Sir Lowry’s Mountain Pass, South Africa

Greetings All,

After realizing that I had not packed a hairbrush, I went into the kitchen and stood there for a second while contemplating on how I was going to brush my hair for the first time in about four days. My eyes wandered to the drawer and I thought to myself, a fork will work! I took the fork out of the kitchen drawer, stood at the mirror and proceeded to brush my hair section by section with a fork. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and it got the job done.

After I finished getting dressed, I headed downstairs to eat my breakfast (which has been a salad for the past two days) which consisted of spinach leaves, mushrooms, a bit of feta cheese, corn, roasted peppers, Kalamata olives, and cucumbers with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar for only $3, or about 45 rand.

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I met up with the other ladies (other USAID research fellows) and we all split up into different cars and started to drive to Sir Lowry’s Pass. For those of you who are unfamiliar, as I was just a few hours ago, Sir Lowry’s Pass is a mountain pass in the Western Cape province of South Africa  which was known by the indigenous Khoi people as the Gantouw or Eland’s Pass, and was used as a stock route.

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At the bottom of the mountain there is Sir Lowry’s Pass Village which is comprised of many informal homes side by side. The village has only one primary school, and those who attend high school do so outside of the area, which has major implications. Due to the distance of going to school, and the cost of transportation, many high school students end up dropping out. Overall sanitation is an issue as well as access to water and health facilities. As we drove to the top of the mountain, we were astounded by an enormous estate built by a man who owns the entire mountain. We were told that 10% of the profit from the estate will go directly (and solely) to Sir Lowry’s Village, placing an emphasis on education.

As we were driving up the mountain, we were just in time for the breathtaking sunset!

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It is now almost 1am here, so I am off to bed. I will definitely post more tomorrow concerning todays trip and my first few days here in Cape Town, South Africa. See you then!

Warmest, Lauren K.

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