These past two days have been, as South Africans say, hectic! Yesterday, we travelled from Johannesburg to Cape Town and got settled into our accommodations in Rondebosch. We also got a chance to share our insights about Johannesburg and South African history with one another. In lieu of pictures, there are two poignant student quotes to share:
"The way something looks on the outside is not at all indicative of what it's really like." - Alana
"I know I didn't come on this trip to be on my phone...as a whole, we need to stop trying to find wifi." - Brooke
The students have been learning a lot, and today was no exception. After breakfast this morning, we started on a walking tour of downtown Cape Town before heavy rains prompted us to take shelter. Our shelter of choice was the District 6 Museum. Students came to understand this blatant act of discrimination against the Coloured community when they were forcibly removed from their homes in District 6, an area of Cape Town where generations of Coloured people established their lives.
Caption: Students on the top floor of the District 6 Museum.
We continued our tour throughout the downtown area and had a picturesque view of Table Mountain.
Caption: Students capture themselves in front of Table Mountain. They were delighted to find a very discrete "photo-bomber" in their picture.
Students were particularly excited to interact with the squirrels and pigeons that were a constant presence.
Caption: (1) A fearless squirrel approaches for a snack. (2) Students prepare for the pigeons. (3) Students and pigeons.
We also paused in front of City Hall to discuss the changes that took place there. Two benches sit in front of the building marked "WHITES ONLY" and "NON-WHITES ONLY". After some some interrogation, the students realized that the four racial categories in South Africa all received different treatment that is not accurately represented in the two benches.
Caption: The benches in front of City Hall. Some students also noted that the benches are relatively equal, which is also unrealistic according to apartheid social practices.
Our day continued in Gugulethu, a local township where community leaders conduct programming to keep children occupied during their school breaks. CIEE students reveled in the opportunity to play and talk to the students.
Caption: Two students spent their time in Gugulethu painting faces.
Though neither student claims to be an artist, the children were thrilled.
Caption: (1) Mbulelo, 10, as Spiderman. (2) Mlibo, 3, as a Minion. He hung out with the older children as long as he could, but he requested a nap soon after this photo was taken. (3) (left to right) Lihlumile, 8, and Chumani, 10, as a clown and American flag respectively. Their friends prepared the boys for this picture, with one boy quickly removing Chumani's gray hat to maintain their standards for an appropriate photo.
Caption: A handful of students prepared sandwiches to serve to the children prior to the end of their program.
Caption: Other students playing football.
Caption: Saying goodbye! Note that many of the children in the photo have painted faces. They were careful to maintain this original artwork throughout their program.
Tomorrow will be another busy day!
Until next time,
CIEE "Education as a Human Right" Program Leader