa Service program. I am 17 years old and entering my senior year in high school. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I do competitive gymnastics! I decided to embark on this journey because I wanted to get to know another culture from the inside and not from a tourist or media perspective. 


July 24th, we already have only one week left in the program! However it was a great two weeks so far. We started off having some delicious flapjacks made by our wonderful chefs Andre, Craig, and Spencer. Then we headed out on a Cape Peninsula tour lead by southern ambition. The scenic drive was wonderful as we made our way to our first stop at Hout Bay. 




Next we headed to the much anticipated Boulder Beach in Simons Town. Here are where the African penguins reside, but only since 1985, and it has been an adorable tourist attraction ever since! 




After the overload of cuteness we headed to the beach next door, where we finally got to dip our toes in the water, but we soon left due to the sudden rain storm which frequent the coast. Off to higher elevation we go. 

After the bus ride we made it to Cape Point where we took a 20 minute hike to the lighthouse. This is no longer in use after the early 1900's because it couldn't be seen at sight due to the high levels of fog surrounding it. This in turn caused a lot of ship wrecks at the bottom of the cliffs along the coast. There was then another lighthouse built lower down the cliff!



The older lighthouse is no longer in use. Also pictured is the direction to a lot of major cities across the globe, which was very neat!

After a leisurely walk downwards we headed back down the coast to the Cape of Good Hope. This is the most Southwestern point on the African continent! 



After a very exhausting morning we made our way to a late lunch at Aunt Valerie's house in Oceanview town which is outside of Cape Town. She told us her story about how she was forcibly removed from a village near Simons Town (where we saw the penguins earlier) because that was not a place where- 42 years ago African Americans were allowed to live anymore. We had some delicious vegetable beef soup, and chicken pasta for lunch! Then we made our way back to Rondebosch for some free time to rewind from the day. Finishing off with a home cooked meal with our talented chefs, and a movie night. 


For all the parents missing us we will be back in the States in about a week!

Guest Blogger: Kylie Reinhart 

Old Biscuit Mill, Langa Tour, and a Surprise Guest

What a long and rewarding day! We decided to treat the students with a trip to breakfast at the Old Biscuit Mill, where food vendors convene at a shopping center on Saturday mornings. There are vendors for every possible food craving you may have, as well as plenty of innovative chefs who build amazing dishes out of standard food items.


The students got a taste of Old Biscuit Mill last Saturday, so they really enjoyed being able to spend more time there to eat and visit the shops.

Thumb_IMG_0317_1024Caption: Students standing in front of the Belgian waffle stand.

Thumb_IMG_0318_1024Caption: Happy (and likely full) students leaving Old Biscuit Mill!

We left Old Biscuit Mill and headed straight to Langa township for a Heritage Tour. Rain attempted to discourage our tour, but the guides that were with us knew how to work around the weather until it cleared up.

Thumb_IMG_0324_1024Caption: Samora, our guide in the orange sweater, telling us about the houses that were once occupied by miners.

One of the ways we escaped the rain was through our scheduled lunch at the top-rated Mzansi's Restaurant, situated within Langa. Not only did we eat tasty South African food, but we also joined the band who accompanied our meal by learning to play some of their instruments. Though all of our food here in Cape Town has been wonderful, the students were most enthusiastic about their experience dining at Mzansi's.

Thumb_IMG_0343_1024Caption: Smiling students BEFORE eating their meal. Perhaps they sensed the great food to come!

We continued our tour of Langa after our meal. We said goodbye to our well-researched tour guides in Gugulethu, a township we've now visited several times. The students at Groenvlei High School were preparing a braai or barbecue for us, but we were delighted to learn that they performed for us first. Groenvlei students are a diverse bunch, and they showed us Xhosa, Indian, and Zulu dances.Thumb_IMG_0369_1024Caption: CIEE students with some high school braai attendees. At least 6 high schools are representing in this photo alone!

Many of the performers from Groenvlei are members of their Future Leaders association, an organization started by Groenvlei alumni who wanted to give back to the school that had given them so much.

Thumb_IMG_0394_1024Caption: The Groenvlei performers, who put on an amazing show. 

