Posted by: Naima | January 22, 2009

Downtown

So I’ve been with my group the last few days and everyone’s really great. The Bowdoin kids and I compare stories of Maine winters and playing the name game with strangers is always fun (“Oh you go to UPenn? Do you know….?”). To be honest, it feels sort of like freshman year all over again. Slightly awkward, incredibly friendly, and everyone’s hungry to go out for a night on the town. The mentors of the program do a really great job of keeping us all entertained, at least during the night hours. They are all students at the University of Cape Town and most of them are between the ages of 20 and 24. They’re kind of just showing us the ropes before classes start and we all get a little more comfortable with our very new surroundings. The last few nights they have taken us out to pool halls, bars, and dance clubs that a lot of UCT students frequent. It’s been a really great way to get to know everybody in the program. I think it’s safe to say that if there was no one telling us to meet at a certain time to head downtown to a certain bar, many people would just end up hanging out in their apartments. A good thing about this program is that because much of the staff is the same age, they seem less like superiors and more like peers showing you around the city.

Besides going out at night, we’ve been doing some both touristy things and academic ones. We’ve spent a lot of time in lecture halls going through orientations about both the University and the city. Tomorrow there are plans to hike Table Mountain (that beautiful mountain I wrote about in the last post). I’m pretty excited to get up their and see the entire city. Other things on the agenda are wine tours, cricket and rugby games, a trip to Robben Island (where Mandela was imprisoned), and much much more.

So far, so very very good.

Peace and then some,

Naima

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