South Africa · 7 Days · 12 Moments · January 2015

Nicole's Study Abroad in Cape Town

11 January 2015

Boulders Beach- African penguins
Cape of Good Hope- where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet
Cape Point
Chapmans Peak

9 January 2015

Today we toured a SHAWCO mobile health clinic in a local township, Kensington. The clinic operates after hours from 6-10pm most days and is staffed by volunteers from the UCT medical school as well as local doctors to treat patients. We then visited the District Six Museum and went on a guided bus tour with a woman who lived through apartheid. We visited 2 of her friends homes on the tour, Auntie Annie and Opa. District 6 was a cosmopolitan area of Cape Town whose residents of any color were forced to relocate in 1966. Those who refused had electricity and water cut off so they had no other choice. Then churches in the area, including St. Marks which we visited refused to be bought by he government so they remain in their original condition and location. A college actually built around and surrounds St. Marks as they refused to be moved. Eventually, the original residents of District Six were allowed to return many years later.

8 January 2015

This afternoon we visited iKapa Dance Theater where a man named Theo shared his experiences about how he danced as a young boy and that helped him overcome his circumstances in his township (the same one we visited the cultural center yesterday!) He now has his own company in the city center and teaches dance to young black children in surrounding townships. Afterwards, Melanie our teacher lead us through a short walking tour of the city center and we viewed a piece of the Berlin Wall, along with many other landmarks. We stopped on the way back to our backpacker at a very scenic overlook of Cape Town to take pictures.

7 January 2015

After visiting Macassar we enjoyed a quick trip to the GORGEOUS beach, Camps Bay just before sunset.
This afternoon we visited a local business called "Proudly Macassar Pottery" which is ran by a man named Johan and he uses the pottery to teach local men music and give them hope and purpose in their lives. We began the visit by visiting the birthplace of Islam in South Africa and learning about the rich history of this colored township. We created our own pottery to remember the experience by and then played drums they create there. One lesson he shared (through demonstration) was even if pottery breaks and can not longer serve its original purpose, it can be ground up and can help strengthen new pottery. We also ate a local delicasse called Koeksisters which was very sweet and like a cake or doughnut- yummy!

6 January 2015

Part two of Langa Township tour: we walked around the township and learned about the history of the area and country as a whole. It was very humbling seeing the level of poverty in this country but how welcoming these people still were. We stopped to eat sheeps head (I did not participate). We also learned about the Amy Biehl Foundation and more history. We ended the visit at the tour guides parents home/restaurant where we ate and danced to local marimba music. It was a blast sharing in their culture and understanding their story. The tour guide was fabulous and grew up in the township and shared experiences such as his poetry and friends. We also toured small housing were up to 3 families would share one small room with three twin beds.
Part One of Langa Township Tour which is a black township. We visited a cultural center that was built in early 2000s where local artists work and sell their products. I was surprised to see how recent many of the buildings and structures are in Cape Town. We saw a small apartheid museum where real passbooks from that time were on display.
Spent the morning touring the beautiful UCT campus and had some classroom time for a safety talk, orientation and some ice breakers.

5 January 2015

Day One: We received our University of Cape Town student cards and spent the rainy afternoon at the V&A Waterfront. We had dinner at Quay 4 on the water.