As spring break rolled around, I finally had the chance to do some real traveling. 5 friends and I had planned for weeks, laying out a trip that would take us up through Zambia and Zimbabwe. While they had planned on spending two weeks traveling, I had decided to return after only one in order to not miss school, so I would have to find my way back to Gaborone on my own.
Our bags packed, computers stashed in a friend’s apartment, and minds steeled against the rigors of bus travel, we stood on a warm Monday evening waiting for the bus to arrive. The Gaborone-Livingstone Express would take us up through Francistown and Maun, cross the border into Zambia at Kazungula, and deposit us in Livingstone, Zambia, a journey of some 15 hours. We boarded at 7 pm, and hoped to arrive in Livingstone at 10 the next morning.
When we arrived at the border at last, we were all relieved to spill out into the cold morning air to get our exit stamps. As we walked down the road that crossed the no-man’s-land at the edge of Botswana, we were unprepared for the sight that greeted us. The border, we discovered, is the Zambezi river, and the only way to cross is by ferry! We gladly boarded the ferry, and crossed over into Zambia for the first time. The ride to Livingstone after we had gotten our visas was mercifully short, and we arrived at around 9:30 in the morning. Read more
With only five more weeks of classes left, I’m eagerly awaiting the end of my semester at the University of Cape Town. I am not very excited to return to the States, however. When I tell this to my friends back home, they are confused. They equate the school and the country as the same experience, and find it interesting that my love of South Africa is so starkly contrasted with my dislike for UCT.
Back home, I attend Bowdoin College, which I can proudly say is ranked 6th in the nation for liberal arts colleges. Needless to say, I am used to a heavy workload filled with hundreds of pages of reading, long essays and rough tests. Coming to UCT, I expected slightly less work, but was aware that UCT would not be easy – as it is the top university in Africa.
Unfortunately, I was in for an unpleasant surprise. The workload is twice as much as Bowdoin, but at the same time I feel like the assignments are not as mentally challenging as the ones I receive at Bowdoin. For example, the essay topics are quite broad, such as “Describe the events of the Cold War,” as oppose to the more complex topics I received at Bowdoin. Read more
Spring Break has (already) come and gone at UCT, and I must say that I earned every minute of my incredible get away. The week before we left, I shut down the library nearly every night working on not one, not two, but three research papers for my courses. Luckily, several of my friends were in the same boat, so we turned what we call “that week” into the most enjoyable experience possible, keeping each other laughing throughout the all-nighters. I love how even the most painful experiences can become cherished memories. Despite the acquired inside jokes from that week, we’re already planning ahead so we NEVER have to go through that again—gotta embrace those learning experiences. Read more
Not only is it start of Spring Break for some of our interstudy programs, there also seems to be plenty going on in South Africa this weekend. Read more