Last week some UCT students received an email about the opportunity to attend a speech given by none other than Prince Charles. They had a limited number of tickets available so I was in line along with a few friends and we actually were some of the few to get tickets! Prince Charles made the visit to join in on the formal introduction of a new UCT Vice-Chancellor along with the launching of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) here at UCT. ACDI is a research project that focuses on challenges regarding climate change here in South Africa.
People were pretty excited (myself included) as this was the first time since 1997 that Prince Charles had visited South Africa and the first royal visit since Queen Elizabeth in 1987… so obviously it wasn’t a regular occurrence. We dressed up in our formal attire and headed to campus where the address was to take place. I was shocked by the lack of security that they had for the event as he will eventually become the King. We just had to present an ID and our ticket… no searching of purses or anything… interesting. There was literally more security at the ten dollar soccer game we went to than this… but whatever works! We had to be seated a half hour prior to his arrival so the choir entertained the audience for a bit prior to the address. There were about three hundred attendees of students, faculty, the “special invitation folks,” and the media… so a pretty small event for such a speaker… I was just fortunate enough to get a ticket!
The event was very formal as we were instructed to stand upon his arrival and remain seated until he left the UCT property. It was really neat being so incredibly close to him as he is a Prince and all… and the closest I’ll probably ever be to any royalty! The prince spoke on issues of sustainability, climate control, as well as land investment and usage. The topic wasn’t all that exciting but it was still a really neat event to be at and involved in. At the end of the speech, UCT presented him with a few gifts. Queen Elizabeth’s Mother (his grandmother) actually attended UCT for her honorary degree thus they gave him a transcript of the speech she made at her graduation ceremony along with photos… kind of neat! The whole event was really neat and something I will surely never forget as I was amongst about three hundred for this special occasion!
Other than that exciting news, I have been doing really well. My last final is on Tuesday which means I will have my life back once again, free of school! I am still here for a few weeks afterwards which will allow me some time to play the role of a tourist once again and see even more of Cape Town… as there is still plenty to see! Fortunately the weather has been absolutely gorgeous so I have spent some time studying outside and preparing for my last final which happens to be my biology practical.
Miss you all and counting down the days (kind of) till I’m sleeping in my own bed!