[100th Cruise Report] Call to Cape Town (South Africa)
The Ocean Dream has arrived in Cape Town, South Africa! So far, we have been blessed with good weather making for a comfortable journey and it is a clear blue sky today as well. Today we are participating in the “Origami Culture Exchange in English & Cape of Good Hope Sightseeing Tour” which is for our GET (Global English/Español Training) students from our on board language training program. We visited a school in a former township from the Apartheid era. The participants learn practical English skills as they exchange with the children and enjoy sightseeing.
When we arrived at the school, the children welcomed us as they sung the national anthem. “I’ve just started to study English, I wonder if I will be able to make friends with the children,” worried one participant. Those worries were instantly quieted as simple self introductions were made and the origami exchange began.
The township is not safe in some areas, and there are children who cannot play outside because of this. Origami is really popular with these children. The children learning origami as another way to play inside learn very quickly how to align the edges neatly and are making beautiful cranes, ships, and hearts in no time. The room is filled with smiling faces as the children and participants work together to complete each piece.
Everyone holds the origami hearts that they made together as they take a picture to remember the occasion. Even the people that were worried about being able to communicate in English have visibly relaxed over the two hours folding origami together. Everyone sits around the tables enjoying lunch together in this friendly atmosphere.
On this tour, we also delivered aid supplies. This is one of Peace Boat’s long time international cooperation programs called the United Peoples Alliance (UPA) which aims to create grassroot connections between individuals that do not sway with bilateral and international state relations at the government level. We delivered clothing, kimono, and handmade world maps to enrich the children’s classes.
After lunch, we departed from the school with the children and headed to the home of a colony of African penguins on Boulders Beach. A penguin crouched in the thickets a distance away from the rocky coastal area. Looking closely, we discovered two eggs sitting at the penguin’s feet. Apparently penguins always raise two eggs. The children are captivated as they stare at the cute penguins.
Many travelers and adventurers yearn to visit the Cape of Good Hope. It is said that the Cape of Good Hope was named by the King of Portugal who was delighted at the discovery of a sea route from the African coast to India. The line of the mountain ridge leads your gaze to the expanding horizon and makes you think about the sea routes of the explorers of old.
After spending the entire day together, the participants and the children have become quite close and gathered for a photo at the Cape of Good Hope. As the wind blew fiercely, everyone huddled closely together to take this photo ensuring that no one will forget this wonderful memory from our journey.
The bus departs from the Cape of Good Hope and heads back to the Ocean Dream. Upon returning, the children came on board to take a tour of the ship. As the ship came into view through the bus window, the air on the bus became charged as the children shouted excitedly. The children are delighted as they set foot onto the ship. We were the ones showing the children around the ship but the sparkling eyes of the children taught us something important as well.
Table Mountain stretches out as it overlooks the city. After the sun has gone down, the last rays of twilight illuminate the silhouette of the mountain, creating a picturesque scene. Our journey in Cape Town began with our school visit and origami culture exchange. There were many moving moments experienced today as we spent the day with these purehearted children. The Ocean Dream departs as we head to our last port on the African continent, Walvis Bay, Namibia.