Well, I am officially done with all school related activities for the semester here in Cape Town! There are certainly pros and cons to this as I now have the freedom to do whatever I wish without having to worry about studying or getting up for school. However, as great as this is, inevitably this also means that we are leaving very soon. In fact, one of the kids from the program left today as he had to get back for basketball. It is going to be extremely hard saying goodbye to everyone (both the kids from my program but also the South Africans that I have met here), especially since no one really lives all that close to Nebraska so who realistically knows when we will ever see each other again.
But with the sadness of leaving put aside, I still have quite a bit of time to really enjoy Cape Town! This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous, in fact even a bit too hot! Unfortunately I had to study for most of it but I did get in some time as I took my flashcards and notes outside and soaked up some sun! Almost everyone was done with finals before me as I only had my biology practical left so everyone else was out at the beaches and having fun while I was stuck at home studying but I was able to join the fun after my three hour test on Tuesday.
My housemates and myself celebrated by heading down to the waterfront and going out to eat—which was delicious! Afterwards, the rest of the kids from my program met up with us and we enjoyed a night of karaoke… so, so much fun and such a good way to distress from finals and such.
Today I headed out to Stellenbosch, a town about an hour from Cape Town, via the train. Luckily public transportation can get you about anywhere you need and is very reasonable. Stellenbosch is known for its vineyards but is also home to the Stellenbosch University. In my preparation for my semester abroad, I was deciding between Stellenbosch and Cape Town… well I am glad that I chose Cape Town for a few reasons. The first and most obvious is that there is much more to do here in Cape Town. Another huge factor was the language which is predominantly Afrikaans in Stellenbosch… predominantly might be an understatement as everything was written in Afrikaans… I may have had quite an issue with that as I don’t know any of the language!
The whole town has a completely different feel though compared to Cape Town, one in which the Afrikaner culture is very prevalent. Stellenbosh was settled by the Dutch who influenced the culture of Afrikaans thus the city has a very European, laidback style to it. There were no guards outside of houses, no barbed wire, and no sharp fences to deter criminals… clearly we were no longer in Cape Town! The town itself was really nice though—small (population 90,000), as I mentioned, but quaint and nestled within the beautiful vineyards that surround it. I was able to see just about the entire town as I walked up and down each and every street. The university was nice though, a very different feel than UCT, one that felt much more campus and community like, more like what I am used to at home. I really enjoyed my day in Stellenbosch and it is certainly one of those things that you can’t miss when visiting Cape Town so I can now mark that one off the list!
Well, there is a lot left to explore so check back for more updates to come (and which don’t involve school!).
Yay for summer!