Surf Therapy

Muizenberg. The beach town that became my home last year has tricked me. Tricked me into thinking it was the same, that I could pick up where I left off, but so much has changed. I find myself lost in thought, struggling to be present amongst this beautiful beachy community. Why am I here? I question why I came back, what I’m doing with my life, what does it mean? I look for answers amongst the sea and the mountains, my two favorite things, perfectly complimenting each other. Surely I’ll find my answers as I walk between the things I love the most. Continue reading “Surf Therapy”


From the Midwest, to the mountains of Zürich, the rough streets of Johannesburg, to my final destination: picturesque Cape Town, South Africa. How silly of me to think it would be as it was before. The mountains still stand, clouds rolling over the top of Table Mountain like waves, the lively streets are the same, the familiar shops greet me, but it’s different. I’m different. I play my own movies of what was, feelings of another time, I know this change, in fact I’m aware enough to expect it, but now I feel it. Continue reading “Water”

People Pods

I’ll admit it, I have a bizarre/exciting/abnormal life right now. I’m living out of a suitcase, sharing space with people I barely know, and I’m about to give up sleeping in a bed/ hot showers for the next month. Still, despite the usual oddities of my day-to-day life, some situations I get myself into are just weird. Continue reading “People Pods”

The Experience

I’m going for my daily walk from Muizenberg to Kalk Bay, taking in the ocean, waves breaking on rocks, surfers gliding into shore, sun beating on the back of my neck. I think I dreamed that I lived in New York once, that I used to run around Central Park, walk the streets of Manhattan. It’s funny how with time, even hard moments can become sweet memories, filed away, somewhere in between here and there.

What if I’d never left? What if I had missed this experience? Hot tears fall from behind my sunglasses, guarding my emotion from bypassers, workers on the side of the street. Could it be possible I was so afraid to leave? So afraid of leaving my friends and the comfort of  my home, afraid of being alone?

I can’t imagine my life without this experience. I had to be here, where else would I be? How foolish my fears seem now. My life here couldn’t be fuller. I’ve pulled more all nighters here than I did in the last 3 years of my twenties. I’ve fallen in love, thrown axes, climbed mountains, gotten hurt (fluid drained from my knee – gross), laughed until I cried, taught yoga on a cement playground scattered with glass, got licked by a giraffe, saw a shark, sun bathed on a beach surrounded by African penguins (pretty sure one tried to mate with me too), and learned precious lessons about culture and history – the reality of peoples struggles.

I’ve made countless friends in South Africa, and I’ve been anything but lonely. What if I had missed it? I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that I came here. I’m not running away, I’m running into the world, into new experiences. Travel has completely changed my life.

Perhaps my experience in Cape Town will not be again as it is in this moment. Perhaps I’ll never again see the people I’ve met here. I’m not melancholy, but overwhelmed at the beautiful moments I’ve had. Even in the hard times when I’ve questioned what I’m doing here, sad times, uncomfortable moments, I wouldn’t want to have missed the experience.

Waves For Water

Here’s the scoop: Cape Town, South Africa is in a pretty serious water crisis. Not just Cape Town, but countless communities around the globe are experiencing a water crisis and live without clean drinking water. Drinking unclean water causes a variety of issues to include cholera, diarrhea, nausea, lung irritation, skin rash, vomiting, dizziness, and in some cases death.

At the moment, Cape Town has less than 120 days left of drinking water. The dams are at 27% and because of this level 3b water restrictions are in place. Think fines if you are caught washing your clothes at home, if you take a shower longer than 10 minutes, water your lawn, run your dishwasher, or really just waste water in any way. Pretty serious.

To add to this, many communities, such as the township communities of Capricorn in Cape Town, don’t have clean water at all. Children have permanent runny noses, skin rashes, and diarrhea because they don’t have clean water. Some kids don’t drink water at all. Germs spread like wildfire when there is no water to wash hands, clean up, and drink. Water is a key component to quality of life.

I attended a film screening in Muizenberg recently as a response to this water crisis called Waves for Water. Essentially, a famous surfer had a bit of a life crisis and invented a water filter that can be used in communities that do not have clean water. One water filter can provide 100 people with clean drinking water for up to 5 years. Great investment, right?

The filter costs about $50 and comes with a demo/ training information. The goal is to provide access to the filter in all communities around the world without clean water. I’ve committed to helping daycare and school centers in Capricorn gain access to drinking water. Here’s what you can do- get involved, make a donation, or purchase a clean water filter.

