Life Abroad travel blog

Just one of the many rooms in Dockside

Gerard (one of my rent a friends) and me

Kat (my roomie) and I on the train to the city

children performing on the streets

women have been selling flowers here for over 100 years

City Hall - Nelson Mandela gave a speech on this balcony the...

What was the slave quarters


President Mbeki's house in Cape Town

The war memorial (I'll have to ask Nick what war)

The artist, Peter in Green Market Square

The painting I purchased from Peter

Kat and I at Kirstenbosch

My rent-a-friends!!! Gugu Gerard Themba and Sarah

What a crazy weekend! On Friday I went to what is known as the biggest party in the Southern Hemisphere. It is called the Big Bash and is held at a club called Dockside every year. It is a charity event organized by a student group called RAG (and I am not certain what that stands for). The money that is earned at this party goes directly to benefit SHAWCO. There were shuttles that picked us up at campus and took us to town where the event was held. The club was four levels of total chaos. There are about 14 bars and about 8 different dance areas. This place was unbelievable! I heard that there were about 8-10 thousand people that showed up and you could really tell. I have never encountered anything like this. Dancing in such a large mob of people is really an experience. At one point it was just a bit too much to handle and I went to the top floor to hang out and watch the masses of people dancing below.

After an unbelievable night of dancing...and a bit of consumption I awoke the next morning to head out for a social history tour of Cape Town. It was given by my good friend Nick and it was great to walk around town and see the sites. It is a bit difficult to do much in a group of 50+ but it gave me a good idea of what I must go back and see. The tour ended at green market square where we were able to do some shopping and I purchased a wonderful painting from a local artist. Three girls and I had lunch at a phenomenal restaurant called Café African Image. It was so delicious!! We decided that every Sunday we are going to try a new restaurant since there is NOTHING else to do on Sundays because everything closes save the restaurants.

On Sunday I had a lazy morning, enjoyed a nice cup of tea on my balcony (this is becoming a daily event). Sunday afternoon I headed to Kristenbosch Gardens for a wonderful concert. The gardens are beautiful and the concert was great. What a wonderful day for a concert!! After lots of music and chatting in the sunshine we all headed to Ida's for a dinner party. Ida is the most fantastic lady! She is who organized my living situation and all of the outings I have been going on. There is a group of about 50 students that she takes care of, and she does a great job of ensuring that we are all safe and happy...and well fed!!! The amount of food drink and dessert was amazing. She made everything herself and it was great to have a home cooked meal. I don't think I will have to eat for a week. The Vice Chancellor spoke to us about UCT and there were also some beautiful live performers. What a wonderful night.

After the party my friend Nick came over to show a film he made last year for his honors course. It was about the 1976 student uprisings in Cape Town. What a sad time in South African history. The government was trying to enforce the schools to teach in the Afrikaans language in black schools. This was seen as the language of the colonizers and many of the black and colored students could not even speak this language. Massive amounts of students all over South Africa rebelled against this though boycotting the schools and marching through the towns. The police retaliated with force and as a result many young school children were injured and killed. After the film was shown my friends and I were rather speechless. The pictures and the stories told were heartbreaking. The more I learn about South Africa the more I realize how little I know.

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