Wednesday 20 July 2016


So after three flights and a very suspicious looking airport, 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 and children who are victims of domestic violence and substance abuse. 

I had the first few days to settle into my new home and learn my way around.  My house mates are from all over the world, mainly studying medicine, 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,  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/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.  There is a stunning view of table mountain at the end of my street. 

I was taken on a tour of an informal settlement area, which is where people who are struck hardest by the extreme poverty live.  Although we gave them money in return for our visit, there was something unsettling about going to look at their area as if it were a tourist attraction.  For me that was not the intention at all.  I had only ever seen photos and online media 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 many less fortunate people living in shocking and heart wrenching conditions and I think it is important to acknowledge that.

Witnessing the conditions that innocent families are living in was incomparable to seeing it through a screen.  I was brought to tears by what I saw.  We were 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 a link between money and loss of compassion. Why does that happen?

So far, here has made me aware that back home I have been caught up in a consumerist society and the constant advertisements of huge corporations brain washing myself and every other member of society and beginning 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.



  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

    1. Hey, thank you for reading! I applied for it through, 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

  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


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