Monday, June 18, 2012

Second Week

So last Tuesday we went to a rugby game! South Africa vs. England. In the Cape Town Stadium! I think I get why nobody (except the U.S.) is really into American football. Rugby is kind of the way more intense version of it.

June 16th was Youth Day in SA. It’s a national holiday that commemorates the black students that fought, and were killed, for their education. In 1976, students were peacefully protesting against being taught only in Afrikaans, the prominent language of white people (South Africa currently has 11 official languages).

There was a big assembly at school on Friday, where Youth Day was celebrated.  Students spoke, danced, sang, acted, and performed. It was so much fun to watch! They are all so talented and creative, it made me so happy.


On Saturday, we went to Boulders Beach (where the penguins are!), Cape Point, and Cape of Good Hope. It was SO beautiful, words may not do it justice. 

In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature, he writes, “Standing on the bare ground -- my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space -- all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all…” 

Nature is so important. I started to actually appreciate it when we went the Grand Canyon last year. You just realize how small and insignificant you are compared to the whole world, but you also feel some sort of connectivity with everything. And you feel important, and free. And you could let the absurdity and nonsense and wonderfulness of the universe ripple through you and you just feel content, with everything:


On Sunday, we went to Robben Island. It was a frigid, cloudy day, but I think the weather suited the outing perfectly. It was so chilling. 

An ex-prisoner was our tour guide, and I was absolutely in awe of the way he spoke and carried himself. He bore no grudges, he just wanted to educate us.

We saw Nelson Mandela’s cell, and I can’t even tell you - how can someone spend 18 years in that small room, and come out so steadfast on a plight to overcome Apartheid? It would be so easy to just hate the world, not try to change it. 

One person asked the tour guide what he did wrong to end up imprisoned. The tour guide said, “No, no, no, it was what I did right.” 


I am in love love love with this place, with the diversity, with the people. I can’t believe how fast time is going. I was on the train this morning and I kept thinking about how much I’m going to miss it, how much I’ve learned already. I mean, I know it's only been two weeks, but I get attached to everything - sometimes, I feel bad throwing away my contacts because they've seen so much. Maybe adulthood means learning that things are transitory, and embracing the present moment. 

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