The Harvard women's tennis team will spend 11 days training and touring South Africa (photo courtesy head coach Traci Green).
Saturday - Sunday
Before the trip, we all stayed over at Coach Goldfine's house. After carbo-loading on eggplant parm and cheese ravioli for the marathon plane ride, some of us went to sleep, but not for very long. The taxis arrived at 3:45 am to take us to Logan. Our journey had begun!
Nineteen hours of travel later, we arrived at Capetown Hollow, a quaint hotel with a welcoming staff and gorgeous rooms. Too excited to nap, we headed to the open market only a few blocks away to test our negotiating skills and purchase some local African crafts.
For dinner we feasted on lamb curry, chicken schnitzel, cole slaw, potatoes, grilled veggies, and finished with a traditional custard and malva dessert. After an exhausting day, we hit the sack, ready to train in the morning at Sinnet Tennis Club.
We enjoyed a buffet breakfast at the hotel in the morning, including spreads of fruits, cheese, made to order omelets, beans and veggies. We made our way to the Sinnet Tennis Club, an amazing facility with a great view and an excellent coaching staff -- including Coach Stephan, Jason, and Fiod. We were also joined by a South African tennis player, Michaela, a freshman attending University of San Diego. From there we hit our first tennis balls of the season, getting into a groove after a summer spent abroad. After about two hours of drills and point play, we finished up with sprints up Table Mountain.
After a delicious lunch at the club, we left to tour Cape Town with our local guide, Wernon. We drove to Signal Hill and took some breathtaking photos of Cape Town from above, including Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 19 years. We also drove to Bo Kaap (upper cape), where the colorful houses are mostly occupied by the Cape Malay population. We finished with a tour of the Company Garden where we saw the Parliament building and the President's House.
We closed the day with more negotiating and bargaining at the Green Market and another family style dinner at the hotel.
We woke up to pouring rain, which meant our original outdoor practice was to be replaced with fitness at the University of Capetown student athletic center. Fitness with Fiad and the other coaches was tough but we pushed through and finished with a delicious, traditional South African lunch.
We met with Wernon afterwards for another exciting tour of Capetown. We headed to Boulder Beach to see the adorable African penguins and then took a scenic drive to Cape of Good Hope -- the southernmost point of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans converge.
After our second exhilarating day in Capetown and another amazing dinner, we have high hopes for tomorrow's day of paragliding, community service with local kids, and our first match versus the University of Cape Town.