So far, Cape Town has been amazing! I don’t think I could ever find a more beautiful place.  Yesterday, May 20, we traveled to Stellenbosch.  The town was beautiful and had a nice small town feel.  The streets were lined with old houses and architecture dating back to its settlement.  We took a tour of the town, which included a wine tasting at a local winery. It was a very interesting experience.  The people could not have been nicer and the venue was very trendy; it was my first wine tasting and I learned that wine is an acquired taste, to say the least.  From there we moved on down the streets and explored.  We then came to a small open plaza area where we participated in a tea tasting, which is also an acquired taste.  I did enjoy the relaxing time we had to sit and talk with each other.  We were able to spend time getting to know one another even more, and it was a great way to relax from the tough hike the day before.  After our “tea time,” we then continued our tour and proceeded to another wine tasting.


After our second venture into the world of wine, we went to meet with a man from the Burgess group, a company that manages financial data for well know establishments like MIT and Stanford University.  It was interesting to hear about how positioning themselves in South Africa gives them such an advantage over the markets in the US because of the time difference; it gives them a head start on collecting and condensing the market information from the US.  Its position also gives them great access to Europe and some parts of Asia because they operate in the same time zone.  It was interesting to see how a company could be successful in that type of business with the presence of big name engines like google analytics and others.  The key aspect of the Burgess group that sets them apart is their dedication to privacy and the protection of their clients information.  The visit was a great success and I enjoyed learning from a specific business here in Cape Town.


Our final destination was to the Dornier winery in the wine lands.  It was truly magnificent!  It was positioned with an amazing view of Table Mountain and saturated with beautiful gardens all around.  I, not being a wine person, focused on the view.  Experiencing the wine country was a great cultural experience and I am grateful for the opportunity.



From the winery we traveled to a restaurant in Stellenbosch that was not your conventional sit down dinner.  It was a real treat; from the gift shop to the dinner table, we were essentially in tents outside.  It simulated an african village with a sophisticated twist.  The food was amazing and the entertainment was perfect.  We even got to see some of our own group members get up and dance.  It was a perfect end to a great relaxing day.

John Simmons Fallaw



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