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This Monday I was fortunate to visit the Iliso Care Society, a small non-proffit organization run by Vivian Zilo out of her home in Khyelitsha’s Site C. Her efforts were truly inspiring. The organization operates with the help of several volunteers who make meals five days a week, providing food for TB patients, HIV/AIDS victims, elderly, homless, orphans and vulnerable children in the the area. School children who don’t have access to food at home are also provided with a soup meal during their mid-day break. The society also offers a support group for those who are HIV positive so that they can share their experiences in a comfortable home-based setting.

Vivian is always eager to share her project and experience with visitors. If you are interested in hearing more about what she does, feel free to send me an email, or contact Vivian directly at . It was wonderful to find such a generous and giving group of people, so interested in improving the lives of the community around them.

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Even though I travel to the townships nearly everyday, it has been amazingly difficult to take pictures there. These places should be quite safe, but I need to be very aware of what I am doing. Certain rules tend to apply: such as always walking with someone from the community who people know, and of course, don’t flash around a lot of money. So I’ve done some nice walks with friends and my trusty point-and-shoot camera. I’ve really enjoyed being in these communities, meeting a diverse group of people, and getting a good feel for what the “real” South Africa is like. These townships are definitely a world apart from the western setting of Cape Town. These are some images from Khayelitsha, an informal settlement with more than a million people.

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So one of my favorite sights thus far have been the penguins. There is just something about the creatures that can melt your heart. They are so incredibly cute, and it’s always a shock to think that I’m hanging with these creatures on a beach in Africa. These birds are awkward on land, but amazingly fast and graceful in the water: amazing swimming companions when I manage to brave the chilly water for a quick dip. These were all taken at the famous Boulder’s Beach, near Simonstown.

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I recently took a break from my clinic work to take a road trip along the Garden Route, a long stretch of road that runs along South Africa’s southern coast. I was fully exposed to some of South Africa’s most diverse langscapes, from mountains, to wide open plains, to beautiful seashore. Here’s are some of my favorites.

Cape Agulhas lighthouse (Africa’s most southern point)on a stormy day:

The Cango Caves, a really neat set of formations hidden up in the Overberg Mountains:

And another set of pictures from the journey:

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