Home, etc

“It feels like home to me

Home has so many meanings, so many connotations. I’ve been here in Stellenbosch for only one week — one week and about 8.5 hours. I feel like this place, in that amount of time, has become a home of sorts. Sometimes I think it has been too easy to adapt, like it must be too similar to my American homes if I am not challenged with adaptation here. I question whether Ghana or Morocco would have been more exotic, more foreign. Then I find myself looking for the even more subtle differences between this culture and my own, and it makes for great critical thinking… and even better fodder for my writing. 

These basketball players from Kayamandi High School are here talking to us, and their accents are so thick, so beautiful. His english is purposeful, but competent – beyond competent. His smile is unending.

The room explodes into applause and laughter at each thing the boys say. There’s a hum about the room — an excitement. That is the Africa we’re all looking for, the experience we wanted — the black, native, culturally different in explicit ways. 

The University, any University, is a community of (typically – demographically speaking) upper-class, typically white people.

So maybe studying somewhere isn’t what I’m looking for. I’m looking for the culture outside the University. I’m familiar with University settings. Here, though, it feels like i’m at the freaking epicenter of this country’s wealthy. In the states, university is not just common, it’s expected. That’s not to say it’s perfect or all-inclusive; there most certainly isn’t enough access to it even there, but here – it’s special. There’s an air here of understanding the privilege of being in school. It’s not humbling – it’s understanding truth. 

It is my goal to find ways to step outside the university setting. I want to experience the diversity in cultures here, the beauty of the differences in people, in lives. I want to walk away from this experience knowing Stellenbosch… not just Stellenbosch University.


On my list of Wants:

  • I want to visit the Oprah school
  • I want to see the Zulu tribes. I want to meet the people, not just see stuff on safari.
  • I want to, in general, see Kwazulu-Natal
Published in: on January 29, 2007 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  


I ❤ the campus. “Quaint” is the perfect word describe it.

Afrikaans is a Creole language.

I feel like I’m at camp, and those first days of forced bonding are always the most terrifying… a lot of people seem to have come together, with at least one other person. I seem to be slightly petrified at the thought that I won’t make friends. Apparently, it really is camp… and I’m 10… 🙂 I should explore why I have deep-rooted fear that I won’t make friends… it’s probably some major psychological thing with me… haha

Speaking of crazy – my roommate, whom I havent met yet, has like 8000 prescriptions. Kind of terrifying. I’d rather not have some unstable crazy living with me…. That’s so… judgmental… and now you’re wondering how i know that she has so many prescriptions. well, it started when i opened the door of the fridge and saw some in there. and continued when i stuck my head in her room to see if she was moved in, see if she was THERE… (it really did start innocent!). then, out of the corner of my eye, i started seeing the prescription bottles… one after another… that’s about when the “oh goodness” started.

So I took a shower, er, attempted to tak ea shower, and I basically flooded the place (not really exaggerating). The showerhead comes off, but it doesn’t have one place to actually stay while you shower. So essentially, you HAVE to take it down to shower… and imagine trying to wash your hair… (needing both hands normally) and your body… while having to maneuver the shower head during all this…

it was special.

Adventures. I love it.

Welcome to South Africa, self.


Published in: on January 23, 2007 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment