We actually got to watch the sun come up over Cape Town. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. The sky was totally clear. You could see the city sprawled out over the base of Table Mountain. Mountains lined the background. Just as the sun was coming up these rays of sun shot out over the mountains. It looked like the crown of the Statue of Liberty. As it got a little higher Table Mountain was lit up, then the city. The city looks like a giant wave came up and laid down the city around the mountain. The view was unbelievable. After eating breakfast, at which I sang a rousing rendition of "I ate the Fruit Loops down in Africa," I got right on the bus to go to Operation Hunger. The contrast is amazing. You go to a city like Baltimore with its skyscrapers and beautiful inner harbor to these propped up shacks with three families in them. They have no electricity or water, they have nothing. And they are never going to have anything. They have no education, no skills, and even if they had there is no work. Theyíre a new "Lost Generation" I donít know what they can do to correct the problem. There is Operation Hunger which helps some avoid starvation but that just some. The government has promised housing and employment but canít deliver. There is no money. So Operation Hunger tries to set the goal at eliminating malnutrition, but even that isnít working. Our first stops was the township Spandau. They said it had 325 households, but it looked like more than that. There are only four water taps for the entire town. Our guide was going to take us to one of Operations Hungerís buildings, but he didnít want us to get very involved. He believed strongly in self reliance. "There has to be a behavioral change in the community. This can only come from participation." So we went into this shack. There were about 15 women in there. The roof was made of metal, the floor was sandy earth, the walls had pictures of ways to keep the township clean. The heat was oppressive. Iím not even sure what they were doing because we were hustled out so fast. We did get to see Felicity Gibbs the regional manager. She gave a short speech on how much Operation Hunger means to the township. We then broke up and walked around a bit. There was a man with no arms or legs. He had lost them to gangrene. He does nothing but sit around. We walked into a bar/meeting place. The smell was horrible. How people afford alcohol I couldnít find out. There was a ratty pool table in the back (it seemed out of place) and a "Vote ANC" poster on the wall with Mandella raising his fist and smiling. It seemed like a warped vision. We then finished walking around the block, this is when the kids came out in full force. They were running, playing, singing, doing clapping games, overall being normal kids. We were picking them up, some were playing tag, but mostly I tried to talk to so of the people. The language barrier was really too great. They understood English but not to the level that I could talk about Psychology with them. This was a Psychology FDP, but I donít think the western rules apply here. When malnutrition is looking you in the face you arenít overly concerned about the mind. They only really work two months a year. In February and March the grapes come in season but after that there is nothing. There is debate on how these people are going to be able to pay for services. The government wants R60 but the people donít have that kind of money. No one really knows what is going to happen. From there we drove tot he township Khayelitsha, which means New Home. It is about 45 km from Cape Town and is the largest African township (1,000,000+). This township had been planned by the former apartheid government. There are roads but there are these huge poles with intense lights on them so that the government could track someone at night. We stopped at the Hopolang Primary School. When we stopped the kids went nuts. The ones they had food for had eaten just before and everyone was outside playing. We went inside and looked at a classroom and where they prepared the food they had. One thing that hit me was an AIDS sign on the wall. Here is a "use condoms" sign up with grade schoolers. A school chorus sang some songs for us. First was a welcome song, then one about a train (the theme being to come back), one about gambling, moving, being a student, and finally they had one as they walked back to class. Each song had dance along with it. These kids looked so different than the adults in the 1st stop. They had hope in their eyes, the adults had the "chronic stroll." They just walk around all day with nothing to do. I hope education is the key, it seems to put light in the childrenís eyes. As we were leaving we shook heir hands, took pictures, kissed hands, and gave mutual good-byes. This was the best thing I have seen to date, it was absolutely wonderful. From there we went to this athletic center to eat lunch. This made me mad: Some of these rich, sorority girls were complaining to the guide about having to eat there. They wanted to eat in the township. He addressed us all back in the bus. "I took you here so that the people wouldnít see you eat. What you had today is more than these people have ever seen in their lives." That quieted them. I was so disgusted with our group at that minute I felt ill. Itís all just a field trip to them. Are they not learning anything! I was totally sickened. We drove to a church which was selling some things to make some money. I couldnít get anything because I didnít have enough money. What was neat was some 3-5 year olds having class outside. They sang Twinkle, twinkle little star, and another one where they pointed to body parts and said the name. It was all to teach them English and it seemed to be working well. They made us so happy. We got back in the bus and went to our last stop. It was an after school place to learn traditional dance. These girls between 4 and 14 did what I think was a wedding dance. There was a lot of stomping and kicking, it was so cool. From there we started to make our way back. We weaved through the streets. The guide pointed out some "witch doctors" or "traditional healers" what ever you want to call them. We also saw tons of sheep heads for sale. Iím not sure what they were used for but there were a lot of them. From there we went back but ZI slept most of the way. Overall, it was the greatest thing I have done so far. But I donít rally know what I feel about it. Is there really hope for those people? It seemed like the kids had hope but they are 200 maybe 250 out of over a million. Is South Africa going to burn? I canít tell, I would love to come back in another five years and see where things are. I think there has been a lot of progress but will it be enough for the masses. One women said, "We thought that everything would be cured with the end of apartheid, but itís going to take a long time. We were too idealistic." Back to the concrete. . . Back at the room I met Andy and Jimmy. Andy was able to get our tickets to Robben Island but they were R100 not R80. Thatís OK. I really want to see it. Since Cape Town isnít a safe place at night we decided to go to the waterfront. It was Ryan, Alyce, Lindsey, me and this other girl who I donít remember. We walked around the mall for a while. Everything is so expensive (well, not really itís like the US). We ate at this Greek place. I got Seafood Kabobs. It had linefish, prawns, and Calimare. Alyce and I also split a bottle of red wine. It was really good, we had a lot of fun. It did cost me R100 (about 16 USD). We got a cab and went back. It was quite a day. We saw both sides of the coin. I feel overwhelmed, I love South Africa yet hate it too.
Andy and I got up early to go to Robben Island. WE needed to change some money and he needed to get a camera. It was overcast so the view was not spectacular. You could see seals as we were leaving Cape Town. It was still cold so we went inside to watch a short video. The ride was only about 20 minutes so we were there quick. We hopped on a bus with the others for an island tour. We first passed the leper grave yard. I wanted to get out but we couldnít. Next was the place where Richard Mbiki was held. He was the only one who was kept in a separate building. I suppose he was "too revolutionary." Next was the lime quarry. Since it was an overcast day we didnít experience the glare that the prisoners did. Mandella had to have eye surgery after he was released because of it. There was a cave there which slaves had dug in the 17th century. This is where modern prisoners would rest and use the bathroom. At the entrance was a pile of stones made by ex-prisoners when Robben island was made a national monument in 1995. Every five years they will return to place a stone until all are dead. We moved out into the open part of the island where the old heliport was. There were ostriches and antelope type animals all over. There are six species of bucks on the island. They also stopped the bus and the driver got out and picked up this huge black snake. We also saw one type of buck that is rare on the island, the guide thought they might have all been dead. WE stopped on the ocean side to see the kelp. Prisoners were made to harvest it even though the water was freezing. We saw another quarry then the small town. It had houses for guards, a bank, wardens house, and two churches, on for the guards and one for the lepers. This part of the tour stopped and we went into the prison. Our guide had been a prisoner from 1983-1990. We saw where they were processed, the censors office, the hospital, courtyard, exercise area, and cells for political and criminal prisoners. Our guide talked about the monotony of the meals, the mistreatment of the guards and the ways they coped. They would talk politics, it was on Robben Island that most of the constitution was created. He made the point at the end that Robben Island should be a symbol of good winning over evil. We talked to him a bit after the tour. He had been arrested when the group of students he was protesting with fought back when the police started beating them. He was smoking afterwards so Andy and I had one with him. We told him about our trip, where w had gone, and such. He was gland we had got to come. I mentioned that it reminded me of going to a German death camp. He made one comment I liked. "They never stopped reminding us that we were a sub-species." He had to go and good thing too because that