Today was our second full day in Cape Town. The day started by waking up VERY early at 6 AM to ensure we wouldn’t miss the 9 AM ferry to Robben Island. The 45 minute boat ride to Robben Island was a beautiful sight. We had an amazing view of Cape Town and even saw a few dolphins! We toured the island by bus before seeing the prison. Our tour guide interestingly was a former Robben Island prisoner named Jama Mbatyoti. During class last semester, we learned that Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years incarcerated on the island. Today, we got a chance to see the cell where Mandela essentially lived for nearly two decades. It was a very small single cell with a little table and floor mat for sleeping. Touring the prison was emotionally heavy, such brutality and inhumanity.
After Robben Island we returned back to Cape Town and went to Signal Hill for lunch. Historically, the hill has been used as a look out by occupying troops in order to warn of enemies approaching. It was very windy and cold at the top of the hill, but the panoramic view and ice cream made up for it!
In the afternoon we visited the District 6 Museum. The District 6 Museum is dedicated to the multi-racial families whose homes were unfairly bulldozed in the 70’s by the apartheid government, to make space for white communities. Before arriving to the museum we read a short memoir of one of the founders of the museum and an original occupant of District 6, Noor Ebrahim. Noor was our tour guide. It was extra special because we got to personally understand and hear what he experienced and what he went through.
In the evening we visited the Bo Kaap neighborhood of Cape Town. Bo Kaap is the main neighborhood for the multi-ethnic Muslim community. The buildings in Bo Kaap were pastel colored and very unique. We had the pleasure of being hosted at a Malay family’s home in Bo Kaap for dinner. The family was very kind and welcoming. The matriarch of the family taught us how to cook a traditional meal of samosas, roti, and chili bites. We ate the entire meal with our hands, and it was a group favorite! Before heading back to our hotel we were given a handmade cookbook with the recipes we made to share with our families!
Overall, today was a great day and we are excited for what the weekend has in store! Tomorrow we will be doing an overnight stay at a guest house in the black township of Khayelitscha. Sorry but we won’t have WIFI, so stay tuned for our next post on Sunday evening!
Izzy, Lydia, and Ty
Shout outs to parents:
I’m having so much fun! Miss you! -Izzy
I miss you guys so much! Don’t worry I’ve been eating well. -Ty
Miss you guys! Can’t wait to sleep for a full week when I get back! -Lydia