Monday, March 14, 2016

Couchsurfing in South Africa

We have had so many amazing Couchsurfing experiences over the years.
 We truly have stayed with people that when we left, I got tears in my eyes at the thought that we may never see these people again. 
Some of the places we have stayed have been smaller homes with families that have a spare room to share and we would all squish in, the kids sleeping on the floor. It was all good. To us, it's not about the home where we stay, it's about the people that we meet that are hosting us. It can be tricky to find a place to stay for 4 people when Couchsurfing. Not everyone has a home with enough space. 

We are now Couchsurfing in Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa. Claremont is an area or suburb of Cape Town. We didn't know anything about this area when we got here. All we knew is that the lady that owns this house, was offered a house sitting opportunity at the last minute before we were to arrive and instead of cancelling our stay, she made arrangements for us to pick up the keys from her neighbour and she emailed us very detailed instructions on the security codes and how everything in the house worked. 

So it turns out that Claremont is an upperclass area in a quiet part of the city. We overlook table mountain and are walking distance to the rugby stadium and across the street is an open field for practising rugby or cricket. We rarely have traffic going by and it's amazingly quiet. I love it here.

Our home for 10 days is a 4 bedroom home. Dean and I got the master bedroom with an onsweet bathroom. Colton and Miranda have a room upstairs with 2 single beds and their own bathroom and there is a small 1 bed room for when our host comes home for  1 night and then leaves again for a wedding in Johannesburg. Her son also lives at home and we've met him a few times, but he's very busy with work. 

We have stayed in homes before when the hosts have not been here. But this host is amazing. We text or talk on the phone so she can give us advice about places to see or where to pick up groceries. She also asked her neighbours to help us out if we needed anything. Her neighbours invited us for supper the other day. We hung out for the evening and Colton got an invite to go surfing with the dad the next day. He was supplied with a board and wetsuit. He had a great time. 

It feels like we are surrounded with community here, even though our host can't be here. It feels relaxing  to go at our own pace and not worry about anyone else's schedule. We think of this Couchsurfing experience as a gift. How amazing is it to have people in this world that are giving and trusting like this woman. Her neighbours offered that we could stay at their house to if we ever needed a place to stay while in Cape Town. In a country where people are surrounded by locked gates, security systems and electric wire surrounding their homes, we are still trusted and cared for by strangers. 

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