Campus News

Cape Town Diary: August 6. By Heather Finn, Colby College ’03

Story posted August 06, 2001

Community Service Work

Although there were many factors that played a part in my decision to spend a semester in Cape Town, the community service work that we would be involved with was a big one. As part of the CBB program, we work with kids in the townships twice a week for a couple of hours. Half of our group works with high school kids in the township of Langa, and the other half with fifth graders in the township of Lavender hill. In the very beginning of our trip we had the opportunity to see both townships and the schools within the townships in which we would be working.

The day that we were at Langa we also had the opportunity to meet some of the students that we would be working with as well. I knew after I met them that I had to work in Langa. To be quite honest, I was pretty intimidated at first at the prospect of working with kids my own age (if not older), and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it. But when I met some of the students, and actually got a chance to talk to them, I was so excited about working with them and actually getting to know kids my own age whose lives are so different from mine or anyone I have ever known. But that didn't make it any less intimidating on our first day last week.

We rode out to Langa in a cab, trying to figure out what we were going to do with them for two hours and trying to develop some kind of plan. By the time we arrived, we still hadn't figured out what we were going to do, but it didn't matter once we started talking to them. We broke up into smaller groups and sat around and talked for a while before playing some games. Even though the games were fun and definitely got everyone laughing, it was also pretty cool just sitting and talking.

Last Saturday we had a barbecue with a bunch of the kids from Langa and some of our host families at the center. Although we kind of ran out of food, it was a lot of fun and cool to see the kids outside of their school setting. But the best part was when I danced with some of the girls on the porch, and they tried to teach me how to "jazz" (a type of dancing here). I tried to teach them how to dance like me, but they just laughed and shook their heads. I think they thought I was joking.

All of the people from the previous semesters here that I have talked to couldn't stress enough how important and amazing the community service work was to them, and it made me really excited before I actually got here. Now that I'm here, I can understand why it was so hard for them to leave.

- Heather Finn
Colby College ’03

Additional information on the Cape Town program is at CBB Cape Town
Other Cape Town Diaries:
Cape Town Diary: July 3. By Julie McGee
Cape Town Diary: July 14. By Julie McGee
Cape Town Diary: July 27. By Kristen M. Heim
Cape Town Diary: July 27. By Rachel Meiklejohn
Cape Town Diary: August 6. By Paul Min

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