My Heart is in Cape Town
My beautiful sister moved to Cape Town when she was 20 years old. She was ready to go change the world. I always knew she was going to do something big somewhere crazy. And she did. She packed up her stuff and headed to a country halfway around the globe with the mission to bring justice to our world. The idea of flying to visit her didn't seem tangible. I had my first baby and was pregnant with my second. Kimberly and I were in different lifetimes. She was up all night working to counter human trafficking. I was up all night with babies. She was exploring the world and sharing her passion for justice. I was busy doing playdates and teaching little humans that it's not appropriate to punch your friends in the face.
But ultimately I love my sister and traveling too much to let it go any longer without seeing her world. When Kimberly got married and was pregnant with her first daughter it seemed like it was long overdue for me to make the trek to South Africa to be there to welcome her daughter to the world. I was over the moon excited to see my sister as a mama and almost as excited to see the amazing city where she had built her life.
Kimberly's goal on my trip was to "woo" me so I would return. And soon. We spent 10 glorious days visiting Cape Town and the surrounding areas. The drives were breathtaking, the beaches left me speechless and the people left an impression on my heart. And the baby didn't come. The last day I was there, Evie was born and shortly after I held her for the first time I was whisked away to the airport. I was heartbroken to leave my sister so soon when I had anticipated helping her join the motherhood club with all the support I could offer. And leaving that precious baby not knowing when I would see her again ripped my heart out. But I knew I would be back. I was given just a taste of Cape Town and I knew I wanted more.
And so it came. 17 short months later when Kimberly gave me another amazing excuse to come visit. That excuse is called Quinn.
So I booked my tickets AFTER Quinn's due date, packed my bags and was prepared to help Evie get used to being a big sister and help with the baby while Kimberly slept - do the kinds of things that big sisters crave to do for their baby sisters. Unfortunately all of that was derailed when we realized Quinn would be hospitalized for the whole time I was there. This is a story for another day, but instead of getting Kimberly and her growing family tucked in nicely at home and experiencing Cape Town with little babies, my stay consisted of lots of trips to the hospital, hanging out in an apartment with a 17 month old and crying with my sister. This was not the trip that any of us expected or wished for. Luckily Quinn rebounded and was released on the day I left. So, once again I got to hold that baby, get her mama home and then rush to the airport to catch my flight.
Phew! A lot of misses, right? A lot of sadness and a lot of disappointment. BUT, that didn't change how I felt about Cape Town. You know when someone else's excitement is contagious? When they have so much joy about something it rubs off on you? That's how I felt about Cape Town. That's how I felt about it since day one. I would hear about Kimberly learning how to surf and want to be there with her. I would hear about her adventures and the people she would meet and I knew it was going to be my favorite - and it was! The beauty of Cape Town is unrivaled. The mountains and the beaches blow my mind every drive I take there. But do you know what has left the most amazing impression on me? The people. Truly, they are incredible. And when Brookes Collective became a spark in our little imaginations I was bubbling over with excitement knowing we could create a clothing line that would help the people in Cape Town - not as a hand out or freebie, but in the dignity that is afforded to those who can earn and provide for their family in a way that is honoring to their skillset. We aren't seeing people of Cape Town in need of us; instead we are seeing the people of Cape Town - our partners, as strong and valuable humans who are worthy of a fair wage for their contributions to our company. Who are worthy of dignity in the work place. And worthy to get to know and treasured for who they are. My heart is in Cape Town because the people who live there are valuable and responsible for making Brookes Collective successful with their diligence and their emotional and physical investment in our product.
I know what's going through your head - "poor Kate needs to go back to Cape Town and visit her sister without dealing with hospital stays and 9+ month pregnant ladies!!" Luckily I did. And I brought my family with me. And we had the time of our lives.