We just spent an incredible week in Cape Town, South Africa, and I have so many photos and details to share from our trip that I’m breaking things up into two posts. Here’s part 1!
One of the very cool parts of our experience starting a church in Harlem is that we’ve connected with extraordinary people doing a similar thing in our city and cities around the world. The organization that helped start our church — Orchard Group — has been supporting a new church in Cape Town, called Pro Deo. And because of our church’s financial support and Jordan’s advisory role to Pro Deo, Jordan had to travel to Cape Town for Pro Deo’s official launch service. When we realized I could redeem American Express reward points and come along for free, we booked my ticket too.
We considered bringing Jameson along for the trip, but Jordan convinced me that 17 hours of flying and a seven-hour time difference could end up being really miserable for all of us. So thanks to the amazing support of Jordan’s parents, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, my mom who flew up from Jamaica, and a great daycare he loves, Jameson was well taken care of, and we went on our merry way.
This was Jordan’s first time to Cape Town and my second, so I was excited to see more of the city and experience it through Jordan’s fresh eyes.
We arrived on a Saturday and settled into our Airbnb in the Sea Point section of the city. As the name might indicate, the ocean was just two blocks away. We walked along the promenade, and my jet lag was no match for the sound of ocean waves crashing on the shore. All my plans to stay awake until 9:00 p.m. went out the window, and the rest of the day was spent with a nap and having dinner with our friends who started Pro Deo.
On Sunday, we went to JARRYDS for breakfast, a restaurant just down then block from our place. Everything we tasted there was delicious — so good that we planned to eat there as many times as we could that week (check out that crazy breakfast donut below!). Coffee in Cape Town is pretty fantastic, and the food in general is incredibly inexpensive given the amazing quality. We’re talking lots of amazing meals where the bill for both of us came up to less than $20. So unreal. After breakfast, we headed over to the Bo-Kaap neighborhood to walk around and admire all of the colorful houses. Bo-Kaap is a predominantly Muslim neighborhood that was formerly a township. The history of the neighborhood is really interesting (the homes were painted bright in preparation for Eid), and there are free walking tours that take people through the colorful blocks and explain it all. Apparently, it made for a nice spot to check up on how things were going with our church back in Harlem. :-)Jordan insisted I include the photo below, so you can see how giving our camera to random strangers often results in equally random photographs.Such a beautiful neighborhood, full of character.That evening, we headed to Pro Deo’s launch service and were really excited for our friends who are where we were with our church two and a half years ago. I’m sure they’re incredibly nervous about the road ahead, but we’ve certainly learned that stepping into uncertain places just gives room for God to show up in really powerful ways. If you’re moved to, say a prayer for Pro Deo church — for their ability to serve their community and show people God’s deep love.The following day, we bought tickets for one of those double-decker tour buses, and made our way to Constantia wine country. Jordan always protests riding on those buses, I suppose, because they’re “so touristy” (and he is “so cool.”) But the ones in Cape Town are so well mapped out and get you to every area you could want to see, they’re really quite helpful. And to me, nothing beats sitting out in the sun (sun block is a MUST in Cape Town) and having the wind blow through my hair. Two minutes into the ride and looking out at the sea, Jordan leaned over and said, “Ok, I really like this.” Ha!We visited Groot Constantia winery, which is the oldest wine estate in Cape Town. Some of the surrounding wine regions like Stellenbosch and Franschoek are definitely worth visiting if you have time (I visited both on my last trip), but it’s great that Constantia is so close to the city. And another bonus of the double decker bus was that we got great views of all of the crazy beautiful mansions occupied by diplomats and the uber-wealthy on the ride to the winery.The winery had space for wine tasting and enjoying the perfect meat and cheese board. The wine to try is pinotage, which is a grape that’s native to South Africa.The whole thing couldn’t have gotten more picturesque.
That evening, we went to dinner at Gold Restaurant with our friends from Pro Deo and others from the advisory team. The restaurant serves traditional Cape Malay food, as well as dishes from other African countries. Gold Restaurant provides live music and dancing as you dine on 14 courses. Seeing the men and women, who come from countries across the African continent, sing and dance together was really moving. They also get people from your party involved in the fun, and to my delight, they picked Jordan to get up and dance. He did his best to keep up and definitely laughed at himself along the way. I love that he’s such a good sport.They also paint the ladies’ faces while you’re at the restaurant. I tried to snap a selfie before I washed it off at home, but Jordan and his obsession with grooming his beard prevented me from being my absolute best. But you get the point.As much as I tease him, a lot of the goodness of this trip was due to having such a great travel companion by my side. There’s nobody better to see the world with.
That’s it for Part 1 — I’ll be back with more of the beauty of Cape Town and our favorite experiences of our trip in Part 2!