First Week of Classes

I made it through the first week of class! It was pretty hard getting back into reading cases, especially when it’s been nice out. My classes seem really interesting, though – I’m taking International Law on Disputes and the Use of Force, and International Protection of Women’s Human Rights, which is taught by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Rashida Manjoo. All my classes take place in the afternoon, so I have the mornings to train for the Cape Town 10K race (and to maybe do those readings I keep putting off).

This past Thursday, July 18, was Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday. To celebrate Mandela Day, individuals are asked to volunteer 67 minutes of their time. The number 67 signifies the number of years Mandela spent fighting for social justice. For my 67 minutes, I went to Walter Teka Primary school in one of the townships, Nyanga, in Cape Town.

Two students at Walter Teka

Two students at Walter Teka

We had the option of painting, building a fence, picking up trash, or playing with the kids, so I obviously chose to play with the kids. I had brought my camera with me, and the kids here loved it. They all want photos taken of them, and would run after every person with a camera asking for their photo.

Students mobbing another camera

Students mobbing another camera

Crowding to get into the photo

Crowding to get into the photo

It was a lot of fun to see the kids’ personalities and to run around with them. They were all really hyperactive kids though, so by the time the 67 minutes was up, I was ready for a break!

Lining up to have lunch as we left

Lining up to have lunch as we left

On Friday, the weather wasn’t so nice, so my housemates and I went to the mall. There is no way I’m going to be able to fit everything back to bring to Canada. Everything is so cheap!

Key mall purchase - Jenga

Key mall purchase – Jenga

On Saturday, Thea and I went to Old Biscuit Mill, a market in a neighbouring suburb. There was so much amazing food, crafts, and clothing. Unfortunately, something Thea and I ate didn’t agree with us, so we’ve been down with food poisoning since last night. On the bright side, our symptoms didn’t show up until later on in the evening Sunday night, so at least we were able to enjoy the good weather on Sunday! Good thing I packed gravol!

Old Biscuit Mill

Old Biscuit Mill

On Sunday, Dan, Hannah, Caroline and myself went to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, which is located at the eastern slope of Table Mountain. Since it’s winter, most of the flowers weren’t blooming yet, but it was still beautiful to walk around.

Dan, Hannah, Caroline, and myself entering Kirstenbosch

Dan, Hannah, Caroline, and myself entering Kirstenbosch

Myself and a cycad plant. Cycads have remained relatively unchanged since the Jurassic era. Dino food!

Myself and a cycad plant. Cycads have remained relatively unchanged since the Jurassic era. Dino food!

Hummingbird having a snack

Hummingbird having a snack

Climbing a tree in the gardens

Climbing a tree in the gardens

After we finished up at the gardens, we went back home to meet up with Julia, Sofia, and Sofia’s boyfriend Grant, who is local to Cape Town. He took us out to Table View, which is where you find the typical tourist photo of Table Mountain.

Most of Highfield House at Table View

Most of Highfield House at Table View

Outside The Blue Peter with Table Mountain in the background

Outside The Blue Peter with Table Mountain in the background

We were able to walk along the beach and then watch the sunset at The Blue Peter, a really cool bar/restaurant where you can sit outside on the grass to eat and drink. It was so packed! Table View has a pretty big surfing community, so it was a really chill place to just hang out and have a beer.

Sofia, Dan, and me having a drink on the law of The Blue Peter

Sofia, Dan, and me having a drink on the law of The Blue Peter

Sunset at the Blue Peter

Sunset at the Blue Peter

Winter sunset in Cape Town

Winter sunset in Cape Town

I think I’m just about over my bout of food poisoning though, so I should go do my readings! That’s all for now!

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