Since my arrival in Cape Town I have had hardly any downtime to write about everything that has been happening. So here is a synopsis of my first few days:
I am living in a 4-bedroom house in Newlands. Newlands is one of the wealthier neighborhoods surrounding Cape Town, so all of the houses are enclosed by walls with electric fences on top, and all of the doors have double locks and metal gates on them. It is a gorgeous house with a pool, a courtyard, and a balcony with a view of the mountains, but I think living behind the walls will take some getting used to. Within a few minutes walking distance of our house is Claremont, another neighborhood with lots of stores and restaurants. Claremont is where I will be doing most of my grocery shopping.
The CIEE Office (CIEE is the organization that runs the international internship program) is about a 30-minute walk from my house in a bustling, trendy neighborhood called Rondebosch. We spent a few days in the office going through cultural awareness training and safety orientation.
After orientation we went to dinner in town. The drive to Cape Town at night was amazing. The Uber driver was blasting music, Table Mountain was on the left, and thousands of city lights were shining by the ocean on the right. The food in Cape Town is very similar to high quality American food, except that the exchange rate ($1 USD is the equivalent of about 13 South African Rand) makes everything very cheap. I can order a beer, an entree, and dessert at a nice restaurant for less than $12 USD including tip.
My absolute favorite part of the trip so far was visiting Table Mountain. We rode the cable car to the top of the mountain. Instead of trying to describe the beautiful view, here are some pictures I took atop the mountain: