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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Taking on Cape Town

My winter break trip to Cape Town
Photo+used+with+permission+from+Zara+Fakier
Zara Fakier
Photo used with permission from Zara Fakier

Before winter break, I left to go on a two week trip to Cape Town, South Africa. Every year my family and I try to go to Cape Town to visit our family. Most of my family lives there, so we don’t get to visit them as much. To get to Cape Town we had to take three flights there but only two on the way back. During the two weeks I was there, we went to the beach a lot. We had a wedding the first week to attend and hung out with a lot of family as well. 

In Cape Town, the time difference is a big adjustment. Cape Town is eight hours ahead of Minnesota, so if it’s 3:00 p.m. here, it’ll be 11:00 p.m. there. When getting there it’s hard to adjust to the time, but something that’s not hard to adjust to is the weather. Unlike here, in Dec. it’s warm and windy in Cape Town. Being able to get away from the snow here and go to the warm weather there is very nice.

The first week I was there was mainly focused on the wedding, but my family and I managed to do other things too. The weddings in Cape Town are not like the ones you see here in Minnesota. When going to a wedding in Cape Town, a lot of the time you aren’t wearing a normal dress, you are wearing a specific outfit. For the wedding I went to, everyone was wearing an Indian outfit. Everyone’s outfits are very heavy and filled with lots of colors. One big thing that is different from other weddings is there is one side all for women and another all for men. In Muslim weddings, it is said that women and men sit separately because it’s seen as a “time out” from the mixing of sexes. But like other weddings, it still lasts all day and there’s lots of different foods. 

Since it’s windy a lot in Dec. you have to watch the weather when going to the beaches. My family and I went to two different beaches while we were there. One was called Camps Bay, the other was Clifton. One thing that’s cool about Clifton is that when it gets super windy,you can go to Clifton and all the wind is just gone. There are four different beaches on Clifton and the reason there’s no wind on that beach is because there’s boulders surrounding it blocking the wind. When you go to Camps Bay you have to hope for no wind, otherwise everyone ends up going to Clifton.

The reason I went to Cape Town was because both my mom and dads side lives there. We try to visit them each year since it’s harder for them to come to the States. When we visited we went to hang out with our cousins and family as much as we could since they were on summer break. For students there it’s now summer break, so it’s the opposite of ours. However, their summer break only lasts from Dec. to some of Feb. instead of it being like ours, which is three months. When I talked to my cousins about it, they were shocked to hear that in the U.S. summer break is that long. 

The second week of my trip consisted of a lot of beach time and catching up with family. While I was there, it was Christmas. My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but we got to join my mom’s side of the family for “Christmas” lunch. We ended up having lunch and opening presents at one house, but right after going to another house for dinner. Having it be my first time experiencing Dec. in Cape Town, I realized that being out on holidays is a big thing, unlike here, where you stay at home for Christmas or maybe go to church. 

Now back in the cold, it’s safe to say that I miss Cape Town and the warm weather. It was cool experiencing it in a time where I’m not normally there and visiting my family after two years was thrilling. I’ll definitely say it’s a very different environment in Cape Town than it is here in Minnesota, or even the States in general. Going there, you learn a lot about the diversity there and realizing how they live their lives compared to ours. Every time I visit I’m learning something new about Cape Town’s lifestyle.

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About the Contributor
Zara Fakier, Echo Staffer
Hi my name is Zara Fakier, I am a junior! This is my first year on Echo. In my free time I like to hang out with my friends and family and to travel. I’m excited to start on Echo this week and looking forward to covering the sporting events this year!

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