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.

Erica’s Realization that Everyone is Looking Out for Her Well Being

Erica.

As I register all the events that took place during orientation, I knew I made the right decision in choosing this specific program. I have officially been in Cape Town for two weeks and two days, and I am still as in love with this city as the first day I arrived.

Last week on Tuesday and Wednesday we visited all the internships that the students will participate in. I enjoyed this portion of orientation because it gave each of us the opportunity to see where my fellow co-educators will be interning and what kind of work they will be doing. I am beyond excited to begin my internship at City Mission Education Services (CMES) with Dan. CMES is an alternative school for students who have been out of school from 6 months to two years. This school is located in Bridgetown, a coloured township. Many of the students at this school have either dropped out of school, have family issues, or have had a troubled past. The goal of the school is to teach these students valuable skills and give them the opportunity to finish school. What I like the most about this school is that they are taking in young people that society deems as failures and provide them with the message that they are important and valued! Dan and I will be teaching a life skills class and participate in a feeding program in the townships at least once a week. I promise Vernon is amazing for placing me here, because this is exactly what I want to do, and hopefully I get to work with a similar population in the future.

Jameson Hall, University of Cape Town.

Jameson Hall, University of Cape Town.

Last Thursday we started our class at UCT, and I have to say I absolutely love the campus. I am still trying to understand how people get work done on such a beautiful and breathtaking campus! Our first class was the history and politics of South Africa taught by Vincent Williams. I am still in awe at the fact that he taught a brief history of South Africa from 1652 to present day in about 2½ hours. He explained everything in a detailed manner and not once was I confused with the information he provided.

As I mentioned in my previous blog about the people here being friendly and kind, I still feel the same. I truly feel that I am living in a community that I grew up in, because I feel as if everyone is looking out for my well-being, and not once have I felt as if my life was in danger. A lot of people may think I am crazy, but I enjoy taking the mini-bus taxis (common form of transportation). Not only is it a fun ride, it’s also an opportunity to meet and interact with locals.

I am looking forward to tomorrow because I am going to a beautiful beach in Muizenberg, where I might go surfing! Also we are going to a Braai at Vernon’s house. A braai in South Africa is equivalent to a Barbeque in the United States.

Drumming session at Gugu's Thebe Arts & Cultural Centre in Langa. Front row, Brandi, Kristin, ?, Maria, Brittany, Becky, Theresa, Sam, Erica. Back row), Kelsey, teacher, Michael, Mackenzi.

Drumming session at Gugu's Thebe Arts & Cultural Centre in Langa. Front row, Brandi, Kristin, ?, Maria, Brittany, Becky, Theresa, Sam, Erica. Back row), Kelsey, teacher, Michael, Mackenzi.