Written on: 03/08/2012 by samevans25
When I departed to go to South Africa in mid-July 2012 I was a nervous wreck. I didn't what to expect and I didn't know anybody who was going to be there. When I landed after my long flight and started meeting people however, the nerves started to settle down and I started to settle into life in Gordon's Bay, Cape Town.
Just a little background about the trip, I signed up to the program to volunteer in construction in Cape Town and I ended up doing half construction and half working the the orphanage teaching which for me was the best of both worlds. The kids in the orphanage were I was placed were truly amazing and really opened your eyes into how much kids appreciate anything that they can get to help. The social side of the whole trip is also amazing. I have never laughed so much in my life with the friends I made in the Gordon's Bay base in Cape Town on the Cultural Weekend. The social night and nights out during the week are also a lot of fun.
Living conditions are actually a lot better then I thought it was going to be. Within Gordon's Bay I was based in the Mont Blanc apartments and I was sharing an extremely small room that had two bunk beds in it with two other boys. The majority of the volunteers were girls and mainly the ages were from 18 - 25 with a few exceptions (everyone was older than 18 though). On the side of food, there was a local store that was extremely cheap (R100 for everything I need in the week which was the equivalent of £10) as we had to make our own breakfast and lunch. Breakfast was usually cereal or toast, nothing special and for lunch you could either have leftovers from the dinner the night before or make a sandwich or whatever you wanted. Dinner however, if you didn't go out once or twice a week, then GVI has employed people (Winnie and Connie) to come in and clean the apartments and to also cook the meals for all the volunteers and coordinators that a dinner team would just have to heat up at around 6:30. The food was always really nice and was a lot better than what I was expecting. To and from project we were transported by a taxi/minibus that GVI pays for. There was access to the internet on a slow computer in one of the flats, however more often than not there would be a queue for the laptop so you would only check it two three times a week. It does also depend on how many people are actually on the program at the point you are on the trip as well.
Overall, it is an experience you have to take. If you have any hesitations, but them behind you and go on a trip because it is an amazing trip and an amazing experience to have. GVI for what they offer you and what you get to do have very cheap prices in my eyes and it is worth all of it.