Brian in South Africa

Brian Fennig, a lecturer in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, is traveling to South Africa in summer 2010: “Robben Island, Table Mountain, vineyards, car-jacking baboons, beauty, poverty, racial division and unity; not to mention the multitude of nations coming for the 2010 World Cup Soccer Finals. This is Cape Town, South Africa, and I’ll be sharing my travel experiences with you this summer.”

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A tie for the home team

IMG_0762.jpg Writing about this experience is enjoyable, though the best spot for wifi is in the garage of the apartment that I’m renting. As usual, the first travel lesson is one of convenience. At home I usually have 3 kinds of data/media working at once. Here, I’m excited when the “bars” go up and I can send an email. I’m not planning on using my cellphone for the entire month; a challenge I know my students have accepted before (though maybe not for a month).

The first day of the World Cup brought a surprise for the hosts as South Africa’s “Bafana Bafana” produced a 1-1 tie with team Mexico. Leaning out the third-story window of our apartment, I could hear Cape Town erupt when SA scored the first goal; even a draw for the home team was quite an accomplishment.

IMG_0760.jpg The city is packed with international travelers, and more than a mile-long stretch of highway was closed tonight to foot traffic only. I’ve seen this many people on the streets before while traveling, and it reminded me of the Shibuya train station in Japan, but this can be expected for any city that hosts a World Cup.

The country is concerned with football right now, but win or lose, when you look away from the pitch, you still see the ocean, the ships and the sentinel-like Table Mountain.

Next stop for my group is Robben Island.

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