After a day and a half of traveling, I finally arrived in Cape Town, South Africa on June 18th at 10am. This is my first time out of the country. I flew from D.C to London, and then from London to Cape Town, South Africa. I had a day layover in London, so I visited my friend whose study abroad was coming to an end. We went to lunch, and walked around a little. It was a good time, I would have liked to have more time to see touristy things like Big Ben or Buckingham Palace but I’ll save that for another day. I caught the “tube” by myself and it was an experience. I was so nervous because everyone had warned me about being pickpocketed, so I was extra vigilant walking through the city and on the train. I did not get pickpocketed.
Fast forward to arriving in Cape Town after the 11 hour flight; I go through passport control and everything is fine. I meet a few girls who I’d been chatting with months before the program start date, just so I could find some people to get comfortable with because your cohort mates can make or break your experience. We see people holding our program sign, we leave the airport, and get to where we will be staying. It looked nothing how I had pictured it to be. My version of a college town, and their version of a college town are completely different to say the least. To my surprise, there is a McDonald’s and KFC two minutes away from my dorm which is very convenient. I was definitely shocked by how Americanized the area was.
A few young ladies and I went to the market close to our dorm, there was a homeless young man outside of it. After we shopped, we went back to our rooms. Looking out of the front door a few minutes later, I seen the same young man having a seizure. People continued to pass by him as if this was normal. He was foaming at the mouth and uncontrollably shaking. A man eventually went to him and tried to help. It was a painful thing to watch and I wanted to help but I did not know how to. This is what my first impression of the city was, there was nothing Black Pantherish about it. Just a young man; poor, homeless, and hurting.