Campus News

Cape Town Diary: November 16, 2001. By Dana Kramer, Bowdoin College 03

Story posted November 16, 2001

Cape Town Diary

So this is it. My last Cape Town diary entry, ever. T-minus two days until what is to be, for me, a 24-hour journey home. I'm jittery.

Last night, I shared a final meal with my host, saw some Capetonian friends for perhaps the last time, began saying goodbye to a city I didn't suspect I would grow to like so much. It's been something of a turbulent relationship between Cape Town and me, but I am happy to report that it I am very fond of life here (that is, of the almost-life I have recently found here).

This last month or so, with the bulk of schoolwork out of the way, I have had the opportunity to become far more closely acquainted with this lovely, strange city and some of its people (there's truly a surfeit of interesting people) live, more or less, as a normal person. Perhaps, if just slightly, I understand what it is like to be here as something other than a tourist, or someone who's just passing through. I am, in the end, very comfortable here, and also sorry to leave (something I never thought I'd say).

I can't even imagine how going home to New York is going to feel. Unreal, uncomfortable, and it might take a while to regain equilibrium, re-adjust to the right side of the road, mother's cooking (to which I must add, hooray), communicating only with Americans, returning to what might be a very different place than the America I left, where I'll be surrounded by whatever patriotic zeal my countrypersons have recently come down with; also, having to give brief accounts of my experience here over and over again, which I'll be glad to share, but which I cannot imagine summing up well over one cup of coffee or to one of my parents' friends in passing. It has been shocking and wonderful, and has affected me in ways I would not even know how to describe.

For information on the CBB Cape Town program please see the program Web page.

Click here for the Oct. 21 Cape Town Diary and links to all previous Cape Town diaries.

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