Anna-Maria’s experience as a German woman volunteering on an international volunteer program in Cape Town –South Africa

Mzansi is a xhosa word and it means “South” or “togetherness” and it remind me of my experience in South Africa in 2013. I am from Germany and I went for a long journey to the southernmost country I could imagine: South Africa.  I wanted to meet South African people, talk about their life in South Africa and be together with them.

My arrival in Cape Town

I was so nervous when my journey started on my international volunteer pogramme because I didn’t know what I should expect. I was happy that I wasn’t alone and that I traveled together with my friend Valentina. When we arrived at the airport Chantel Daniels –international volunteer programme director welcomed us so warm and friendly that I forgot about my concerns. Chantel was our mentor of our international internship and she spend the first four days with us and showed us important places in Cape Town and told us about the south African society, culture and history. We went to the district six museum, the slavery lodge, the castle of Cape Town, the boulders beach and the Cape of Good Hope. Then we visited the township Masipumele and the marine primary school in Ocean View, where we did our internship for the first time. During the first time Valentina and I stay in a host family.  Our host parents also helped us to acclimate in Cape Town and they gave us the feeling to be part of the community and we had a lot of fun together

Marine Primary School

Every morning five minutes to eight all teachers and the principal have a short meeting and talk about important news. One morning the principal introduced us to the teachers and our exciting time at the marine started. We prepared some lessons about Germany and Anne Frank and I was so happy because the kids were very interested in Germany and they wanted to learn some german words, I never would have guessed that. Doing sports with the kids was a big challenge and sometimes a bit chaotic, but the teachers support us the whole time and they confide in us and the children were very friendly and open-minded. Our Highlight was a walk to the beach with the whole school and we really enjoyed being part of the school for seven weeks.

South End FC

I was a coach of a male senior team in Cape Town, that sounds so cool and it was very cool. At first I was surprised to meet a senior team because I expected a junior team with boys and girls. The first session I trained with the boys. I was happy that one of them introduced me and did all exercises with me. Valentina and I planned the next sessions and we did the warm up and later on also we also did whole sessions. The boys were real gentlemen’s, they respected us as coaches and from session to session we came closer.

We worked hard for the Easter tournament in Ocean View. The team played very well and we made it to the finals and we won the tournament! It was great to celebrate with them and I was really proud of the team. 

The Goodbye

We had a great last evening in Cape Town with all important people we have met. We sat together and Valentina and I talked about our highlights during our stay. The next morning it was time to say good bye. On the one hand I was really sad but on the other hand I was really happy because I have met wonderful people and together with them I can share great experiences which I won’t forget my whole life. The whole time Chantel cared for us and she was a very important support for us.

I am sure that I will come back to Ocean View one day!

My motto: “It’s good to go Mzansi“

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