Posts Tagged 'photographs'

Full Circle: South Africa in Pictures

By Jes Lothman — Over the past 9 months, I have shared with you many experiences and lessons learned while I was living and working in South Africa.  Now that I am home, I’ve had time to reflect on my time abroad–this process was aided by thousands of pictures I snapped along the way.  I’d like to share a collection of my photos that help summarize my time in South Africa, and will give you a full-color glimpse of this extraordinary place!

My journey began as the World Cup tournament was winding down, which provided an energetic introduction to South Africa’s people, pride, and hospitality.  As a result of this welcome, the sound of a trumpeting vuvuzela will hold a warm place in my  heart.The University of the Western Cape became “home” very quickly as I spent 30-40 hours per week working as an intern in the Center for Student Support Services.I worked with outstanding students and staff at UWC. I had great fun with all the colleagues and friends pictured above and learned volumes about the country and culture along the way!When I was not on campus, I did my best to engage with local culture – Mzoli’s Braai was one delicious means to that end.  Known for their huge helpings of barbequed meat, this restaurant hosts hundreds of local and visiting people every weekend– transforming the entire Guguletu township into a block party.I welcomed the opportunity to share living quarters with Marquette undergraduate students at Kimberley House, meet as other Marquette alums living in South Africa, and interact with Judy Mayotte who helped bring the Marquette program in Cape Town to life.I fell in love with South Africa, and decided I did not want to return home after one semester.  It’s a country full of beautiful, engaging people and astonishing geography, as this view from the top of Table Mountain shows. I was thrilled when Stanford University hired me to be a Student Advisor for their study abroad program in Cape Town.I lived with 23 Stanford students during my encore experience in Cape Town–this helped increase my professional grasp of the many elements involved with a successful study abroad program. It also exposed me to students from another part of the States, and the workings of another college institution.During this academic quarter, I was privileged to work with the Sea Point Rotary Club on their Blue Train project.  This pint-sized train and its surrounding parkland area helps make Cape Town proper accessible to people from the Townships as well as funding other non-profit projects.I spent more time in the townships during the second half of my time in South Africa. This opportunity provided me with a deeper understanding of the backgrounds of students I worked with during the prior semester at UWC.I managed to find some time to be a pure  “tourist” visiting Oudtshorn, the world’s ostrich farming capital, in the Karoo.  I was also sure to take in the country’s historical sites, such as Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner for over 20 years.Interacting with some of South Africa’s wildlife provided amazement and amusement.  I swam with this penguin and dozens of his friends on Boulders Beach at Simon’s Town, on the tip of the Cape Peninsula. During my semester with the Marquette program, I was part of a memorable safari in Kruger National Park and saw giraffes, elephants, rhinos, and a hippo up close and personally.My nine months in South Africa were professionally transformative and hugely edifying!  Unfortunately, my stay ended a bit sooner than expected due to a knee injury, but I am a confirmed believer that things happen for a reason.  The future is bright on the horizon, as I will be moving to Spain in October to teach English in Telavera de la Reina.  Spain wining the World Cup  in Cape Town was an omen of good things to come.


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