Let the Tour Begin...
July 6, 2006

Lori received some bad news when we got back to the hotel yesterday after our Cape Peninsula trip…her backpack had not
come in yet. Even worse, they had not even been able to locate it. I just have to ask what the point of having a bar code (that is
supposed to be scanned at each departure and arrival point) is if it isn’t being used? They literally had no idea where it even is.
How is that possible??? For right now, she is in the same clothes that she has been traveling in for a few days. Things weren’t
looking too promising so she knew she would probably have to buy a few things before we headed out to start our volunteering

While today wasn’t a great morning for Lori (still no backpack from British Airways), I was actually enjoying the start to my
day. This was largely due to the weather. Most people will probably think that I am crazy when I say that the weather was
cold and rainy. It just felt so good though to put my parka on and walk down to one of the cafés. After all, we were only going to
be in Cape Town for a few hours today before we were going to be heading out to the town of Kommetjie. This allowed me time
to just hang out at a café and not feel like I really had to ‘do’ anything in these three hours. And there was something that was
oddly really nice about watching the rain come down. Probably had to do with the fact that I knew I didn’t have to be in it all
day. Or really,
at all today.

Our i-to-i volunteering tour was going to be officially getting underway. We would be meeting everybody at the house we were
going to be staying at in Kommetjie. When we got there, the other four people were already there. Aside from me and Lori,
here was the composition of our group:

Amy – From New York. Lives in Queens and teaches in the Bronx. 29 years old. Did Peace Corps in Macedonia for two years.
Angela – From South Carolina. Did undergrad and grad school at MIT. Is moving out to San Francisco following this trip.
Kate and Sean – Married couple. Work at a boarding school in Massachusetts.

So there we had it. The six of us who would be spending the next 15 days together. Our first outing was going to a little
shopping center so that people (let’s face it…Lori) could buy a few things and so that others could use the Internet. When we
got back, we took the ten minute walk out to the beach. The weather was still a bit overcast so there was a slightly eerie look to
the coast. Pretty cool, actually. The coast over here actually reminds me of Half Moon Bay. After all, this area is pretty big with
the surfers.

It was now time for our orientation. A girl from i-to-i came over to the house and told us what was in store for us for the next
couple weeks. To be honest, I kind of felt like I was part of the cast of the Real World and they were explaining what our ‘job’
was going to be all while sizing us up to make sure we were a group that they could count on. I am almost happy that I really
didn’t read too much about this trip before I got out here. I knew a few things I would be doing while traveling for four days
along the Garden Route like abseiling (i.e. repelling), quad-biking, zip-lining and wine tasting. But then I found out about oh-so-
much more. We’re going to an elephant sanctuary, possibly to some caves, cage diving with crocodiles, a sunset boat ride, etc.
Yup…the Garden Route will be an adventurous one for us!

Lucinda (the owner of the house) made us a home-cooked South African stew called
potjieko. We all had a great time just
eating and chit-chatting. After dinner, Angela spotted Scattergories in the other room. My response? “I love Scattergories! I
love Scattergories!” In case you can not tell, this is one of my favorite games. Luckily other people had similar feelings…so we
whipped it out and played. I’m also happy to report that Team Lori and Jen came out the victors. Hehe.

After some delicious little Tim Tam cookies (packaged cookies that taste very un-packaged-like), it is now time to hit the sack
as we are going to be spending all day tomorrow doing one of my very favorite activities…wine tasting!!!
Back to South Africa.
On the beach in Kommetjie.
The lighthouse in Kommetjie.