Bo'Kaap, a neighborhood in Cape Town, South Africa, sits on the slopes of Signal Hill. It is a former township and is now historically the center of Cape Malay culture. Visiting this neighborhood is a must when you're in Cape Town because every house is a picturesque background, there's amazing Cape Malay food, and a beautiful mosque where, if you're there at the right times, you can hear the beautiful call to prayer echo through the neighborhood. On our first evening in Cape Town, I wanted to see Bo'Kaap immediately. We arrived just as the call to prayer had started and my heart melted! It was so beautiful and spiritual that I made it a priority to hear it again, at least once more, before our trip ended.
On our last afternoon in Cape Town, we went to Bo'Kaap again with the sole intention to visit the mosque. While we were waiting for the call, there was a man who was cleaning, preparing the mosque for worshipers. We were lucky enough to be welcomed into the mosque. It was such a beautiful experience to be in this house of worship. Because of what was going on in the States with the growing of Islamophobia this experience was needed not because I had a growing fear of the religion, but because it was a testament that people of this faith were indeed good people. When we were inside exploring the mosque, I over heard a man complaining about the visitors. The man who was cleaning, had allowed a couple others in aside for my family and I. He said to the man who thought it inappropriate for us to be there, "It is okay. Children of God are welcome here and we are all children of God." I wasn't offend by that man's complaint as I, being LDS and having sacred houses of worship of our own, understood where he was coming from. Common ground was found during this experience and I will always be grateful for the man's kindness in allowing us to enter into this scared space.
We then headed up the hill for a delicious meal at Bo'Kaap Kombuis where we ate the best Cape Malay food (you guys, I'm obsessed with Melk Tart and Bobotie) while we awed over the gorgeous panoramic view of the neighborhood below and Table Mountain in the distance. It was the perfect way to end our trip in Cape Town.
Note: We did not stay in the mosque during the call to prayer.