It has become a daily orientation routine to grill us with information about safety, culture shock, and the distinctly different form of education we will receive. For example, in lectures at home, it is not uncommon for students to speak frequently throughout class, whether to ask questions or further a discussion point with the professors; however, it has been made clear here that students do not speak during lecture and it is not unheard of for a student to never interact with a professor throughout the entire term.
After orientation we made our way down through campus and to the train. It was a beautiful day and we decided that Muzenberg would be the best choice for the day. AND I made my virgin swim in the ocean there. Despite two shark spottings earlier that day, the black flag was exchanged for a red and I made my way in. The water on the Atlantic is freezing because the currents are bringing water from the Antarctic, yet it was incredibly refreshing. Apparently the water from the Indian Ocean is over 15 degrees warmer at all times. I am going to have to head east of the Cape to discover this for myself.
During Monday’s orientation we received free entry to the “club” Tiger Tiger. Since all 800 international students received this entry, we decided we would have to go. Tiger Tiger is quite literally a club in the middle of a mall. Despite being absolutely ridiculous, the music was from this decade, which is always a plus. Who doesn’t love to rock out to “Party in the USA” while in South Africa with an Australian and Brit singing right next to you?
(1/27) Despite having an early orientation and being mildly sleep deprived from the nigh at Tiger Tiger, Juli and I proceeded to take a 4.5 mile run all the way to the local mall, Tiger Tiger’s home, and back. To be honest, I was shocked we managed to run the entire way, but being able to gossip about the previous night did manage to take up a good chunk of the run.
Orientation today covered SHACO, the student volunteer group on campus. The group works with 4 local townships in education, health, business, etc. and it is something I plan to get involved with. After orientation, we began the epic process of pre-registration. Since classes are to be registered by hand, one needs approval by the head of the department to enter into that class. These signatures are required prior to Friday when the 800 international students are registered all by hand. Thankfully, I was pre-approved for all my classes and was able to run to different departments with students and get a better feel for the campus.
The J&B Met is the Kentucky Derby of Cape Town. Lots of horses, betting, and big hats. It is this upcoming Saturday and we have managed to score tickets. Apparently girls get decked out in beautiful dresses and the guys were incredible suits, so we headed to Canal Walk to take a peak at the dresses and hat selection. Although I headed home empty handed, I am sure I will find something suitable for my day at the races.
We arrived home to our flat mates have a braai (barbeque). It was relaxing to hang out on our porches and listen to some music.