Archive | April, 2012

My Friends, The Animals

9 Apr

A couple of weeks ago, I was riding the Jammie bus (UCT’s shuttle service for students, staff, and faculty) from the main campus back into the City Bowl where I reside. Our commute takes us onto two of the busiest highways in Cape Town (the M3 and the N2) at the height of rush hour. While the Jammie slowly worked its way down the highway, carrying the very heavy load of about 70 students, I looked up from my book and gazed up the side of Devil’s Peak, the mountain that flanks our ride into Cape Town proper. And there, right at the side of the very busy N2, a herd of Cape Zebras were grazing on the side of the mountain! No big deal; just another traffic jam in South Africa. Also living around the mountains here are baboons and a leopard species. And if you go a little further down the cape peninsula, you will see… Penguins! A couple of weekends ago, I made plans with some friends (fellow Rotary scholar Rachel from D.C. and her husband, Jeff) to attend a Afro-infused jazz festival in Muizenberg, a suburb of Cape Town renowned for its beaches on the Indian Ocean. We boarded the train in the City Centre around 10 am. One very short hour later, we were in Muizenberg, but after exchanging brief glances, we decided to stay on the train, letting it take us to the colony of Cape penguins that live in Simon’s Town. After taking the train, boarding a bus, and walking nearly a mile, we reached the national park on the shores of the Indian Ocean that is home to the most adorable group of little birds you’ll ever see. Check it out!

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Simon’s Town was a very interesting place to visit. It is a quaint community at the far end of the rail line, home to the South African Navy. For those of you familiar with District 5580 and Minnesota, it reminded me a lot of Duluth. Many small, independently owned shops, art galleries, museums, not to mention being hugged by one massive body of water and a high (very high in the case of Simon’s Town) hill. Small towns and villages pepper the Cape Peninsula, making it easy for a person like me living in the heart of the city to get a taste of some “rural” living without traveling so far. The camp I chaperoned was just up the road from Simon’s Town, in the community of Glencairn. Having been raised in a very small town, I am eager to visit rural areas throughout South Africa.