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As long as I see Table Mountain

„As long as I see Table Mountain … I’m fine“, I heard this sentence from a shopkeeper in Cape Town when we walked along Longstreet for the first time on the first day of our trip. This sentence somehow did not let go me, because suddenly I realized that the trip to Cape Town would not only be an experience for me, but also a kind of lesson. Looking back, I can really say that I learned so much from Cape Town and the trip gave me so much that it changed my attitude towards many things. Cape Town doesn’t let you go any more. When you are on the plane on the way back, you know that your visit to this city will not be your last one. The time in Cape Town flew by and the many influences and experiences shaped the entire stay.

I participated in high-bed-project in Cape Town with learners from Good Hope School. The  high-beds, which we built and planted together in the two courtyards of the school, brought us closer together and we got to know their perspective on things – where they come from, what are their interests, what music is currently popular in Cape Town. In just a few days, we developed a friendly relationship with learners. They were happy to have the opportunity to build something for their school and to get creative.

We were all standing in one of the courtyards of Good Hope School and Lilita, one of the learners, asked me if we could continue working together on the high-beds tomorrow. „Of course, we can“ I answered. But she told me that tomorrow would be a national holiday and the learners would not come to school at all. She did not know if there would be a school bus tomorrow.

She told me that she drives 90 minutes there and 90 minutes back every day to get to school. The school bus just stops too often; but she is grateful that she can go to Good Hope School. I realized how important it is to her that the school bus takes her to school every morning so she can go to school at all, and how grateful she is to be able to help with the high-beds. Things that seem normal for learners in Germany are luxuries for these learners here. When I think of Cape Town, I always also think of the conversations with Lilita and her story. It also echoes what the store clerk said during my first experience from Cape Town.

The days with the learners from Good Hope filled me with joy of life and made me see Cape Town from their perspective. We played in the schoolyard; they taught us their dances and just enjoyed learning new things.

Venu (Venwar Newroly)

Master Student Architecture

03.09.-08.10.2018 in Cape Town: high-bed project at Good Hope Primary School, „Summer School“ of RWTH Aachen, University of Stuttgart and UCT (University of Cape Town).

The simple things that seem so self-evident to us are not so self-evident to others and have a completely different value.