Sustainable Tourism, Technology Business, Rugby- Ashton Avent

On Friday, there was much to be done. The trip was winding to an end, and there was still so much to do. Allie Meadows, our first speaker of the day, came bright and early to talk about Sustainable Tourism. Meadows gave a lot of facts about how tourism works and about the ecology. This was probably one of my favorite talks, she was passionate and had gathered a lot of evidence to back her up. Meadows looked at information on tourism, information on the economy, then information on the environment. Her goal was to look to sustainable tourism to help fix Africa’s economy- use the land that has not been developed to draw people in, but instead of nature tourism (which could still trash environment if resort doesn’t care) make it sustainable, that way the resource is around forever. Her example was that nature tourism would take people through nature, but they would hunt animals, which leads to nature tourism and extinct species. Sustainable tourism, instead, would take people around to look at the animals- it would be a resource for a long time. Then Luvuyo Rayi came in to talk about his business. He lives in Khayelitsha, one of the largest townships, and realized that there was little to no access to internet. With his brother, Rayi started an internet cafe business that grew to include selling used computers and servicing them. They now have several store locatons and are partnering up with the largest cell phone company in South Africa, Vodacom. It was an awesome story, he had nothing when he started his business, he lived in the township, too!

Afterwards, Rayi joined us on our tour of Bandwidth Barn. It was located in the area of Woodstock, known for being a bad area. A group of entrepreneurs decided they wanted to try and make it better and bought up (in process) a lot of buildings and are refurbishing them. They contract out projects to artists, and rent out space to other small businesses as well. The owner of the building has also done several other projects that are SO COOL, with names that play around “grand daddy long legs”- all the projects are original and fun. One hotel has trailers on the roof of it! After this tour, we had the rest of the day off. We explored some of the shops in the building and hung out for the rest of the day.

Saturday we got to sleep in (finally) and then a group of us went to Green Square Market where we did most of our souvenir shopping. Unfortunately, I’m not the best haggler, and paid more money for some of the stuff than most people do. Oh, well.

At 2, we all loaded up into taxis and went to the rugby stadium. Right outside the stadium was a restaurant that we hung out at for awhile then RUGBY! Luckily, I was sitting with some locals who could explain the game. It was so much fun, and the Stormers beat the Reds!

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