Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So it’s been a little while. I’ve been busy getting classes and groups settled, and I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with it all. This weekend was incredibly fun. On Saturday I went to an organic market in the morning that had the most AMAZING food like organic pizza and honey an pastries and fruit and everything good in the world. The only thing I bought though was a six pack of Whale Tale Ale, which was great. I didn’t really care much about the taste, it was the whales that sold me. Later on I went to Kirstenbosch and we found a nice spot on the grass and passed out for a couple hours. That place is just gorgeous. That night Will snuck into a party and someone ran into Michael K Williams who plays Omar on the Wire. What the hell was he doing in Cape Town?

This week I have been running around for classes and interviews and whatnot. My time here is beginning to take shape. I’m taking a class called Conflict in World Politics (the teacher is really scary…she told us if we came to our office on Fridays she would throw us out the window), an African literature class (which has started out really well), a Sociology class on poverty, development and globalization, and a once a week music class that teaches us to play African instruments. There are a lot of lectures and you have to go to weekly discussion groups called tutorials, so there is actually a lot more class time than I’m used to. Classes are ENORMOUS (usually around 300 students). It is so incredibly different, which is hard to adjust to. There isn’t much discussion during lectures and it’s pretty easy to zone out.

There are a lot of service-oriented groups on campus that target the townships (which, of course, are very close by). I interviewed with a mentoring group that helps high school students figure out their options post-graduation. The girl who interviewed me was really enthusiastic about the program and really seemed eager and motivated to make a difference. I also interviewed with LAWCO (which I’m leaning toward doing), a new program that is trying to spread legal awareness and knowledge to township teens. The program seems pretty similar to the Volunteer Lawyers Project, and I’m excited to see how the two compare. I’m going to have to skip a lecture every couple of weeks, but I really don’t mind. Classes are definitely important but when I think about why I came to South Africa, it wasn’t just for classes.

All of my classes have some relation to South Africa, so I am looking forward (along with my service group) to really getting to know the area and region and learning about the people and the problems that this area faces.

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