Right now I am sitting on my terrace/porch overlooking our little street. At the top, there is an incredible view of Devil’s Peak, which is one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen. The weather is literally perfect… it’s perfectly sunny with a slight breeze. Finally, after three days of craziness I actually have some time to relax. I just unpacked and it is amazing how much better I feel. The apartment is looking better, and like with most things, we are just going to have to learn to adjust. As one our lecturers said: “This isn’t home. This is
So there is a lot to say…on Tuesday me, Will and a couple other people took a cab down to the city to see the waterfront. It was really beautiful, and there were a ton of pretty modern looking shops along the boardwalk. We got dinner at a restaurant overlooking the harbor, then rode back. I was very surprised at how European and wealthy looking the area was. Since I’ve been here, I don’t feel like I have seen much of the real
What struck me about the city, and a lot of people agreed with me, were the homeless. There are children… no more than 10 or 11 years old, begging and harassing people for money. As soon as we got off the bus, one of them yelled out “These people have money!” which made us pretty nervous. The kids literally follow down the street, and if you make the mistake of talking to them (like Moran did) they and all of their friends will follow you and poke you and pull your arm the entire night. It was really sad to see this, and I couldn’t help but think where these kids’ parents were. The answer is pretty obvious, and although it kind of put a damper on the night, I was glad to at least experience some part of the realities of this country. It was kind a shock, but I know that there are much worse areas than the city.
On Wednesday we had a really busy day of orientation. Interstudy is kind of unorganized, but I think we will be able to find our way around pretty easily. We have five months here, so I really am not worried. The
We learned a lot about what the university has to offer, and I am starting to envision my time here better. I want to get involved with SHAWCO, apparently the largest student NGO in the world. I can’t wait to actually get into the townships, and one thing that is great about Interstudy is that it allows you to do 2 or 3 day homestays in different regions of
A couple things really stuck out from one of the lectures we listened to.
-50 % of South Africans live on under a dollar a day
-4% of South Africans actually go to university, and only 2% actually graduate
The lecturer also described how sociology courses might be heard for Americans, because there is nobody in the world that can understand the complexities of race better than the South Africans. Something else he encouraged was for us to raise our hands and ask questions in class, even though South Africans tend to get annoyed, because, as he said, “You are here for us.” He told us that having Americans in the classroom is sometimes the only opportunity for most South Africans to experience American life.
After orientation, a bunch of us decided to take a trip to Camp’s Bay, which is in all honesty the most incredible thing I have ever scene. It’s a really wealthy area about 20 minutes from