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Sunday, July 8th.

After a series of flights from Kochi to Dubai and Dubai to Cape Town, we finally landed, met Tilda our GVI base manager here, and had burgers for dinner (at a place that reminded me a lot of Austin). Today on our way back from the airport we saw Table Mountain (along with Signal Hill and Devil’s Peak) as well as toured Observatory containing Paragon, the place we’re staying this week. At dinner Tilda gave us a run-down of our projects and we introduced ourselves to her, and then after returning to Paragon we went over risk assessments (like we did in Kochi) and ended the night there. Excited to begin new project work tomorrow!

Monday, July 9th.

Today was amazing. It always feels so exhilarating on our first day in a completely new country, and today was more than I could have ever expected. We began with Tilda’s presentation on our project and GVI Cape Town on the conference room / gym on the eighth floor (we all live on the fifth), and left for project site (Solution Space in Philippi township, where we split into 3 groups to work on business/research, marketing/social media, and planning for seminars). Anne and I are working on the social media marketing team, which is so fascinating—essentially we’re uploading and scheduling existing content for Solution Space as well as seeing what could be improved on their social media (as well as adding captions to videos, and helping with Demo Day on Saturday). After learning about our project and having a presentation from Riyad, we had lunch made and delivered in (reminiscent of Ancy) and then met with Blax and Space from Estratweni Mobile Foods (who are coming to Texas!). We played some games and team building activities with them, and then they told us about their business story and gave us an interesting perspective into business within a township. They spoke about how they’ve built their business from 200 rand and all the sacrifices they’ve made for the sake of their friendship and business. I found it so inspiring that they’ve chosen to remain in the township of Philippi to serve as role models for kids there, and how they remain so incredibly humble and caring for others’ dreams and wishes. After learning from them, we had some free time in the afternoon, and then went out for dinner and walked around the Waterfront. Very excited for what the rest of this week holds, and for the rest of our friends to arrive (the 3 of us on later flights)!

Tuesday, July 10th.

We began today back at project site (working more on adding subtitles to videos and collating content from Riyad and Cherise (company founders)), had lunch from Dila, worked some more, and then got picked up by Ila and Grace (we’re all finally here!!) before we headed to Langa township for a tour there by MC (what a character). He started us at an arts/crafts shop and factory, where we saw pottery, hand-woven bracelets, and sand paintings (and drums and marimbas!!). After this was a tour of a music on the dompas (which gave such an interesting perspective into the history of Apartheid and made it so much more powerful that we were standing in Langa which had a big role in the revolution) as well as walking around the township—we saw smilie (which is sheep’s head where the skin is stretched to look like the sheep is smiling), walked around a hostel (where 3 families to a room and 3 rooms to a hostel with a very small kitchen and common area—gives an eye-opening perspective into life in different areas and classes of the township and how close and tight-knit the community is within the townships). We ended with a short visit to MC’s house and seeing his daughter and siblings, and then travel back to Paragon. Ended the night with a sushi dinner, most of us watching the World Cup, and relaxing and sharing photos with Anne Aleah and Grace. Excited for all of us to go to project site tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 11th.

Today was more work at project, and then a walking tour around Cape Town (more related to colonialism and expansion of the city this time—very interesting to see the ins/outs of travel and the spice trade (many people from Cochin arrived in CT, van Cochin) as well as see the significance of landmarks (and art with the sad lions and happy babies). I find it very fascinating that we traveled from Kochi to CT and followed a major spice route, and that Vasco de Gama visited and conquered both areas we’ve visited this summer. At the end of the tour was a visit to Company Gardens (rivaling Duke Gardens in beauty but with quite noisy birds) but before the tour itself was some shopping at Green Market Square (turns out haggling works here too). Ended the night with Mexican food for dinner and then crashing from jet lag.

Thursday, July 12th.

We began the day back at project site, where Anne and I finished essentially all of the assigned work (and listened to some tunes). After a lunch break was a learner’s lunch at the downtown CT GSB campus with Kurt April (who is a professor at Duke! He talked about the importance of different types of intelligences, different definitions of success, job prospects and business knowledge, etc.). After this was some free time (after touring the Waterfront to get Cinnabon and watch some marimbists), and then watching the movie Invictus while eating takeout (butternut squash with samp—samp and pap are traditional foods here with samp being maize + beans and pap being primarily maize). Ended the night relaxing and exhausted from jet lag again. Excited to complete more project work tomorrow and get feedback!

Friday, July 13th.

Today we began again at project site, where all of the groups finished our work and began preparing for Demo Day tomorrow. Afterwards we went to Sibu’s music recording and production studio (which has multiple marimbas!) to see his work and efforts through the Philippi Music Project. We next went to a District 6 museum, where our tour guide Noor talked about his life during/after apartheid, the townships and housing situation, and his culture and family throughout the years. After touring the museum we relaxed at the apartments for a while, and then went for dinner (pizza, burgers, salad, etc). Excited for (hopefully) Table Mountain tomorrow!!


Want to see more photos? Here is a link to our updated Google Photos album for our Kochi / Cape Town journey: