It’s funny that the prompt for this week is “the future from here”. At work this week, I wrote up a report on what the state of factory and other related jobs will be in the future. The research I did was quite depressing. Millions of jobs are expected to be replaced by automation and new technology (specifically AI) within the next couple of decades. This is of special concern to the clothing and textile workers’ union that I am working for. It seems like the union has very little chance of surviving the fourth industrial revolution.
Aside from that upsetting news, my time here in Cape Town has been going well. I think I’m discovering things about myself that I normally wouldn’t think about back home. Escaping my social atmospheric bubble that I’ve become so accustomed to, both in Raleigh and in Durham, has given me the chance to embrace new people that I wouldn’t normally have the chance to interact with. It’s weird for me to be out of the US for so long, away from my family and best friends, and especially from my native North Carolina. What I would do for some Bojangles’ sweet tea!
Continuing with the prompt, I have a couple goals for the future from here. The first is to cut my spending. It’s been hard for me to adjust to living without an income and having to budget my spending within the constraints of my stipend. I’ve started eating breakfast at our guesthouse and going to a more affordable market for lunch. I also would like to finish the book I started at the beginning of the trip. I’ve been so caught up with all our preplanned activities and events that I put off reading. Still, I think this book is best read slowly over an extended time. I might not be reading it right now, but I’ve been thinking about its ideas a lot.
As for what I’ve been up to, we went to Robben Island this week. I was surprised by the size of the island, it’s nothing like Alcatraz. It was weird to see Robben Island from the mainland and think that Mandela had once been out there in the distance. Seeing Mandela’s cell and former prison of eighteen years was not nearly as much of an emotional experience as I had expected it to be. Perhaps this is because after over a month here I’ve become desensitized to South Africa’s history. So with that, final goal for the future from here: get more engaged in the work I’m doing, experiences I’m having, and the memories I’m making.
Lastly, now that my parents are reading, I promise to call home more!