S. Africa -John

The day was very sunny. I decided to get out of the class at least to get a cup of water to cool the body temperature. Before I could reach the water point I suddenly came across the principal who stopped me. I was shocked because I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. The principal told me to go and call Christine for he had some good news for us.

On my way to call Christine a lot of questions came across my mind but I knew the principal had answers so I was less worried. On reaching his office, he told us to make ourselves comfortable before he disclosed the exciting news. “I have called you here because of your hard work in academics. I have decided to accord you an opportunity to fly to Cape Town to attend the Taize program.”

After a lot of preparations with the help of Development Office everything was ready for our trip. The week before the trip seemed very long but the good thing is that it was moving. Finally the long awaited day arrived. I can remember very well it was on a Sunday. I could not imagine myself boarding a flight for the first time in my life. In fact it was my first time to be in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. After several procedures we were seated at the gate waiting for our flight. After thirty minutes we heard a lady’s voice from the loud speaker saying “KQ784 is ready for boarding” we all went through a corridor that led us inside the plane. I thought I was in a dream land and I even asked one of my colleagues if the experience was real.

“Make sure you have tightened your seat belts for the plane is taking off in the next one minute.” The pilot’s voice was heard. I can’t explain how I felt during the take off but once we were up many meters everything was alright and comfortable.

After a few minute I saw two flight attendants pushing a trolley that contained the flight meal. They started serving people seated at the front. I patiently remained in my seat as I waited my turn. “Beef or chicken?” The hostess asked me. I picked chicken and ate as I peeped out through the window. I realized that we were above the clouds. I can’t say that I enjoyed the flight meal for it was not as sweet as the one I was used to back at home. Thirty minutes before landing the pilot again reminded us to tighten our belts. During landing, it was awful, my ears got blocked and I could hear nothing I can’t explain what was happening to my head, it was as if its contents were tightly tied. My eyes were the only components that were functioning so I was able to see the beautiful city of Cape Town from an aerial view.

It was 10:00pm when we arrived at the guests’ house. This was the first night that I spent out of my beloved country Kenya. I woke up at my usual time of 5:00am not knowing it was still 4:00am in South Africa for my phone was still reading East Africa time. At 8:30am after having breakfast we all got into a van that was to take us round the town of Cape Town. Cape Town was different from Nairobi, it was cleaner had well laid infrastructure and well planned residential houses which makes the city very attractive. Unlike Kenya which is very hot throughout the day the weather in Cape Town was very cold, cloudy and windy. We were surprised to see the residents of Cape Town walking around with very light clothes unlike us who had put on heavy sweater and still felt cold. That day we went to a mall called Water Front, just as the name suggests, the mall is built such that it faces the Atlantic Ocean. Just from the outside look of the mall, you can predict the prices of commodities inside. They were very expensive compared to our Kenyan malls.

From my point of view, I can say that the people of Cape Town are very friendly with very warm sense of brotherhood. I think that the main reason for this unity is all about their past history where the colonialist divided them on the basis of race. In the Central Business District there still exist the benches that were meant for the whites only and no black man could sit on them. As per now these differences don’t exist anymore and both black and whites can now share the same facilities.

“It is now time for lunch” the driver told us. We went to a hotel where we ordered our meals. I can say that meals in Cape Town are similar to the one in Kenya. The difference is that Cape Town foods are generally sugary and fatty. We were served with chips, fish and chicken. After lunch we went to the beach where we spent around one hour. Unlike then beaches in Mombasa which are very hot, the beaches of Cape Town are very cold and windy. We were unable to swim in the cold water of the beach so we just walked around the beach enjoying the nice breeze. For the first time in three days we toured different places in Cape Town. We had a lot of fun during the three days. On Wednesday, our tour had to come to an end for we had to report at St Joseph Catholic Church where the Taize programme was to take place.

Taize programme is a programme that brings together the pilgrims of different part of the world to pray and share the word of God. The main objective of the programme is to socialize with others and also to share our different cultural practices. Visiting St. Joseph for Mass we again met new faces from different nations and cultures.

Truly I have lot of things to write about the city of Cape Town and the people in it. Let me take this opportunity to thank some of the important people that facilitated this trip. First my gratitude goes to all the sponsors who provided finance for this trip. I would also like to thank my principal Mr Michael Kimotho for playing a very important role in this journey. I cannot forget Mr Mosses Ochieng the head of development office who really strived to make sure that all our documents for the trip were ready. Finally I thank the school nurse and our social worker Madam Kinoti for their effort towards the trip. All in all I would like to thank the almighty God for his love for all of us. May God bless you all.


school hope