Though we have spent just one week in South Africa, our group has been able to participate in so many fun activities! After our first day of IES orientation and exploration of Langa (a local township) we headed off for a three day trip along the “Garden Route”. (The Garden Route is a gorgeous strip of highway along the southern coast of South Africa.) As we drove along the coast of the Indian Ocean we were able to participate in a variety of activities, from riding ostriches and elephants, to exploring the Cango Caves, and kayaking in National Wildlife Refuges, to doing the world’s highest bungee jump. We were able to do things that we had never dreamed of, and see landscapes that you would find in a National Geographic magazine.
This morning we were able to explore Robben Island, and gain invaluable insight into the history of South Africa. It was deeply moving to see the places where so many historical figures were imprisoned for years of their lives. We were also able to gain firsthand insight into the struggles of political activists during the Apartheid era as our tour guide was one of the many men who was imprisoned in the wards. After our morning at Robben Island, we met in our classroom at the Children’s Hospital, and though we were not able to tour much of the facility, it was quite clear that things are run much differently than they are in the States. I cannot wait to explore the facilities and get to know the patients, nurses and doctors a little better.
We have been going non-stop since we arrived in South Africa, and we have already been able to experience so much! Though we have all thoroughly enjoyed the activities that we have been able to participate in, the general consensus of our group is that we are ready to establish a consistent routine and settle into the everyday living of the Capetonians. Though we have seen so much, it is still hard to comprehend the fact that we are in South Africa. It really has not sunk in quite yet… but if riding on the back of an elephant being chased by baboons, driving by zebras on the side of the road in Cape Town, gazing in Nelson Mandela’s prison cell, and being chased by African children in the streets of the local townships has not done it, I can hardly imagine what will.
More Blogs From This Author
<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Emily Glasscock is a sophomore who is studying nursing at Auburn University. She loves to participate in a variety of activities, from backpacking, kayaking, and mountain biking to photography and designing handmade jewelry. In the time that she spends in South Africa, she hopes to soak in a lot of first-hand knowledge that will give her experience and insight into the difficulties developing nations face in the field of healthcare. She knows that her time abroad will be invaluable and thus she cannot wait to share a bit of her experiences with you!</span></div>