Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010, 11:33 PM Cape Town Time- My Dorm (LBG)

Hmmm. Today was decent. Made it to my African Poetry Seminar. It was decent. He talked about oral literature and how it was prevalent in the African tradition and informed the African poets. I was actually pretty thrilled because he talked about American Rap and Jamaican dub poetry and how they borrow from and use the same elements. Needless to say it had a brother feeling all Diasporic and what not. haha.

On that subject I talked to a friend of mine and she had an idea about doing some type of forum here at UCT where African and Black American students could kind of get together and discuss the misconceptions, similarities, and differences we have. Basically we want to figure out a way to make all these smaller conversations we've been having bigger and more productive. We drew up a plan for it tonight so hopefully we'll be able to do that. She has a meeting with someone involved with the Centre for African Studies tomorrow where she's gonna present our ideas and see if we can make it all work.

Today we also had a session to prepare for working with Young in Prison. It was decent, mostly instructional about what not to wear (for women) and dos and don'ts type of stuff. I'm excited to go and work there and see how it is.  The place where I'll be working is less of a prison and more of a boys' home for young offenders without a stable home to go back to.

We also had an expectations workshop for volunteering with everybody in my study abroad group. That was kind of frustrating. I understand the "comfort" of the folks in my group to all be back together with other folks from the state and being in a room where they're the majority (haha) but some stuff they say is just ridiculous. At one point we were talking about our expectations and I heard the word ghetto tossed around one too many times in jest. Also ambitions to "take pictures with cute African babies" and such were expressed. I guess it's cool kind of since it was closed company but it just annoyed me. I just hope that those same kids are actually engaging with people other than Americans and learning to deal with people as people. Too often being a constant majority (by actual number, influence, or both) makes people feel (consciously or unconsciously) like they don't have to deal with the Other. I don't think that's a good way to live life.

"rejected by the black, not accepted by the white world"




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