Morgan Henry

Summing up two months in South Africa isn’t possible without leaving something out, but here it goes.

My internship took place at The Woodside Center, a home for severely to profoundly disabled individuals, where I was able to observe and work with their occupational therapists and residents. I came to Woodside with the idea that I would be able to change the lives of their residents, but little did I know I would be the one who left with a life changing experience. Each resident was unique in their disability, and this allowed me to have a unique relationship with each of them. I left work everyday with a smile on my face, eager to tell my friends about what I did that day. I owe this entirely to the VAC staff.

The VAC staff has a love for Cape Town and South Africa that is unmeasurable and their excitement contagious. They offer interns incredible opportunities to see the city as a local opposed to as a tourist. The staff is always there for you whenever you need it, but they also offer you the perfect amount of space for you to grow and be independent. I can’t thank each of you enough for your hard work in placing me in my amazing internship and for the opportunities I have had here in South Africa.

Highlights from my time here include:

  • Sunday at Mzoli’s where you braai, eat, sing, and dance with locals.
  • Learning to surf, sort of.
  • Food markets with the best fresh and local food around, and where you can always count on avo and feta on your food.
  • Hikes with breathtaking views, each just as amazing as the one before. My favorite being the full moon hike up Lions head, where we got to see the sun set over the ocean and the full moon rise over table mountain at the same time.
  • Cage diving with great white sharks.
  • A weekend road trip with great friends along the garden route where we got to bungee jump off the world’s tallest bungee bridge, play with elephants, and go to big cat sanctuary.
  • Numerous nights spent on Long Street, or at Stones, Armchair, and Forex that all ended in getting an Obz dog (the most amazing hot dog ever sold on the side of the street).
  • A week and a half along the wild coast, where got to snorkel with dolphins, whales, and sharks in the open water, have dinner in a Xhosa village, and see the very rural eastern cape.

Each of the activities I was able to do here were amazing, but what really made them unique and special were the people I got to experience them with. I can honestly say I have met some of my best friends. We’ve created memories together that will last a life time and I look forward to reconnecting and making many more!

When I returned to Cape Town from the Wild Coast trip, I felt like I had just gotten “home” and for that reason I know this is not “goodbye” but a “see ya later Cape Town!”