I’ve finally arrived. After 4 long days running through airports and a whirlwind 2 day swing through London, I have made it in to Cape Town. I’ll be living and working here for the next 3 months (through the end of August), and am starting to branch out and explore this new place called home. For the next three months I’ll be working with the Desmond Tutu TB Center on an epidemiology project tracking the impact that tuberculosis and HIV jointly (called co-infection) are having on the populations in the townships of the region. I’ll spend time in the townships of Mzamomhle, Nyanga, Delft South, Nolungile (also known as Site C, Khayelitsha),Kuyasa (also known as Harare, Khayelitsha), Wallacedene, Kayamandi (near Stellenbosch in the west Coast Winelands subdistrict), Mbekweni and Phola Park. These should be some really different areas, and I’m excited for the chance to experience them all. South Africa is an amazingly diverse place, with 14 official languages and a host of different cultural influences. It’s so easy to get caught up in the Western European feel of central (and wealthy) Cape Town, so I’m very glad to get the chance to work in these other areas every day to get a feel for what the real Cape Town experience is like for the majority of the population here.
After living in Cape Town last year, I am actually reasonably familiar with many of the main attractions of this rather developed and touristy city. However, before I was staying in an English suburb called Rondebosch, a rather well-to-do area near the foot of Table Mountain, the dominating lone mountain that presides over all of the Cape Town landscape. This time however, I’m staying in Bellville, an Afrikaans area which is quite different. Ironically, I’ve had little use for the Xhosa that I’ve been trying to learn over the past 3 months, as most people speak either Afrikaans, English or Sutu. However, I’m sure I’ll get the chance as I branch out a little further during my stay. Anyway, enough with the travel essay for now. Most of you are here for the pictures…so here we go.
First a few from London. See if you can recognize any of the landmarks:
Next a group from Cape Town. These are a group from the waterfront area and Kamps Bay, one of my favorite beach areas, with the Atlantic on one side and Table Mountain on the other.