cigarette I had was making me feel sick. I donít know how people can smoke. I got a book on Nelson Mandella in the gift shop before we left, it cost me R35. We slept though the way back then went to the ship for lunch. I met Jen and Ryan coming back from their township trip so I waited for them. Someone had been shot and killed while trying to carjack an off duty cop. Ryan had seen him, Jen only saw the blood. I talked to Desmond Tutoís assistant for a while. I told her that it didnít look like they had much hope We agreed that education was the key. She saw low tech production as a key. Sort of the opposite of Taiwan or Japan. She also tried to make the point that they had great spirituality on their side. I think thatís nice but it doesnít put food on the table. So we went out into the city at about 1330, but it took a while before we could get anywhere because of changing money. I had wanted to go to the Cultural Museum because I thought they had something on Apartheid. It was a good museum but it didnít have any race related stuff. I was disappointed but it was OK. We then went to the Company Gardens next to Parliament. It was a beautiful place. There were some colorful birds but they were not labeled. We ran though the Natural History Museum but it was free so it was no big deal. We walked through town and went back to the ship. Jen, Valerie, Alison, and I went to the waterfront to eat. I had ostrich. It was great, it tasted like a very tender steak. Alison made me mad though, she skeezed R20 on the bill and I had to pick it up. I hate that! What I had to eat could have paid for services to a house in the townships for over a month. I just couldnít get that out of my mind. After that we went back to the ship.
Woke up early for Dr. Rocks FDP (tour of Cape Point). We started out at 0900 we first hit Three Anchor Bay. We walked around on the rocks. We looked at some deep sea turbidites, some sea anemones, and some other stuff. There was lots of kelp. We walked along a sea wall to Sea Contact Point. The igneous rocks had come up to the sedimentary rocks on the other side. You could see the mixing. It was one of the first places people started studying the differences in rocks. Charles Darwin spent time studying this formation. We rode along the coast for some time. There were some sea stacks on the beaches. We stopped at Hout Bay and Leopard Beach. We spent some time studying water coming from a tide pool on the beach. We ate lunch here. I climbed over some boulders to see the statue of the Leopard. Why they put it there I donít know. We went on to Chapmanís Peak Drive. There were some unbelievable views. We walked most of the way. You could see faults, mafic dikes, ball and pillow formations, and the nonconformity between the granite and sedimentary rocks. The professor from Cape Town made some what I considered racist comments under his breath. I thought that was interesting. For a twisty road people drive mighty fast. From there we started to make our way to the Cape. I slept most of the way there but I did see some baboons on the side of the road. The Cape was unbelievable. We first walked up to the new light house. Pictures can not do it justice. We had to make our way back quick but we could walk down a path to the actual Cape of Good Hope. Three was a path leading down to a beach, we were running out of time but I went down anyway. The waves were so rough and the sand sank over your shoe when you stepped I it. I ran on the beach and climbed on the boulders. The worst part was getting back up. First I had to get up the dunes then up the steppes. I was panting but luckily I wasnít to far behind. The Cape was the best view of them all. It rivaled the Grand Canyon. We had to go quickly if we were going to make our last stop. The last one was basically just to see penguins but that was cool. There were a ton of them. They were Jackass penguins. It was getting really late so we had to get back. We finally got back around 1830. Jen and I got something to eat on the ship. She wanted to go to this specific Internet Cafť, so I said I would go. Well we start driving in this cab, thinking it would be close. So we are riding on the freeway for about 10 minutes before we asked him how far. He said "You see those lights acrosss the bay, thatís where weíre going." It took another 15 minutes to get there. So we stop and he says "165 Rands." We almost dropped dead, we only had about 90 Rands together. So we gave him 85 and he would pick us up and we would pay him back at the ship. Needless to say the time at the Cafť was less than comfortable. Where were we going to get 250 Rands at 2100! I knew it would work out, everything dose, I couldnít get any money on the ship so we went to the Waterfront to look for an ATM. At first I couldnít get it working but some rich kids showed me how. So we got him the money and I gave him a 20 Rand tip. I will not get in a cab again without asking how much. So we met up with some friends to get some desserts. Well, I figured I might as well spend all my money. What the hell! So I split a sandwich and three bottles of wine with a couple of girls. It was all good. So we walked around for a while afterwards before going back. What an expensive day!
