Intern at I LOVE COFFEE in Cape town, South Africa

Authored by:
Angie B.

Angie B.

Hello everyone!

I want to introduce myself first before explaining about my internship.

My name is Angie Bedoya. I was born in Colombia but I moved to the USA at 4 years old, due to lack of deaf education. I’m from New York, Long Island where I was raised. I’m a senior and studying in business at Gallaudet University. I’m also interning at I LOVE COFFEE in Cape Town, South Africa.

I recently learned about CIEE during my studying at Gallaudet last fall. Honestly, I never thought of interning abroad at first but I decided to do it because it was a great opportunity. It was my first time visiting Cape Town, South Africa but I am glad to take a chance to see what is real as a traveler! I’ve always wanted to travel to see the world and hope to travel more after getting a lot of experiences in South Africa!

I really enjoyed learning about South Africa’s culture and a beautiful view of Table Mountain and some of the old buildings. There is great history at the Slave Lodge Museum, it’s so heart-breaking but interesting as well! Also, there are some nice restaurants with good food! I understand there are many resources that are very behind the USA and Europe. But one reason why I came to Cape Town is because I learned about I LOVE COFFEE, where I am currently interning for 8 weeks.

I LOVE COFFEE is common for a coffee shop where you can order a coffee and some great food, but this shop is different and unique because there are deaf staff! It is rare to see this but it’s such a great opportunity for me to learn about this shop and how it became successful after opening three years ago! It’s a non-profit organization and an award-winning social enterprise staffed by the deaf. It helps members of the deaf community shine as baristas and chefs at the cafes.

It’s so great to have this experience because I am deaf and my intention is to learn how a social enterprise works, how one integrates Deaf and hearing staff as a team. There are some challenges, but I Love Coffee has learned to grow and be better. My work is to connect to this mission by helping to get an idea and to improve with these deaf staff due to their experiences but keep the business running and communicate well.

My goal is to leave with a better understanding of operating a business and establishing a great team. These skills will enable me to start my own business one day but continue to support I LOVE COFFEE.

We share our passion for the Deaf community and I am an addict of coffee, so it’s a perfect Internship for me. I’m so thankful for my supervisor, Jessica Combrink who gave me a chance to learn about it, helped me and taught me some new things and made a lot of experiences. I met a great team who are deaf while learning some South African sign language too. They’ve made great food and kinds of coffees!

If you are all interested to go there and learn more about it when you will travel to Cape Town, they are such nice and welcome you all!! I hope you all will enjoy learning some South African sign languages while enjoying the coffee and food!!

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