And finally, we ended our night with a screening of the film, Four Corners.The film depicts the prevalence of gangs in Cape Town through one boy's attempt to avoid a destructive path he has little need to explore. As a special surprise, Irshaad Ally, who plays Gasant in the film, appeared to answer questions and take photos with the students. The South African students were particularly excited to see him, and we were all interested in learning more about his life as a professional actor.

Thumb_IMG_0397_1024Caption: Irshaad answering questions after the film's screening.

Tomorrow begins our last full week in Cape Town and we've still got more to do!


Until next time,



CIEE "Education as a Human Right" Program Leader 


Language Classes, Service, and a Hint Hunt

Today was a fulfilling day! We began our morning with more Xhosa and Afrikaans classes, this time building upon the skills developed in our last lesson. The Afrikaans students were hesitant to participate at first, but warmed up once they realized that they remembered more of the last lesson than they suspected.


Thumb_IMG_0265_1024Caption: Afrikaans students at the start of their morning lesson.

After their language class, the junior band at Ned Doman High School performed a number of selections for our students. 

Thumb_IMG_0267_1024Caption: Students in eager anticipation of the performance.

Thumb_IMG_0270_1024Caption: The junior band was fantastic.

Listen to a snippet of the band's performance!

We left Ned Doman and headed straight to St. Raphael's Primary, where children were awaiting our CIEE students. After reading to St. Raphael's students, our CIEE students were able to talk to their respective classes and share some details about life in America. Many students were bombarded with questions about whether they knew Justin Bieber or other well-known American entertainers. 





Thumb_IMG_0284_1024Caption: Students read to their classes alone or in pairs. They didn't know these pictures were being taken, but members of the class did!

Before leaving St. Raphael's, the school held an assembly in honor of Mandela Day on July 18th. CIEE students were able to participate in releasing balloons with some of Mandela's words attached.




Thumb_IMG_0299_1024Caption: The balloon release during the school's Mandela Day celebration. St. Raphael's was so hospitable to us; in addition to opening their classrooms to students, they prepared plenty of sweets for CIEE to eat and take with us.

To end the day's activities, students were split into four groups for an "escape the room" challenge at Hint Hunt. Each group had 60 minutes to navigate their way out of three different rooms. They had to practice some serious teamwork, the rooms they had to escape had a 20-40% success rate!

Thumb_IMG_0308_1024Caption: Our groups strategizing at Hint Hunt.

Tomorrow we'll do some more service, and we've got a weekend packed with activities.


Until next time,



CIEE "Education as a Human Right" Program Leader

Robben Island and Language Classes

Hello again! A few days ago, we visited Robben Island where Nelson Mandela and other apartheid conspirators were imprisoned during the height of the struggle. The students were able to visit Nelson Mandela's cell, as well as hear from an ex-political prisoner who conducts tours of the facility. Hearing his story gave the historical facts of apartheid more of a face and name.


Caption: The Robben Island ferry deposits you here, and guests must walk through up to these gates where they catch a bus to begin the tour. The bus deposited us closer to the prison, where we met up with our prison tour guide.

Our tour guide was understandably passionate about sharing his experience with us. Because he was imprisoned from 1984 to 1989 as a result of his African National Congress (ANC) party involvement, he was imprisoned during Mandela's imprisonment. Our guide revealed that regardless of what block a prisoner was assigned, all the head party leaders circulated the party agenda around the prison. Coupled with consistent political education classes and news analysis, this helped to ensure that their rebellious spirit was not stifled by the realities of prison life.

Thumb_IMG_0251_1024Caption: Our tour guide giving a talk in the very cell where he was imprisoned for the majority of his time at Robben Island. He told us that he feels victorious in being able to tell his own story.

Thumb_IMG_0254_1024Caption: Leading us toward the dock after completing our tour.

Robben Island is positioned on the back side of Table Mountain, so we were able to get a new view of it during our visit. 

Thumb_IMG_0236_1024Caption: The students and program leaders on a particularly nice (winter) day in Cape Town!

Today, we began our language classes at Ned Doman high school. The CIEE students will be accompanied by Ned Doman students in either Xhosa or Afrikaans beginner classes. The Xhosa class was an enriching experience and students were glad to get some clarification on the "click" sounds they hear fluent speakers make when using the language. They must practice in preparation for Thursday's class!


