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Melanie’s South African Travel Story, part 1

Surrounded by a mountain range and the most southern ocean in the world, Cape Town impressed me right away. I was seduced by its warm and exotic atmosphere but also its vast array of possible activities to do and places to discover. The landscape is magnificent and life there seems gentle as well as lively.

I fell in love with South Africa and the trip was one of the best experiences in my life.

For one week, the Davids family hosted me under their roof and showed me their beautiful city of Cape Town. The family consists of dad Gary (my language teacher), mum Renée and their three kids Blane, Hannah and Ross.

My Arrival – Sunday

9 pm on the 2nd of June – over Cape Town

As the plane loses altitude, I could see thousands of little lights through my window getting bigger little by little. Cape Town is lighting up the night.

When I got out of the plane, I found myself without luggage (the airline had forgotten it in Amsterdam) but no panic, it was delivered to my host family’s house the following day.

The Local Organiser Renée Erasmus was in charge of my airport transfer. I was nicely welcomed at the airport by Renée, her husband and their little girl Georgia. They were waiting for me with a bouquet of typical South African flowers and a drawing made by Georgia especially for me. So cute!

On the short way from the airport to the host family, we talked. I was really tired but excited about the idea of meeting my family and happy to be literally on the other side of the world.

Upon my arrival in the family, we met each other and I drank a cup of tea. The Davids family was warm and made me feel at ease straight away. Speaking with them was easy and friendly. They were very attentive and cared for all my needs. They had reserved a bedroom in their house for my use only, equipped with a big bed, a bathroom and part of the wardrobe to store my belongings.

Despite having no jetlag, I was nevertheless exhausted. I went to bed just after drinking my tea and chatting a little bit with the family. I fell asleep happy and excited for the week ahead.

Day 1 – Monday

Monday was a very relaxed day. I stayed home with Hannah and we spoke a lot. I finished my “to do list” of things I hoped to do in South Africa.

For my first English lesson, I completed a test so that Gary could evaluate my level. We corrected the test together, and then we had a conversation. I did not start off as a beginner in English – I had a good foundation but also big gaps. My main challenge was spoken English so we came to the conclusion that I needed to speak and that my lessons would be specially focused on oral expression.

In the evening, we went to dinner with the family in a restaurant in Muizenberg. Even if it was dark, I could see that Muizenberg was a really nice town! Colourful huts, golden sand, azure blue sea – it is an ideal spot for surfing! Beware of sharks, though…