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Saturday, July 14th.

Today was Demo Day! At Solution Space, we set up for the event and then got to hear pitches from all of the entrepreneurs (including South Africa Makes, who we work for, and our favorite chefs Blax and Space). After a brief lunch at Sol Space, we headed to Table Mountain, where we took a cable car to the top, walked around the top of the mountain, and then took the car back down. Ended the night with dinner courtesy of Blax and Space’s grilling on the rooftop of Paragon, and excited for our peninsula tour tomorrow.

Sunday, July 15th.

PENINSULA TOUR! (and last real weekend in Cape Town and on DukeEngage 🙁 ). We began at 7:30 AM at Hout Bay to see some seals and explore, took some photos, had lunch on the beach and climbed some rocks, hiked up Cape Point. saw penguins at Boulders beach, and ended at Gordon’s Bay where we had pizza dinner, watched the World Cup finale, introduced ourselves to Lil T (another Tilda) and Sian, were introduced to our sports projects by Jack (group coordinator on project), and crashed early to prepare for the week ahead.

Monday, July 16th.

First day on project. (ACJ Primary school in Nomzamo township) Our target group wasn’t entirely what we received in terms of ages of kids, so we used our adaptability and flexibility from India to teach them some songs and games to keep them active and having fun. We did quite a bit of soccer as well as relay races, and while there were difficulties with some of the activities we agreed during our debrief that there wasn’t much we could’ve done to improve the effects on our own. After project was first a discussion about it at ACJ with Jack (where I found that he is also coming to Texas, like everyone else I’ve met) and some time to rest, in which Ila Shreyas and I played Scrabble, and then was our group-led debrief to do good, improve, funny as well as Shoutouts and Concerns—afterwards was dinner courtesy of the dinner team Grace Jacob and Shreyas (pap, collard greens, salad) and afterwards was an activity by our coordinators Sian and Tilda. The activity was the TED Talk “the dangers of a single story” which I’ve seen before but never ceases to amaze me—we had a short reflection on it afterwards and a wall walk-esque read over, and then (after a tea and coffee break) we did 3 life shields. I’m so glad we’re finally getting through them—Jacob Ila and Max went today and shared their stories, and hopefully we’ll be able to get through the rest of them this week / do some hot seats for others. Excited for a (hopefully) more structured project tomorrow!!

Tuesday, July 17th.

Today we began with a tour of ACJ, worked with the older kids (standards 6 and 7, 2 separate classes) using soccer games, British bulldogs, and relay races—afterwards was work with the little ones at Grace’s creche (in between was a quick speed round of mafia) where we sang more songs and played Duck Duck Goose. Finally (after a round of the “I can go from X to Y, that’s possible” game, we worked with a few kids after classes ended for them (in which Aleah and I played an adorable game of catch with the little girls). During lunch/break time we got to hang out with the older kids, where I answered questions about Indian culture, pronunciation and language, and how to make friends and the importance of not having enemies (the conversation evidently did not go where I expected it to). After we returned was a bit of break time where some of us headed to the beach, and then Anne and Arjun and I prepped dinner and we had our cultural talk with the ever-famous MC. Excited but slightly nervous for our activities tomorrow—slowly becoming more and more confident with my abilities to do and teach sports.

Wednesday, July 18th.

Unfortunately feeling unwell due to an allergic reaction yesterday so had to miss project (so instead I did a lot of music composition and video editing for our trip’s final video to be posted here), but in the evening (after a spaghetti dinner by Mihir Aleah and Damilola) we had a presentation/discussion by the creator of FemWash (one of the startups that pitched at Demo Day on Saturday), and ended the night with shoutouts and Grace sharing her life shield with all of us.

Thursday, July 19th.

Anddd I’m not feeling well again so no project, but this evening we had a Xhosa lesson! Afterwards we learned the 7’s clapping game (quite fun), Anne Ila and Jacob shared their life shields, and I ended the night having deep conversations with Aleah and Grace in our room and bonding. Somewhat excited for tomorrow.

Friday, July 20th.

Karaoke night!!! Again, no project for me unfortunately, but we ended our last day in South Africa with Aleah and Mihir’s life shields, some “most likely to” awards, packing, a final game of ***head and Mafia and Contact to come full circle, and resting for our flights ahead. It’s been a wild ride—both excited and not looking forward to almost 2 full days of flights, but I am so excited to return to Austin and its food.