Thumb_IMG_0262_1024Caption: The Xhosa students took copious notes on their lesson.

Tomorrow, we'll start their leadership training.


Until next time,



CIEE "Education as a Human Right" Program Leader


Word of the day: Exhausting!

    Caption: The entire group of bikers that participated in the Woodstock Graffiti Tour, posing in District Six, with a glorious view of the infamous Table Mountain!  Event date: 7/16/16

    We began our day with Moses, the Southern Ambition Tour guide, who showed us the way to pick up our transportation for the day, mountain bikes! After adjusting, and testing our bikes, we were finally ready to set off on our daily journey. Through the streets of Cape Town we rode to our first stop, Beth Uriel. Beth Uriel meaning “House of Light”, is a boy’s home which aims to provide young men from impoverished communities, the chance to pursue meaningful independent lives. Through guidance, educational support, and training young Beth Uriel seeks to empower the male community and build more youth that are able to obtain jobs and support themselves.

Boys don't get the help that they need,

many places help women and children

but men need help too." -Beth Uriel House Representative


Caption: Two current residents from Beth Ureil presenting the organization to the students and other tour members.

    After a nice rest and coffee break, we were back at it again, huffing and puffing our way through the streets to the Old Biscuit Mill! The OBM is a Saturday hit among locals who spend the morning eating and socializing while listening to live bands and tasting different local Cape-tonian restaurants!


Caption: Students ( Left Lilah, Center Lani, Right Julia) posing in from of the Old Biscuit Mill.

Once each student had their fill and made it back on to their bikes we hit the town exploring the Woodstock graffiti centers finding some outstanding works of art representing political movements, conservation, and symbolism of South Africa.



Caption: Tour of Woodstock Graffiti both old and new. (1) Old school graffiti honoring the youth uprising during apartheid. (2) Students pose in front of some new school graffiti (Left Lilah M., Menat, Diego).

    Finally we made our last stop in town at the world’s Best Coffee Shop, (actually ranked number 1 in the WORLD), Truth Coffee.After a quick taste testing of the premium coffee, it was time to find our way back to Ron Court. A tough 5.5 km ride back to the bike drop proved to be a walk through the park for some students who breezed to the finish line and rewarded themselves with a late lunch snack. For some of us however, we reached our end and jumped in the van for a very relaxing ride back to meet the group!


    To follow up the exciting day the students grabbed their warm clothes and blankets and we walked to Newlands stadium to watch the Cape Town Stoermers take on the Joburg Southern Kings! With this being many students 1st rugby game they cheered loudly as the Stormers strolled to victory finishing 52-24! Though completely exhausted the students still found the energy to prepare not one but TWO cakes for our Birthday Girl, Menat! One thing that is for sure is that our group is full of great people!



Until next time,


CIEE "Education as a Human Right" Program Leader 


Full Days Ahead!

These past two days have been, as South Africans say, hectic! Yesterday, we travelled from Johannesburg to Cape Town and got settled into our accommodations in Rondebosch. We also got a chance to share our insights about Johannesburg and South African history with one another. In lieu of pictures, there are two poignant student quotes to share:

"The way something looks on the outside is not at all indicative of what it's really like." - Alana

"I know I didn't come on this trip to be on my phone...as a whole, we need to stop trying to find wifi." - Brooke

The students have been learning a lot, and today was no exception. After breakfast this morning, we started on a walking tour of downtown Cape Town before heavy rains prompted us to take shelter. Our shelter of choice was the District 6 Museum. Students came to understand this blatant act of discrimination against the Coloured community when they were forcibly removed from their homes in District 6, an area of Cape Town where generations of Coloured people established their lives.

 Caption: Students on the top floor of the District 6 Museum. 

We continued our tour throughout the downtown area and had a picturesque view of Table Mountain.


Thumb_IMG_1740_1024Caption: Students capture themselves in front of Table Mountain. They were delighted to find a very discrete "photo-bomber" in their picture.

Students were particularly excited to interact with the squirrels and pigeons that were a constant presence.



