By Terri van Iperenburg, Fourth year Social Work student at Avans Hogeschool (ASH)
Back again, but this time typing from Cape Town. Some of you must be wondering why I am in Cape Town, well because I am visiting my boyfriend for 9 days! I am soo excited to be back in the place where I lived for a month. When I got there I realised how much I’ve missed everything (not saying I don’t love George and all its glory, but just saying I love Cape Town). Being born in a ”busy” city myself (in comparison to cities in South Africa small Tilburg is nothing) I love the noises of the city and being around people and having the freedom to go places. In George, we have a car of course, but I don’t have a drivers license so that makes it a little bit more difficult to go around and visiting places a bit further away. Also, I missed the basics like the shower here and other stuff (like my boyfriend haha). What I didn’t miss was the constant unsafety in this area and the 2-minute showers (even though in George I shower shorter than I do in the Netherlands). But all in all, it’s nice to be back even if it is for nine days!
So this week there was a lot of school work to be done. I wanted to get to 20 interviews this week because then I would have collected most of the data for my thesis. I got to 15 which I am definitely proud of myself for. I got a lot of positive responses from the people who participated in my interviews. The best compliment I got was that a nurse felt like she had the control in the interview and not like the usual ”looking in the eye forced” interview where you feel like the other person has the control. She sais she felt she could talk to me about everything and that made her feel a lot better. There were also a lot of rejections this week because of busy days and just not wanting to participate, which gave me insight in to how well I respond to that. I hate being rejected normally, but here I felt like it was okay, because I achieved quite a lot already in the circumstances I am in right now.
On Friday (6 in the morning) me, Charlotte and Lieselot went to Cape Town by bus. In the Netherlands you can travel from the top part to the bottom part in about 4 hours. Travelling here from George to Cape Town took us about 6 hours so then you know what a difference that can be. I am glad I went on holidays where we had to drive for more than 10 hours so I felt comfortable. Listened to some music, watched some Netflix things and slept a little. I surprised Pepijn by coming to his house a few hours sooner than I said (I said I was going to arrive there at 8 in the evening by myself) but I thought it would be more fun to travel with Charlotte and Lieselot. So I was 7 hours early and he couldn’t proces me being there for about an hour haha.
This weekend I had a lot of fun with everyone here. Friday evening I went out with Pepijn to eat sushi in Observatory (which is an amazing area in Cape Town with a lot of restaurant and fun stores) and afterwards he took me to a cafe where we played pool and drank some beers. It was a fun evening. The day after we went to a theatre/dance show in Baxter theatre (beautiful building!) with Lizzie and Pepijn. The show is called ”Every Year, Every Day, I am Walking”. The play was about dislocation and what home means to a person. It follows a young girl who loses family and her home and is forced to go on a journey with her mother. Her home was brutally taken away from her and the journey was very hard, because she had to move from place to place, while she wanted to settle and build a home again. The play was spoken in French and English which made it very interesting for me because I had to focus very hard on the movements and surroundings in the scenes were French was spoken mainly. I loved the connection between the two women who played and the way the interacted with each other. The dancing and moving was amazing, and the ending was very emotional ending with a powerfull monologue and interaction in the end between mother and daughter. I think I can say it was the best play I have seen so far in my life and was soo gratefull I was able to go.
Yesterday I went to Robben Island with Pepijn at 11 for a tour of 4 hours. We first went on a boat. It started to rain and big waves, but still, the ocean was beautiful and I enjoyed the boat ride there. When we arrived we drove around in a bus with a tour guide who explained the important spots (because damn it is big over there). I was touched by the story about a man called Robert Sobukwe who was put on Robben Island after provoking a large protest. He lived in exile for a lot of years until his body couldn’t take the depression anymore. He was then transferred again to the mainland (because if he would die on the Island that would make him even more famous which the government then didn’t want) and he died there alone. Such a sad story that shows how difficult times were then. What struck me was that you realise when you stand on that Island that Apartheid isn’t even that long ago and still happens in other countries. It is such a weird thing for me that people can still act like that to each other and I got emotional seeing the beauty of the Island against the stories of the conditions there.
After a lot of time to think on the boat we decided to walk around V&A Waterfront and went home after a long, but interesting day!
This week I will be working on school a lot hopefully but also switching things up by enjoying Cape Town with everyone whilst I am here.
Follow Terri’s Big Adventure