Duygu Acikalin
Istanbul, Turkey

Duygu joined VACorps in February 2019 and participated in a winemaking internship.   She is studying Chemical and Biological Engineering with a double major in Industrial engineering at Koc University in Istanbul and will be graduating this year.

“I came to Cape Town just after my graduation, to do the one thing that I want to do most in life: wine. I always thought learning how to make wine is such a timeless, natural knowledge and acquiring natural knowledge is my personal passion. Here I mean learning straight from plants, natural processes, and animals remind us how everything is a mimicry of the pure existence, and it makes me feel more connected with the earth and therefore with myself. Luckily enough, that is what I managed to find down here. I worked with a natural winemaker, a true magician I would say, who lets the grapes be themselves and just helping them to express their identities in the form of wine, through adding a lot of passion and creativity to the bottle. I’ll never forget how Mphumi’s wine turned everyone tasting them, regardless of who they are, to humble humans enjoying what nature had given to us, and how a creative mind transformed it.

I’ll never stop being inspired by what I’ve witnessed during my internship here.  And the city of Cape Town, where you can meet with countless people from different walks of life, one of the most alive cities I’ve ever been to. In my experience, this city is not about buildings from hundreds of years ago; not because it doesn’t have a history, it indeed has one of the most interesting history lines I’ve ever read, but still, this city is about today. You need to actively be alive to keep with the pace of this city, if you get too relaxed on the streets you’ll probably attract some trouble, and if you get too tight you’ll miss all the beauty and fun Cape Town has to offer. I love this mode of living.

Thanks a lot to VAC for making the journey even more amazing, by making us experience the city, country, and life here closer than we could’ve ever managed to. VAC staff have and will always be there to help you any way they can and share your journey, and they’re awesome people to spend time with!” 

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