Hello everyone! I'm back again with a post from South Africa...I can't believe it's already been three weeks—it’s felt like a year! I guess it has to do with getting familiar with Stellenbosch and the university and all of the sights and sounds that were once foreign to me. Still, I feel like a tourist, and these South African locals could weed out the Americans with their eyes closed.
I started a few classes this week: History of South Africa, HIV/AIDS: A South African Perspective, and Jewelry Design.
History has been a little dry, but I have never really been a history girl. I’ve only learned about the Dutch settling in SA and De Boers and all of that, but there is (obviously) so much more context involved in the course. I’m glad that I’m getting to learn it all, and the different cultures and events that South Africa consists of sound really interesting.
My HIV/AIDS course is one that I’m excited for! One of our class projects involves creating a relevant product that we make with the help of a local non-profit organization and we present to the class. During the first class, we discussed our worldviews on different topics like virginity and gender, which I never think about when thinking about HIV and AIDS. South Africa has a very different view on the concept, and the country’s way of dealing with such a widespread infection and disease is completely different than mine. Super excited to learn more!
Jewelry Design was actually harder than I thought it would be. We started right away making copper earrings with cut-outs inside and I struggled cutting the shapes out of them. Like, I struggled so badly and I became so impatient with it all. They were pretty crooked and the edges were jagged, but I’m hoping that they’ll look wearable when I smooth everything down in the next classes.
There’s a movie theater in our local mall, and a few of us decided to go and see Argo and Les Mis on two different occasions. It’s so nice to sit down and enjoy a movie since we don’t have a TV or any DVDs of our own. Also, they are so cheap—$5 compared to $10 at home!
A huge group of us were supposed to go shark cage diving today, but it rained this weekend, so the weather unfortunately didn’t allow for playing with the sharks and it got cancelled. Instead, my roommates and I went to the Canal Walk mall in Century City. It’s apparently one of the biggest malls in the Southern Hemisphere! I can personally say that it is gigantic. They even have a piercing and tattoo shop inside! (No, I didn’t get another tattoo, Mom…not yet at least.) I got a few really cute things from stores that I haven’t ever seen in the U.S. It was really fun to look at the different shops and restaurants there.
I am exhausted from the long day of walking around, but this coming week marks my first full week of classes! I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it is to be a full-time student again. The AIFS program also has an excursion over the weekend to the Cederberg Mountains, so expect some stories and pictures as well!
‘Til next time,