Letters from Cape Town

By Students Studying Abroad

Join UConn students in Cape Town, South Africa, as they experience a new culture and learn about global citizenship in theory and in practice.

Dan on Trying New Things

Nellie and Dan at Moyo at Spier.

Nellie and Dan at Moyo at Spier.

Since I arrived in Cape Town over two weeks ago now (two weeks!? Where has the time gone!?), I have been trying to take every opportunity I have to try something new or put myself out of my comfort zone. Some of these instances have been no-brainers, like learning how to surf. I’ve wanted to surf for as long as I can remember, so finally getting the opportunity to was amazing. I picked it up nicely and plan on spending may more days at the beach perfecting my style. Pushing my comfort zone in other areas hasn’t always been as easy though, especially when it came to food. One of my “rules” while abroad is to avoid eating at American establishments (you’d be surprised how many there are), and always trying local food. One of my first chances to do this was at Cape Point, where I went out on a limb and ordered fish and chips! I’ve never liked fish, and while I can’t say I was head over heels about this, it wasn’t terrible. I haven’t had fish again since, but hopefully I’ll eat it once or twice more before I leave.

Ethiopian food from Addis Restaurant.

Ethiopian food from Addis Restaurant.

I’ve also eaten Ethiopian food and used every opportunity I’ve had to order traditional dishes. The South African dishes, such as the lamb curry, have not disappointed, and some of the desserts have been absolutely amazing. My favorite part though is having the opportunity to eat absolutely exotic animals, ones that there is little chance I would ever get to eat while in the States. I’m talking about Ostrich, Wildebeest, Springbok, and Impala, all of which I have eaten. I always keep my eye out for cool options, and I’m hoping to have a few more added to that list by the time I go home.

Along the same lines, I’ve also decided to try my hand at gardening! It’s something I have never done before, but one of my best friends had a garden in front of his apartment this past summer and there is already an established garden here, so I figured why not try! The climate is perfect for it, and if I can produce something it will save me some money on groceries! Yesterday I picked up tomatoes, lettuce, and green bean seeds from the grocery store and plan on planting them with the help of Brandi in the next couple of days. At school I am always really busy, so taking on this additional project will help me fill some of the free time I have here! The expected harvest is within the last month we are here, which gives me something to look forward to at the end of our trip!