Rachel Vernon
Rachel Vernon
South Africa, 2022
Hi, my name is Rachel, I will be going to Cape Town, South Africa for 6 months to work with Volunteer Solutions. I plan to work in elementary schools with sports development and work in a local clinic. Read More About Rachel →

Home town activities

Rozano’s soccer championship (Rozano is the second from the right)

Hello everyone! It’s been two weeks since I posted last! Can you believe it! Time is flying by! I am already a third done with my trip! Over the last two weeks, I have had a lot of downtime. Wow, I am so thankful for downtime! A new volunteer came to stay with us last week. His name is Hinse, he is from Belgium and staying for six months, so we will be buddies for the rest of my trip! Lately, I have been a part of more local events. My host brother had a soccer championship, but unfortunately, he lost in the finals. But it was so fun to cheer him on!

The other major event in the last two weeks was the school concert. It has been so cute watching the kids devote so much time and energy to their daily practice. The kids sang, danced, and read poems. The children here come out of the womb with rhythm in their feet, it is so impressive. I was a part of the teacher’s dance, and let me tell ya, I do NOT have rhythm! It was fun because all the kids were shouting, “Coach, coach, coach!” I felt like a celebrity! The parents were CRAZY

School concert

for their kids, a very different environment than a concert in America. The parents were shouting, dancing, and running to the front of the stage to take videos. They did not just sit back and clap when it was over! I absolutely loved every minute of the concert. I felt like I was one of the proud parents in the stands. All of the kids did such an amazing job! 



Traditional braai lunch for teacher appreciation week


We also had an end-of-the-term braai, aka bbq. We were celebrating the student teachers’ leaving and teacher appreciation week. The food consisted of boerewors (like a brat), chicken, potato salad, green salad, garlic bread, and a cool drink (aka soda). WOW, it was so delicious! 


Lastly, Hinse and I took the two host brothers, Ronaldo (16) and Rozano (13), out for a hike. Hinse and I, yet again, felt like parents taking our kids out for an adventure. It was so cute watching them look around in the car because they hadn’t been to Muizenberg. And of course, to make us really feel like parents, they complained and asked, “how much longer is the hike?”

Boomslang Cave hike in Muizenberg


Some personal trials and tribulations I didn’t know I would encounter include eating different foods and exercising. As a retired division 1 athlete, I was used to working out often, but I can’t go to the gym or go on a run. I tried to tell myself that, I will work out when I get home, this is

Apple crisp

only a season of life. But the more I told myself that, I just paid more attention to how my body was changing. So I started doing HITT workouts in my room. The more I did them, the better my mental health felt. I realized how important it is for me to move my body and break a sweat. I am also not in control of what food I eat. We eat a lot of white bread because it is a cheap source of energy. For breakfast, instead of eating toast, I eat something called “Maze-meal” or “pup” for slang, (it is like grits). I didn’t grow up eating grits, so I didn’t know I would enjoy them as much as I do. We eat BIG dinners and have dessert often, which has been amazing! I even made an apple crisp for the family! In the last two weeks, I have made it three times, it is an absolute hit! 


Hope you enjoyed this short summary of the past two-week, tune in next time! 

Grade R (kindergarten) boys during PT

2 thoughts on “Home town activities”

  1. Pa and I always love to read your letters Rachel! Pa said you are so flexible-you seem to adapt easily to so many different situations! Once again your letter and pictures were wonderful. We can really get the flavor of your experience in South Africa as we read what you wrote and look at the pictures. I can just imagine that school concert. It sounds like everyone had so much fun. It is so endearing that the kids call you coach 🙂 That is so relevant to the person you are in their lives. Since I grew up in the north I did not eat grits until a southern friend made them for me. I like them too-especially cheesy grits. Looks like I am running out of room. Love you, Pa and Grandma

    1. Thank you! I think I have become more flexible of a person since coming here. Good to hear from you!
      Love you,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *