South Africa

Cape Town to Khayelitsha


Tomorrow we move out of our posh, cozy guest house at Hillcrest Manor and prepare to move into Khayelitsha. Nervousness and excitement are blending together for me today. Change can be so scary when you’re uncertain of what comes on the other side. I did know this experience came with many changes and phases of adjustment and we are currently preparing for the largest change since we arrived on South African soil.

In this case, there are a few things I do know. I know my internship placement, I will be working for the Rape Crisis Center in Cape Town, Khayelitsha. I’m not sure what I will be doing there, but I’m sure it will be fairly demanding perhaps emotionally as well as academically. I hope to be helpful to the organization in whatever way they need it as I hope to learn from the time I spend with them.

I also know a little bit about where I will be living when I’m in the township. My roommate, Laurel, in the B&B here will be living with me in Khayelitsha as well. This is perfect as we’re getting along great.

The leaders of the trip tell me my family is wonderful. The two words repeated most often are “nice” and “energetic,” which are both words I’m thrilled to hear regarding a family I’ll be staying with for two months.

There are few things I do not know, that I will learn when I arrive. I’m not sure what my home will look like nor do I know exactly where it is located. I’ve spent some time researching townships in Cape Town and one thing they have in common is a lack of commonality. True, many townships were built up piecemeal with materials found and thought to be helpful to building a home safe from the elements. However, the structure of building and the manner in which they’re built all seem to vary wildly.

I’m very much looking forward to the next chapter in this country. There are distinct elements to explore here, cultures and groups of people separated by intentional space and time. I’m so curious to head to live another piece of this complex puzzle. Also, to be completely candid, there’s an energy about this city, Cape Town, that I can’t quite describe. There’s a buzz in the city, a business, but somewhat self-aware. I must be very aware not to get swept up in it’s vibe, I’m afraid I’ll never want to return home.

Talk soon


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