The first weekend of this beautiful journey was nothing short of unbelievable. The Human Rights Organization encourages us to open our eyes and embrace this great world in need that we all share- taking part in the same mission that brought us together from all around the world. Although there are great needs in the world we work in, there is also incredible culture to experience.
It was amazing to come in and immediately bond with my three other roommates: Tom and Abbey, both from England; and Kristin, from Chicago. The first night we were all together we spent at the Market Barn in the nearby town of Muizenberg— a place known for its lively atmosphere. The Market Barn in Muizenberg is basically just a big Friday night venue where locals set up fresh foods and bring handmade crafts for sale. The atmosphere was unbelievably alive and meshed well with any newcomer. The building buzzed with conversations in Afrikaans, English, and Xhosa— a local language spoken with the clicking of the tongue, as well as spoken words. There, we met up with some other volunteers and started the process of acquainting ourselves with each other, as well as the market life in South Africa. Being with everyone, experiencing the culture, taking part in this great journey alongside others with similar aspirations, it was hard to mistake the feeling of being exactly where I’m meant to be.
Saturday we all pitched in for a minibus and road to the Biscuit Marketplace in the city center. Unlike the market barn, where everything was contained within the same building, this place was a whole new experience. Set outside near the waterfront in Cape Town, the Biscuit Marketplace is a mix of East Nashville nuance with the indescribable vibrancy of the South African people. The buildings were all connected by brick walkways, which followed just below string lamps that covered the place in multicolored lights. In between the eating area and the crafts was a massive brick courtyard, strewn with vendors and musicians alike. The joy of this place was a sparked with a culmination of live music, locally grown food prepared fresh, organic smoothie stands, handmade crafts and leather bags hanging from locally sourced copper hooks, craft beers, and a beautiful mess of people from all around this living rainbow nation.