Wednesday, 20 July 2016

MOVING TO CAPE TOWN

So this week after three flights I finally arrived in Cape Town.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have an internship here to do legal aid work to help women who are victims of domestic violence and substance abuse. 






I'm finally finding time to sit and reflect on my time here so far.

I had the first few days to settle into my new home and learn my way around the area.
My house mates are from all over the world, mainly studying medicine and are also volunteering for various initiatives around Cape Town. I am very glad that I got the chance to speak to some of the girls that have already been here for longer than I have early on as they've taught me so much and given me so many tips. 

Speaking to them I realised that I had completely underestimated the crime rate in Cape Town. Having grown up in Scotland it felt almost strange to be told not to take a 60 second walk home in the dark, however I learnt that there have been interns in the area who had been threatened to hand over their belongings by gang members armed with guns or knives. I felt extremely naive after hearing this.

Otherwise, the city is breathtakingly beautiful and unique and I consider myself very lucky to be able to experience living here. 

We were also taken on a tour of an informal settlement area which is where people who are struck hardest by the extreme poverty reside. Although we gave them money in return for us being shown around, there was something unsettling about going to look at their area as if it were a tourist attraction. For us that was not the intention at all. I had only ever seen photos and read online about the townships and I knew that whilst I was here I wanted to fully experience the city in all of its reality. I can see how it may be easy to take a holiday here and convince yourself that this is a luxury destination, which it can be, but there are definitely less fortunate people living in shocking and heart wrenching situations and I think it is important to acknowledge that.

Witnessing the conditions that innocent people are living in was incomparable to seeing it through a screen. I was blown away and brought to tears by what I saw.  We told about how those living in wealthy mansions just across the road were complaining that the township residents were creating too much noise and were waking their horses in the night. It really made me consider the link between money and loss of compassion. 

Being here has really made me realise that back home in the UK I have been caught up in a consumerist society and the constant advertisements that huge corporations brain wash us with that begin to make people believe that they need material things in order to look or feel better when in fact it is the opposite. 

As it is currently winter here the weather has not been great but I will post an update again next week about my work and everything else that I am experiencing. Until then I hope you have enjoyed reading and here are a few photos from my first few days.

SHARE:

3 comments

  1. This sounds like a truly amazing opportunity! How did you go about getting the internship if you don't mind me asking? Going abroad for a few weeks to do something so worthwhile sounds so rewarding, hope you have an amazing time x
    www.sophieblxck.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, thank you for reading! I applied for it through http://www.africanimpact.com, they have many different types of internships and help you with pretty much everything like accommodation, meals and transport etc! if you have any other questions just let me know!! :) x

      Delete
  2. Visiting poorer areas must make you really appreciate things! Sounds like you are having an amazing time! Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip xx

    ReplyDelete

© EMMA RENATA. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig