I finally have internet and am able to write a little something, sadly internet is pretty expensive (something they hadn’t told us) so I am unable to post a lot of pictures from my apartment.
Yesterday we arrived and were pretty shocked at the differences between South Africa and America. Within the first five minutes I was already homesick for my own bed and house. Things are so much different from where I grew up—most South African housing doesn’t have central heating so we were provided with small space heaters to stay warm. We met the rest of the group, they’re all so friendly and eager to get to know each other. Our RA took us on a tour of the part of town that we are living in and later took us to dinner at a BBQ place known as “sticky BBQ fingers”. On the walk I was thrown off by the Minibus taxis that frequently drive down the street yelling at you to get in for a ride to Cape Town or other areas—they are so loud and obnoxious! Another big difference is the timing. People work at such a slower pace than everyone in America. We were told that dinner would be 20 minutes away and we ended up walking for an hour or so—we were told that this is VERY common. Later on we all met up to talk and get to know each other more and then went to bed. I wasn’t able to shower which was upsetting but then today I was able to get a towel and feel so much better.
Today we went to two townships—the first being Langa, one of the oldest (if not the very oldest) township in Cape Town. We mingled with some of the children and learned about both their cultural and historical backgrounds. Our tour guide was very informed and knew so much about the rich history and diversity amongst the groups. We later went to Gugulethu, which is another township about five minutes from the other one. This is where we will be spending the week in the local community health clinic—we will be assisting and observing the medical staff.
I will hopefully be able to post pictures and more soon!