Currently, we’re situated in Simon’s Town. It’s a seaside naval town near the Cape of Good Hope. It’s really cute—kind of like a Savannah or a Newport. I expect there to be saltwater taffy for sale or something. The history makes it a little less cute, as this is the general area where colonialism in SA began.
Yesterday, we all had some papers to write and books to finish, so I mostly did that (no fun!) but today we went to the Cape of Good Hope. We hiked up to the lighthouse, and then we were supposed to hike down to Cape Point, but the way was blocked. We were still able to access it by bus. I felt like such a tourist. There were tons of huge tour buses pulled up and everything. It was ridiculous. It is gorgeous, though, and it looks really dangerous to navigate.
On my way down from the lighthouse, I had a really interesting discussion with my program director. He is not from South Africa, and has only lived here for two years. He’s originally from Zimbabwe, but he got his master’s from the States, and lived in Botswana for a while before coming here. He told me he has a huge issue appreciating the beauty of Cape Town sometimes, because he can access just about all of it, but so many people can’t. He never lived here during apartheid, so the legacy does not affect him as much as it does others here. He feels completely comfortable accessing all types of spaces, unlike so many other people. I hadn’t thought about that before, so that was interesting. Of course, he probably faces other difficulties here—xenophobia was termed “the new racism” by one of our professors, and while I can’t speak to if that’s COMPLETELY accurate, it seems to have some merit.
Now, it’s rainy out, but in a few hours I want to go to the beach with the penguins! Even if it’s just to see them…Tomorrow, we’re heading to the Eastern Cape at 7 am. No wifi until the 11th or the 14th, so definitely no posts…but expect several when I get back!