Olivia Shaw
Olivia Shaw
South Africa, 2021
My name is Olivia Shaw and on January 13, 2021, I will be hopping on a plane to Cape Town, South Africa to begin work in Woodstock at a group home for immigrant and refugee children. I will be living in Cape Town for about six months and am so excited to see how my work will develop in my time there! Read More About Olivia →

Off Duty Recreation

Off Duty Recreation

Hello yet again from Cape Town! I’ve been enjoying the South African summer so much that I’ve collected pictures and neglected to share them as I’m experiencing them! Consider this an introduction to the off duty recreational activities I get to enjoy when I’m not working- and sometimes, when I am!


One of my favorite hikes I’ve trekked so far is Platteklip Gorge, one of the routes that ascends Table Mountain (there are many routes up this infamous mountain!) It was my second time hiking Table Mountain and I’m keen to go back and try out other routes (India Vester and Skeleton Gorge are my next stops). Often some of the less steep routes are filled also with runners, hikers, and bikers, so there’s something for everyone.



Something I’ve loved about working at Lawrence House is how active everyone is. I’ve been able to join the group home for camping and hiking outings with the children and often you can find them surfing, rock climbing, hiking, and playing soccer as often as me! There are incredible non-profit organizations with wonderful outreach programs that provide opportunities for children to explore these recreational activities and as a firsthand witness, I can confirm that they are so well received. Some of these organizations are DreamHigher , Waves for Change , and  The Mountain Club of South Africa .





I had never surfed before moving to Cape Town, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn something new! Aside from the stiffness the day after my first lesson, I also fell in love with this sport! Every time I’m out on the water I feel myself becoming a little better and a lot more confident on my board. I’m excited to see how I’ll continue to progress in my time here and it will make leaving Cape Town that much harder!


Easter weekend I spent camping in Greyton with a few friends and I was beyond excited for my first proper camping trip in South Africa! We spent four days and three nights at the base of beautiful mountains that neighbored a river. Somehow we managed to snag arguably the best lot in the entire campsite.

Rock Climbing

I began climbing last year and absolutely fell in love with the sport. At first, it was something that I enjoyed doing simply for the company that I was with, then I began to improve and invest in the stories of the people around me who were passionate about it. I’d never had a sport that was for me and that I could take pride in. There wasn’t a sport that I could say “find me here doing this everyday” until I got a rock climbing gym membership this side and let’s just say… You can find me here most days if I’m not outdoors doing the real thing!

As I’ve transitioned out of my “adjusting” phase of living in Cape Town, I’ve been blessed to meet and be surrounded by wonderful people who have taught me so many things as our relationships deepen. I have found a church group that has welcomed me and made friends who share my interests in all things outdoors. Everyday I’m learning about South Africa’s culture, communities, and the way that they care for their people. I’m constantly humbled and amazed by the peoples’ capacities to show love to one another and also the speed at which taxi’s drive. I’m constantly a witness to acts of kindness that reinforce Ubuntu (I am because we are) and simultaneously the hectic driving the taxi drivers partake in here- both of which equally contribute to a proper South African experience!



In your corner,


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