September marks my third anniversary in the beautiful valley of Hout Bay. To be honest, it took me a while to get used to the Bay after moving here from Pretoria.
In the months following, I quickly realised Capetonians have no idea how to use a mini circle and I narrowly escaped death — a few times — trying to get to Spar.
In November 2013, my friends were posting pictures on Facebook of them swimming and enjoying concerts in the park while I was still sleeping in my winter PJs, struggling to tame the frizz in my hair and rolling my eyes as the rain pelted down day after day.
Hout Bay was a cold, lonely place. And then a colleague introduced me to the community Facebook group, Hout Bay Organised (HBO).
She assured me it would help me meet new people and answer questions I might have about the valley. Needless to say, my first post on the forum was enquiring about the works of the mini circle.
And today, I am content to live in a village where the rules of the road — or should I say the rules of the mini circle — don’t apply and where my winter PJs still have to be tumble-dried in November.
And as time went on, my interaction with Hout Bayans made one thing very clear — Hout Bay has a big heart and no challenge is too big for the community to take on.
Wherever there is a need, there is always a heart, or two or more, to help with donations, support and back-up. Last week was one of those weeks where I was left in awe of the generosity of my community — again.
A “pay it forward” initiative was launched on HBO and in true Hout Bay-style took off with a bang, and post after post on HBO offered something special to fellow community members.
Residents were asked to nominate community members for give-aways and the names with the most likes were the winners.
A sea of kindness swept through social media and up for grabs were massages, lunch for two at Quinton’s, free music lessons, life drawing classes, sushi for two at the Codfather in Camps Bay, facial treatments, afternoon tea at the Riverway Cafe, Apple Mac training sessions, tickets for a comedy show and the list goes on.
This followed a post on the Fish Hoek community Facebook page, South Peninsula Moms, which triggered acts of kindness and generosity to sweep through Fish Hoek after one person decided to “pay it forward” by giving away a cut and blow wave for a mom and daughter and a free cut for her son and husband and what followed was more than 200 pay it forward acts of kindness in the days to come.
And so while the “pay it forward” frenzy has died down since last week, there is one thing that I am very sure of — the people of Hout Bay pay it forward every day by giving freely to anyone in need.
What more can a community ask for?