Yes, I provided links- you are welcome.


I get myself in the strangest situations- it’s my own fault and I quite enjoy it actually. When one of my local township friends invited me to braai, I said yes without hesitation. I get picked up from a train station and I know I’m in for an experience, surrendering my day to the will of my friend Siku, knowing I’ll end up at the destination- eventually, risking being late to a fancy jazz concert I committed to in the evening.

First we pick up a guy in Langa. Mike gets in the car and immediately fills it up with his personality, which overcompensates for his 4 ft something frame. “I can sleep anywhere, anytime. Us black people, we crazy. My momma used to smack me so hard, she smacked the black off me.” Mike answers his phone, “You want to rent me for a day? Who’s this?” Whoa, dudes crazy. Pata Pata is turned all the way up as we drive to pick up Siku’s mom at the grocery store (Mike talking over the music). We park and Mike gets out of the car, dancing like a madman to jazz in the parking lot.

The car fills up with food, people, and a mix of words I don’t understand combined with clicks (Xhosa). I try to master the clicking noise silently (pretend like you are riding a horse). People are dropped off, hands are shaken, children crowd the car, and more people get in as we drive to Guguletu (Gug’s) for the braai at Mzoli’s- the reason I’m here.

Mzoli’s is packed, completely chaotic and I don’t know what’s happening. I’m led into what looks like a butcher shop and then away to a club- it’s 3pm, but this place looks like a nightclub at 2am. I follow my people to a VIP section, past sweaty bodies dancing. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m in it now. A guy comes back with a bag of drinks, then a massive tray of barbequed meat arrives with something doughy accompaning it. Hands grab meat from the tray, eyes look at me inviting me to do the same- what is she going to do? I grab a sausage- at least I know what that is (veg no more) and follow suite.

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One of the girls with us stands up and starts dancing. She scans the room confidently, knowing the pull of her movements. I can’t stop watching her, she rolls her hips and legs perfectly to the music. I get up and dance, feeling foolish bouncing around next to the curvy seductress. She starts dancing by a guy next to us capturing everyones attention. She teases him, shaking and rolling, he’s capitated. He follows the curves of her back, butt, thighs with this eyes and his hands. She knows everyone is watching her. Her eyes are down, looking at him in calculated glances saying come and get me.

“Yea, that’s how Africans dance.” I’m busted. Mike pulls me up and we make a circle as they show me how it’s done. Flipping our hands, singing something I can’t follow, like an awkward teenager pretending to be cool, to know the words to the song. I’m good at some things- running, yoga, axe throwing, however, seducing the room by shaking my hips is not one of my life skills- by 30 I’ve accepted that my body just doesn’t move like that. I’m taken to another club, deeper into the township, where the locals chill on the weekends, further away from tourists, internationals and groups of people that I probably fall into.

I practically melt into the Uber that scoops me up to take me away to a jazz concert for the night. I convince the driver to pick me up deep in the hood and Mike opts out of a hug, but instead picks me up, lifts me over his head Dirty Dancing style, and squeezes me before I leave. I’m underdressed for jazz, still somewhere in between the township and the upscale mansion I’m sitting in, not quite fitting in at either. I sit, listening to smooth jazz, mind going faster than the music, dipping in and out of relaxation- out of place, sorting out my day, in between two extremes


A slow Saturday, 

I board a local train to Cape Town City, graffiti, open windows, shiny metal cars greet me as I step into the packed train car. Grateful for the open window, the wind granting a few moments of reprieve from the heat of bodies smashed together. 

A young man stands in the doorway, preventing the manual doors from closing with his body as the train departs, giving us wind, cool air in the middle of the summer.  Continue reading “Passenger”


I had already taught 2 classes, been bitten by a slobbery baby, gotten my hair pulled, braided, and tied in knots, and it’s my last kids yoga class of the day- I’m out. I finally get all the kiddos to make a circle (ten minutes later) when I feel a little hand grabbing my leg. I go to brush the hand away so I could teach, a little annoyed, and then saw the culprit. Continue reading “Azola”


I was in kind of a mood at Friday market, just watching people when I hear “American or Canadian?” They are talking to me. I laugh and look over, American with a grimace, preparing for a Trump comment. I end up talking to a South African who lived in Canada for some time. After a few minutes of conversation and jokes about building a wall, I’m handed a business card- Throw Axes Ya Badass with a cool bearded face and skull crossbones. I’m intrigued. Continue reading “Bad-Axe”

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