Wednesday (2/17): Wednesday is the only day of the week that I have every class: Liberation of Southern Africa; Gender, Sexuality, and Politics; African Instruments; and Africa: the Making of a Continent. I quite literally have the classes on the hour, every hour from 9AM until noon. I don’t even know how to explain how much African Instruments is equivalent to life therapy. Just as I am getting a little tired in my day, BAM African Instruments. For 45 minutes every Tuesday and Wednesday, know that I am having the best time, period. We moved on from the stomping and clapping to a xylophone like instrument. Amazing. I think African Instruments should be mandatory for all students and adults alike.
Shot of the rugby field we walk through to get to class
After a full day of classes, I may have brushed writing a paper aside to head to Stones in Observatory for a 2 for 1 drink special. I think it was a quality decision; the class only requires 4 of the 7 paper assignments to be accepted for grades, so the paper won’t be held against me and Observatory is quick taxi ride, as it is the neighborhood beside ours. Unfortunately, Observatory does have a poor reputation for it’s night life (a student was fatally stabbed last week), so we made sure to take the taxi straight to the bar and call the same taxi for a ride home. I just need to constantly remember that Cape Town at night is a whole different place and it’s not a bad thing to keep my guard up. Misfortune struck my friend Daniel when he realized his wallet had been stolen out of his pocket. Always a lesson to be learned: the front pocket is still not the safest place for your possessions. Hurray for the clutch, one would physically have to rip my clutch from my hands to take it.
Walk home from class... How awesome does Table Mountain look?
Thursday (2/18): Thursday is my tut day. I have two tutorials, one for my gender politics class and the other for my early African history class. Tutorials are required and I have found them to be much more informative than lecture and more personal.
We discussed virginity testing in my gender politics tut. Essentially, hundreds of young girls are publicly “checked” to determine whether or not they are still virgins. As teenage pregnancy, HIV, and sexual abuse has risen in certain areas of South Africa, this dying practice has once again re-emerged, occurring a few times a year within certain communities. This class has exposed me to a huge variety of cultural practice that seem extraordinarily foreign to me. Even more so, the class has really opened up my “judgment zone” as I have been actively trying to stop looking at practices from my “Western lens” if the practice itself is not “western.”
Fast forward to dinner: Thanks to a won bet over “Ace of Cakes” and its home channel of The Food Network, Lindsey won us a fabulous dinner cooked by our neighbors, Will and Justin. We brought wine and dessert, but the boys truly went out of their way to cook a fabulous dinner of extremely well marinated chicken with roasted veggies topped with melted cheese and risotto. Apparently the boys had found a cook book left behind from past residents of their flat, so we had a perfectly prepared meal. With some light Frank Sinatra in the background, it was truly a relaxing and delicious dinner. Lindsey and I are preparing dinner for them next week, we are thinking of doing something shrimp orientated. I am already excited
Friday (2/19): In my Liberation of Southern Africa class, we had a political prisoner who had served time on Robben Island (on the island for a small portion of time overlapping Mandela’s imprisonment) lecture on the move towards armed struggle during the 1960s in South Africa. Our lecturer (I am angry at myself for not writing down his name) was extremely eloquent and quite refreshing compared to our professor. Although he was an active member of the communist party, he had worked with my ANC leaders during the 1960s and was extremely informative on the different movements of that time. The shift to an armed movement was a drastic change in South African politics, because before 1960 the resistance movement had been purely a passive resistance taking example from Gandhi and his non-violent fight in India.
After lecture, I made my way to Interstudy for coffee and pastries (on Fridays there are always goodies) to discover that I also had a package from my Auntie Andy waiting for me!! It only took 3 weeks to get to me, but I was pumped! Although the pastries were delicious, I was hungry for some real food, so Tiffany, Lindsey, and I headed to Cocoa Wah Wah (local internet café and general hang out) for some brunch.
After class I had to get a quick run in and some errands completed before heading out for Cedarburg. The car rental company was kind enough to drive the car to us, which was super convenient.