Monday, July 19, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010 1:28 AM Cape Town Time- UCT Dorms

Today was our last day in the CIEE orientation. That means that in the morning I'll be moving into my actual dorm. I'm happy about that because I've had to live out of my suitcases for a week. It'll be nice to actually be able to unpack and settle.

Today we toured some of the different places where we can do community service. It was pretty good and the three places we went all had things I liked but some stuff struck me as strange. One person in our group had a big camera and spent the whole time taking pictures. Not that I'm against pictures but the way he did it was kind of invasive/National Geographic if you get me. I also felt weird that when we toured the TB Hospital we kind of marched through all the child wards. It felt like we were at a zoo in a way. It just made me feel weird. I also felt similarly when we went to the Christian mission. We just walked in and through the drug rehab center and the women and men's homes. It made me think about what I would've thought as a shorty in Charleston if a tour group had just stomped through our house. I don't know. It was strange.

I think I might really want to volunteer at this charter high school. The guy who spoke to us again is so real and so impressive to me. He didn't seem interested in compromising his students or putting them on display to make us Americans want to help and he made it clear that this was an example of a community doing for itself and that they did not require our help. Plus I talked to dude and he lived in Chicago for like a year. (Chicago runs the world.)

Went to the mall today and that was okay. Malls are pretty much the same. I dig American clothes better but stuff here is cheaper generally. It was interesting cause people who spoke to me did not immediately speak in English. They all tried to talk to me in I guess Zulu or Xhosa. In some ways its comforting to know that I can fit in, visually and in some ways not.  I guess it's kind of the same thing as being at Vandy in that it makes me feel separate from the whitefolks, even the ones who go to Vandy with me that are here.

We also went to a South African restaurant. Food was dope. Live band. A little dancing. All to the good.

After that we went to Long Street (Cape Town's Rush Street for the Chicagoans or 2nd Avenue for the Nashvillians). We went to two different club/bars. The first place was cool. They played house for an hour then hip-hop and switched like that. Interesting to listen to Gucci and Soulja Boy in Africa. haha. One South African girl was surprised to know that we had house music in Chicago. Frankie Knuckles would shake his head. lol.  Some of the house really sounded like juke music, which made me happy.

The last bar wasn't as good as the first but it was cool and they had a rooftop spot that was chill. On the roof I listened to two guys and a girl from South Africa freestyle in a cipher. I thought about joining in but I didn't. Probably should have. Oh well. Ciphers make me feel like I'm at home. I was content to just listen in that moment.

"I start thinking, how many souls hip-hop has affected, how many dead folks this art resurrected, how many nations this culture connected. who am i to judge ones perspective?"




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