Firstly, I would like to thank 41-Club Netherlands and Roy Kroos, that I was chosen to be the first Dutch YAP that attended the South-African YAP-tour in 2019.
I would like to introduce myself first: My name is Melle Doornbos, I am 21 years of age, and living currently in the northeastern part of The Netherlands (Groningen area). Right now, I am in my third year of bachelor Business Economics. I intend to graduate next year.
The story of my YAP experience goes back to November 2018, when my father told me about the possibilities of YAP, I directly sent a motivation letter to Roy Kroos. In February 2019 I heard the news from Roy that he had chosen me for the tour. So, I booked my tickets!
Without knowing what to expect, I stepped into the airplane on august 22nd 2019 in Düsseldorf. In Frankfurt, I met four other yappers from Germany: Leandra, Anneke, Aaron and Dominik. Together we flew from Frankfurt to Johannesburg. When we arrived in JB we met Sophia, Joleen and Bernd. Together we flew from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth. At the airport we met our tour organizer Nico McNamara and the other YAP’S that already arrived.
With eventually 15 yappers, we drove in a small bus to Kirkwood. We slept in a small park, filled with wooden houses for 2 nights. In Kirkwood we got to know each other better. On the 2nd day in Kirkwood, we visited the Daniel Cheetah Residence. In the residence we have seen the cheetah’s, and we also saw some lions.
On the next day we drove to Addo Elephant Park (whereas name suggests), seen some elephants. We also spotted a lot of other animal species walking around the park. For me it was very special, because I managed with three other Yappers to get very close to an Elephant. Luckily the Elephant didn’t attacked us.
The next morning, we travelled from Kirkwood to River storm. In River storm, we slept for 2 nights in a hostel. In River storm happened a lot of things. (some things I don’t remember anymore ha-ha). First, we had lunch in an American restaurant, where I (off course) ordered one of the largest hamburgers of South Africa. Everyone was surprised, because I managed to eat 80% of the Hamburger.
After lunch, we started the Canopy Tour. The Canopy Tour is basically ziplining, where you zipline from tree to tree. Sometimes more than 200 meters long. That was a very cool thing to do. In the evening we had a nice party in the hostel.
Titsjikama & Bungee jumping
28th of august 2019 is a date I will never forget. We went to Titsjikama, were some of us (me including) did the world’s highest bungee jump (300m). At the place, there was a very strange atmosphere going on. At the place where we eventually jumped, there were very happy vibes. The happy vibes were created by the music that they were playing. So, we the yappers weren’t even that scared to jump from the bridge. Afterwards we all bought the video of the bungee jump.
After the bungee jump, we visited a Township in a village near George. It was kind of weird after the bungee jump, because we all still had that adrenaline in us, and we were very tired. The Township, however, was very impressive. We were able to get out of the bus and visited a supermarket and library for school children.
In the evening, we drove to a place called George. In George we visited the first clubhouse of the in total six clubhouses in the tour. In the clubhouse we met our first host families and had a nice dinner/party with them. At 12’o clock the party was over, and we went with our host families to their houses. I had a very nice host family, and they were living near the clubhouse. At their house, I had some very interesting conversations about South Africa and other interesting topic’s.
In the morning we said goodbye to our hosts at the clubhouse and travelled to Mossel bay. On the way to Mossel bay, we visited the Cango Caves. Personally, I found this cave very scary. The caves very small and even one time, I was stuck with my legs… Even though, it was a great experience which I also never forget.
After the Cango Caves, we had a nice dinner at a local ostrich farm. And after that, we were heading towards Mossel bay. In Mossel bay we were greeted by some of our host families at a restaurant near a nice beach, where we could take incredible photo’s & videos.
In the evening we met the other host families in Mossel bay. Where we also had a nice dinner and afterwards some drinks. At around 1 O’clock we went with the host families to their houses. In Mossel bay, I slept with Aaron & Dominik for 2 nights in Mossel bay.
The following morning, we went hiking along the beach of Mossel bay. The hiking was very nice, and we even spotted some wales in the see while hiking. The hiking lasted approximately 2,5 hours, so afterwards some of us were a bit tired. After the hiking we had lunch and went back to our hosts, where we could relax for a few hours. In the evening we had another dinner at the clubhouse and another party.
The next morning, we said goodbye to the hosts, and travelled to Hermanus. On the way to Hermanus we visited the most southern point of continent Africa, which was very cool. We managed to get some very good photos. We also had lunch in a nice fish restaurant. After lunch we stepped into the bus and travelled further to Hermanus.
When we arrived in Hermanus, we visited our third clubhouse. The clubhouse was very nice and had nice bar where we could drink a few beers and have conversations with round table members of Hermanus. After some beers we visited a local club in Hermanus with our hosts, where we could dance and have a good time.
The following morning, we had breakfast at our host’s home. The hosts brought us to a point where all yappers would assemble. From that point we went to a farm where we rode horses. With the horses, we made a trip through the beautiful nature of Hermanus.
Cape Town & end of the tour
From Hermanus we went to Cape Town, in Cape Town we visited Table Mountain. At Table Mountain we could see the whole city and the surroundings. We were lucky because the skies that day were bright which means that there were no clouds. We also visited Waterfront where we walked around for 3 hours, and afterwards we went to the parliament of South Africa where we were given a tour.
In the days that followed we met the last two host families. In those days we visited a lot of wine farms and tasted off course, a lot of wine. We also visited the two other clubhouses around Cape Town.
The Tour ended with the AGM of South Africa 2019, which took place in Somerset West. At the AGM, Nico McNamara became vice-president of 41-International. The AGM ended with a Gala on September 7th, 2019. That evening was a bit emotional, some of the yappers already said goodbye because they had different times when they departured from the airport.
The next morning most of us travelled together to the airport of Cape Town. Eventually, we also said goodbye to each other. However: Dominik, Aaron, Leandra & I travelled together till Frankfurt. From there we also said goodbye to each other. I still had one flight to catch to Düsseldorf.
My thoughts after the tour
After all, if I had the chance, I would have stayed longer in South Africa. My view of South Africa is drastically changed after the tour. It has diverse landscapes, and the country has very kind people who want to help you if necessary.
I would like to thank Nico for guiding us throughout the tour. The tour was well-organized, and he brought us to the most beautiful places of South Africa. A great man, who always is passionate about what he his is doing. I also want to thank Adeeb, the bus driver for bringing us safely to all the beautiful places, and the five different families who hosted us.
I also want to thank the other 14 yap’s who made this YAP-tour an unbelievable experience for me, it was a great group and we made so many nice memories together. I can say that new international friendships are created, and I have no doubt that we will meet each other again in the future!
I encourage kids from 41ers to do also the YAP-tour, they learn so much about other cultures, people and make most importantly, new international friendships, I think the last one is one of the nicest things about the YAP-tours
Report as PDF: YAP report Melle