Thumb_IMG_0165_1024Caption: (1) A fearless squirrel approaches for a snack. (2) Students prepare for the pigeons. (3) Students and pigeons.

We also paused in front of City Hall to discuss the changes that took place there. Two benches sit in front of the building marked "WHITES ONLY" and "NON-WHITES ONLY". After some some interrogation, the students realized that the four racial categories in South Africa all received different treatment that is not accurately represented in the two benches.


Thumb_IMG_0174_1024Caption: The benches in front of City Hall. Some students also noted that the benches are relatively equal, which is also unrealistic according to apartheid social practices.

Our day continued in Gugulethu, a local township where community leaders conduct programming to keep children occupied during their school breaks. CIEE students reveled in the opportunity to play and talk to the students. 


Thumb_IMG_0186_1024Caption: Two students spent their time in Gugulethu painting faces. 

Though neither student claims to be an artist, the children were thrilled.



Thumb_IMG_0215_1024Caption: (1) Mbulelo, 10, as Spiderman. (2) Mlibo, 3, as a Minion. He hung out with the older children as long as he could, but he requested a nap soon after this photo was taken. (3) (left to right) Lihlumile, 8, and Chumani, 10, as a clown and American flag respectively. Their friends prepared the boys for this picture, with one boy quickly removing Chumani's gray hat to maintain their standards for an appropriate photo.


Thumb_IMG_0188_1024Caption: A handful of students prepared sandwiches to serve to the children prior to the end of their program.

Thumb_IMG_0192_1024Caption: Other students playing football.


Thumb_IMG_0223_1024Caption: Saying goodbye! Note that many of the children in the photo have painted faces. They were careful to maintain this original artwork throughout their program.


Tomorrow will be another busy day!


Until next time,



CIEE "Education as a Human Right" Program Leader 

A Day In Soweto

Today has been a busy day! The students were awake for breakfast early this morning so we could begin our tour of Soweto, one of the largest townships just outside of the city.

Thumb_IMG_0052_1024Caption: Our entire group of students. The guided trip around the township allowed us to learn about its history here.


We made a stop at a heavily populated market where vendors were selling all sorts of wares and foodstuffs. Many of the students opted to try one of the more interesting food items for sale. Check the pictures to guess what this item is!




Thumb_IMG_0065_1024Caption: Students document trying this nutritious snack. The mopani worm is cooked to a crisp and tastes like a crunchy, hollow cheese puff (without the cheese). 

We stopped by the Hector Pieterson museum and memorial, which allowed the students to learn more about how South African students mobilized against being instructed solely in Afrikaans, a language unfamiliar to black South Africans who were being instructed in their home languages. When the students realized that Afrikaans-based instruction made all of their lessons inaccessible, they abandoned their schools and took to the streets in protest. This peaceful demonstration was met with a hail of police bullets and 13-year old Hector Pieterson was murdered. 

A trip to Soweto would not be complete without visiting Vilakazi Street, where both of South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize winners maintained their homes before relocating. While Archbishop Desmond Tutu's home is not open to the public, Nelson Mandela's home was turned into a museum where visitors can learn more about his political and family life. 

  Thumb_IMG_0076_1024Caption: Students at Mandela House on Vilakazi Street

Later in the day, we visited Kliptown Youth Program to see how this local organization is supporting students in their community who think beyond their economic circumstances. KYP provides food, academic support, community performances, and counseling to their members. A group of young KYP dancers performed Zulu routines for us and allowed students to join them during a portion of their extensive routine.

Caption: Some intimidated students learning the dance routine. They did a fine job keeping up with the choreography.

Before we left the Kliptown community, we spent some time with children enjoying their current school breaks. This provided a chance for us to congratulate the KYP students on their captivating performance and interact with many of the younger children who were also enthralled by KYP. 


Thumb_IMG_0104_1024Caption: (1) Talking with some of the younger children. (2) CIEE and KYP students in a friendly game of football. Our KYP ambassador wasn't joking when he mentioned their award-winning team. The KYP students have the trophies to prove it.

Tomorrow, we'll be headed to Cape Town!


Until next time,



CIEE "Education as a Human Right" Program Leader