We woke up at 0730 to hike Table Mountain. Alyce, Jen, Jenny, Lindsey, and two other girls were going with me. We didnít really know where to go but it was OK, it wasnít hard to find. We started about ĺ of a mile down the road. We were going to take the trail up the gorge. It wasnít supposed to be hard. It was basically like walking up steppes for 2 Ĺ hours. Lindsey and I had to wait for the slow people quite a few times. You could see Robben Island and everything else. The weather was perfect. As we got to the top the Tablecloth was pouring over like a river. The view was spectacular. We sat on the edge for a while taking it in. We walked around to get it from each side and finally made our way to the cable car place. We had lost part of our group at the top but we met them here. Got a little bit to eat then called home. I figured once my Mom read my e-mail about the cab ride last night sheíd figure I got sold into slavery. I figured we would take the cable car down but they wanted to walk so we did. Going down sucked. My knees and ankle were killing me and most of us fell a couple of times too (me twice). But we made it fine but it was getting late (1530). We had wanted to stop at this flea market and we thought it closed at 1600 but it turned out to be 1700. So we walked around there for a while I got some shirts and an ostrich egg. The egg wasnít one of the nicest but I knew it was the one right away. So I got my stuff from Cape Town fairly cheep. We walked to the ship, it wasnít that far. We had dinner then Alyce, Jenny, Lindsey, and I went to the waterfront to use up our last Rands. We got 5 pieces of cake and a bottle of wine. It was fun, we all had a really good time. We met Pat, Dave, and Jimmy so we all walked back instead of getting a cab. We were on board by 2030, on ship time was 2100. We dropped our stuff in our room and came to watch the people get dock time. They would come running up and weíd all be yelling, "Donít run, youíve already got dock time! Dock time! Dock time!" It was really funny. The last thing we had was a performance by a chorus and a play. The chorus was great. Lots of singing and dancing. The play was even better. It was about Robben Island. It was funny yet moving, it had it all. Afterwards the chorus got up again and sang the national anthem. It was so moving that we made them sing it again. For their last thing we all got up to dance. We didnít really know how it went but we were all hopping up and down with our arms around each other. It was really incredible. It was a finally better than any 4th of July. As we pulled out everyone and I mean everyone was sad. Ryan, the two Kenyan students, and I talked about what we thought. I donít know what the future holds but Iím afraid Cape Town is going to burn. But Ryan is right, hope is Cape Townís future. In five years they have come farther than most but they still have a long way to go. I donít know. All I do know is that it is one of the most beautiful and powerful places on earth. On to Kenya!
Got my Geology exam back. I got an 82 which in the class average was good but I donít like to get Bís. There was an open mic today about Cape Town. People talked about gangs an if people are really know the difference between right and wrong. Evidently gangs are one of the worst problems in the townships. And when I think about it the kids were doing gang symbols with theirs hands. I didnít even think about it at the time. I guess it is just one more thing to overcome.
Nothing special today. Slept a lot, but I really needed it. I had gotten no sleep in the last week. I got a little mad that there were a lot of people in the room when I wanted to sleep. But Jimmy and I talked about it so it is all good.
Read all day. Iím very far behind in all my classes. But I got a lot done so it was a productive day.
Alyce and I won our first game in the Euchre tournament today. The guys we beat were so cocky too. We were so happy.
TBA day. Lost Euchre to people we could have beaten. Got my Geology paper written. Watch movies for the rest of the night. Saw Shakespeare in Love and Saving Private Ryan. All is good.
Had an exam in Cross Cultural Psychology. It was a hard exam, the T/F were difficulty worded and some of the terms were very obscure. The essay was the easiest part of the whole thing. The rest of the day is a blur. Iím getting too far behind.
Fairly unproductive day. The pre-port briefing was a waste of time. However, after that I met some people who are not going on safari either. I only know Tai and Margot and I know enough about Tate to know he is annoying. I donít really care who I go with just as long as we go do something. I donít want to be spend five days in Mombasa. We are meeting tomorrow after we get cleared to go look for a company. Philip, the interport student, said it shouldnít be that hard or expensive either. That would be sweet, SAS trips arenít usually that good for the money you paid.