Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tears in My I's

By: David Michael

My internship at Cape Chameleon in Cape Town, South Africa has come to an end. I am already preparing myself for the inevitable reverse culture shock, as well as the heartbreak of leaving this incredible country.

I will have to remember to get in on the right side of the car when I am picked up at the airport. I also have to make sure I drive on the right side of the road.

Ostrich, warthog, kudu, and zebra meats
I will no longer be able to say baie dankie, which is: “thank you very much in Afrikaans.” It sounds just like if one were to say: “buy a donkey” in English. Americans may not take it the same way.

I will have to readjust to American time, where everything is very fast paced and quick in response. Admittedly I became complacent with “South Africa Time.”

I’ll be craving the variety in cuisine once I’m back in the states. I tried many different foods from all over the world here, and enjoyed every single one. My favorite was the ox tongue.

I will take the history I learned about with me. I walked the path Nelson Mandela took, and explored the continued affects of apartheid. These are important lessons any nation can benefit from.

Pictured above from left to right: Where Nelson Mandela gave his speech upon his release, Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robben Island, and a bench that still remains after apartheid (look familiar?)

I will also be taking with me the fact that I’m published, in another country! I really enjoyed serving as an editor, videographer, and writer the Cape Chameleon. I will definitely be adding my works to my resume.

I am disheartened I will no longer be able to attend rugby matches. I had just begun to truly understand the sport. My local friends no longer felt the need to throw their hands in the air in frustration whilst explaining it to me. Also, instead of peanuts or hot dogs the vendors passed around biltong (beef jerky) and doughnuts.
Go DHL Stormers!
I contemplated catching some of the wildlife, but realized none of them would fit in my suitcase. I also would hate to take them away from their natural habitat here, where you can see them from a couple meters away (but definitely do not touch).

Lions, and baboons, and penguins. O my!

I’ll miss seeing the mountains every morning during my mini-bus ride to work. Even more so, I’ll miss the incredible views offered at their summits. I’ll even miss the mini-bus rides themselves: being cramped into a small van full of 15 people, but able to make pleasant conversation during the journey with anyone every day.

The view from the top of Table Mountain
My view from the mini-bus

Most of all I’ll miss the friends I’ve made here. Not only Capetonians, but also people from all over the world. I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime, and will be really handy when I need to crash on someone’s couch when visiting another country.

I’d like to thank Professor Yusuf Kalyango, the family of the late Professor Mark Leff, Ohio University, the Institute for International Journalism, and the John R. Wilhelm Foreign Correspondence internship program for this incredible, and life-changing opportunity. 
Baie dankie!

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