Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekend of 11/12 June 2011

Another Weekend in Cape Town:

Saturday: We started with class on Saturday morning and enjoyed bringing our experiences in to the classroom. For example, our discussion of cultural haptics was helped by discussing the practices here amongst “our children” at Salesians. We moved on from class to the AGM of Zip Zap and were interested hear their plans for the future, including a new circus school in another area of S Africa lead by, Lionel, a former Zip Zap member who is now a school teacher. Also, we discovered that Zip Zap pays all its bills as it goes along but still needs to set up a fund for building a permanent home. They will be moving from their current home soon because it is being developed into a car park – interesting idea, which is more important I wonder! It was our intention to see the Castle and the Slave Museum but as we walked we came across a street market and there was much shopping for presents. Our carry-on baggage also increased with the purchase buy FelEsia and Lauren of a drum each! Eventually we made it to the Slave Museum which was superbly interesting with information about slavery in Africa for over 5000 years. Also, there was a huge exhibit of Mandela’s life and, upstairs, a whole floor dedicated to colonial life.

Meanwhile what of our tickets to the Stommers (Cape Town) and Bulls (Johannesburg) rugby match? Of course I gave one to Alex, as he is the only one of us who plays, and the second we put names in a hat and Natasha of Zip Zap picked a lucky winner, Cassie.

We fell exhausted into bed so we could be up early on our trip to Cape Point.

Sunday: Cape Point trip. I am sure that the students will write more but we had the most amazing day with a fabulous guide who was born in Zambia when it was still Northern Rhodesia and has a Masters degree in Anthropology. To start with we went to Houts Bay and took a boat trip to see the fur seals at Seal Island. This was truly magical, the wind in our hair, the pure air and the seals – wow! What could surpass that experience? For me nothing in the rest of the day but the rest of the day was so amazing that it only shows how much I enjoyed the boat trip! After a little souvenir shopping we were off to Cape Point, the tip of Africa. Although john told us that in reality we couldn’t see the Indian Ocean one side and the Atlantic the other it made no difference to our excitement. The flora is amazing and very diverse. On the way he told me that he hadn’t seen baboons recently, they are native to the Cape Point reserve but as we drove alone passed the Ostrich farm there was a whole troop! So we were out of the bus at top speed to take photos of baboons amongst the ostriches. On entering the reserve itself we can across two types of antelope and wild ostriches immediately. Then eland, the largest antelope in Africa. When we stopped at Cape Point Trisha found Dasies – the smallest relative of the elephant and looking like a groundhog! Little Black Lizards abounded as we walked around the lighthouse. Many of us rode the funicular railway up to the lighthouse, took me back to my childhood.

Then off to see the penguins on the beach at Simonstown. However, on our way we came across another troop of baboons. They had babies riding on their backs and frolicking in the sun. The alpha males are very large and have very large teeth; John made us stay in the buss to take photos but he put a banana on the dashboard so that the baboons would jump onto the bus and we could take photos. Trisha has a close up of those teeth! The penguins had chicks at various stages of development from eggs to large birds already losing their down. What a splendid experience! We were all tired and happy by then but a last stop at Kirstenbosh Botanical gardens revived us. Over 1000acres the garden has huge collections of Cape flora. They were delightful, peaceful and a fitting end to a magnificent day.

13th June 2010
Cassie and Alex spoke on Cape Talk Radio about our study abroad experience and how they enjoyed the rugby.  Trisha taught a class all by herself, as did Lauren and Rohaise!

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