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Ct1126 studentguide

  1. 1. Cape Town South Africa Student / Cultural Guide 2012
  2. 2. ContentsRecap: Logistics on Arriving in Cape Town …………………………..... 3Post-Apartheid South African Culture ………………………………...... 3 Suggested Books ………………………………....………...…..…. 3 Notes on Language ……………………………………...…..…..... 5Safety in Cape Town ………………………....……………………....…. 8Exercise and Sports ………………….………………………………….. 9LGBTQ Life …………………………………………………………….. 9Thinking about Cross-Cultural Service ………………………………... 10Weather in Cape Town ……………………………………………........ 11Packing List ……………………………………………………..…….... 12Restaurants in Obs ………………………………………….………….. 13Neighborhood Map ……………………………………………….…..... 14Grocery stores, post offices, pharmacies, etc. ……………………..….. 15Places for Visitors (or you!) to Stay ………………………………..…... 15Places to Go ……………………………………………………….….….17Websites to Checkout ……………………………………………….…. 18A Few Frequently Asked Questions ……………………………….……18“To Hell with Good Intentions”………………………………………... 20 2
  3. 3. Recap from Logistics Orientation – Arriving inCape TownAmerican students studying in South Africa for a period lasting up to 90 days are exempt fromobtaining a visa. A valid passport is all that is required for travel to, and throughout, the country.You are NOT considered a student because you will not be enrolled at UCT (you’re a Stanfordstudent), therefore you do not need a student visa. SO, when you get to customs in SouthAfrica, tell them that HOLIDAY is your “purpose of visit”.Bring photocopies of your passport and credit cards and keep them separate from your actualpassport and credit cards. These will be really important in the event that these things were lost.Make sure to copy the backside of your credit card(s) as well -- often there is a bank phonenumber there that you call if you need to cancel your card… but if you’ve lost the card, then it’shard to know the phone number without a copy!Call your bank! Make sure they know you’ll be in South Africa so that they won’t cancel yourcard when withdrawals are suddenly made in Cape Town!Before you leave, make sure the student coordinator has your itinerary. Without it we won’tknow when to send someone to pick you up at the airport!Post Apartheid South African CultureSouth Africa is an incredibly diverse country ethnically – so there’s no one “South Africanculture.” Illustrative of that fact are the eleven national languages of the country: English,Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsongo, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa,and Zulu. Many cultural differences in the country today correspond to the racial groups definedby Apartheid (black, white, coloured, Indian/Asian); thus to begin to understand the complexityof culture in the country, one should start by looking at South Africa’s history.Read as much as you can about South Africa before and during your time in Cape Town;your experience will only be made more valuable, the more you study the county, it’s history,politics, and people…Here are a few suggested books (by no means an exhaustive list):Histories and Reference: A Human Being Died that Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness, Pumla Gobodo- Madikizela: Gobodo-Madikizela, a psychologist who grew up in a black South African township, reflects on her interviews with Eugene de Kock, the commanding officer of state-sanctioned death squads under apartheid. 3
  4. 4. A Concise History of South Africa, Robert Ross: a succinct synthesis of Southern African history from the introduction of agriculture about 1 500 years ago up to and including the government of Thabo Mbeki. Stressing economic, social, cultural and environmental matters as well as political history, it shows how South Africa has become a single country. Crossing the Line by William Finnegan: An illuminating, engaging account of the year (1980) the 27-year-old American author spent teaching at a “coloured” high school near Cape Town. I Write What I Like, Steve Biko: a selection of Bikos writings from 1969, when he became the president of the South African Student Organization to 1972, when he was prohibited from publishing. The collection reflects Bikos conviction that black people in South Africa could not be liberated until they united to break their chains of servitude, a key tenet of the Black Consciousness Movement that he helped found. Khayelitsha: uMlungu in a Township, Steven Otter: follows a white South African into a Cape Town township notorious amongst outsiders as the dwelling place of poverty, disease and crime – where he proceeds to set up home.What Steven Otter finds in Khayelitsha – which means “New Home” in Xhosa – is an often humorous display of contradictions, with happiness, compassion and ubuntu thriving side-by-side with the tsotsis, HIV/Aids and poverty. * Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Required)* My Traitors Heart by Rian Malan. A fascinating insight into apartheid South Africa by a young Afrikaner struggling with his identity and legacy of racism. The Bang-Bang Club: The Making of the New South Africa by Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva: An honest account of South Africas transition from apartheid to black majority rule told through the eyes of four young photographers.Fiction / Historical Fiction (a few among many…) Coconut Kopano Matlwa: An important rumination on youth in modern-day South Africa, this haunting debut novel tells the story of two extraordinary young women who have grown up black in white suburbs and must now struggle to find their identities. Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa Antjie Krog: Krog, a prominent South African poet and journalist, led the South African Broadcasting Corporation team that for two years reported daily on the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Cry, The Beloved Country Alan Paton: Review A beautiful novel, rich firm and moving...compelling New York Times. Cry, The Beloved Country...was the great raiser of popular awareness of South Africa...the most influential South African novel ever written Nadine Gordimer, Observer. 4
  5. 5. Disgrace J.M. Coetzee: (winner of the 1999 Booker Prize) Set in post-apartheid Cape Town and on a remote farm in the Eastern Cape, this is a novel about a man and his personal journeys of love, grace, and disgrace in the new South Africa. Julys People Nadine Gordimer Kikuyu Etienne van Heerden: This is the story of a boys life on an Afrikaner farm in the Karoo desert. As a fictional representation, it offers fascinating insight into the struggle of an Afrikaner boy as he grows up during the Apartheid years. Mind Your Colour by V.A. February : is about the creation and maintenance of a cultural stereotype. It deals with the people classified by South African racial legislation as coloureds, and with the image forced upon them by South African society, an image which reflects and reinforces the political subordination of the group. Spud John van de Ruit: It’s 1990. Apartheid is crumbling. Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison. And Spud Milton, thirteen-year-old, prepubescent choirboy extraordinaire is about to start his first year at an elite boys-only boarding school in South Africa. Three Letter Plague Jonny Steinberg: Groundbreaking work of reportage about pride and shame, sex and death, and the Aids pandemic in Africa is a masterpiece of social observation.If you’re interested in reading more, feel free to ask anyone on the Cape Town staff for morerecommendations!Some notes on language:The languages primarily spoken in Cape Town and the surrounding regions (where youwill be spending the majority of your time) are English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa. Generallyin this region, Afrikaans is spoken by white South Africans and by people classified ascoloured, while Xhosa tends to be spoken by black South Africans. However, regardlessof primary language, people usually speak and understand English to the extent whereyou won’t have much of a problem. In the townships you may run into more difficultywith the language barrier.There are several words/phrases in each language (including English) that are good toknow and that you will probably become very familiar with:English Words and Phrases Izzit/Isit = Really?Boot/Bonnet = Trunk/Hood of the car Jersey = SweatshirtCostume = bathing suit Now = Really soon, but not this momentFlat = Apartment Just now = Sometime in the nearish futureHowsit = Hey, what’s up (common greeting) 5
  6. 6. Now now = Sometime…who knows when Tik = Methamphetamine (a growingLift = Elevator problem in many townships) Xhosa words and phrasesEnglish Continued… “Amandla”… “Awethu” = “Power”… “ToRobot = Traffic Light the people” *Sister = Nurse Unjani = How are youTake Away = Take Out Molo/Molweni = Hello (to one person or aTomato Sauce = Ketchup group, respectively)Torch = Flashlight Ndiphilile/Ndiyaphila = I’m fine/alive Enkosi (kakhulu) = Thank you (very much)Afrikaans words and phrases Ubuntu = compassion, humanity; ‘I am whoBakkie = a small pick-up truck I am because of who we are’Biltong = Jerky (e.g. beef, ostrich, etc.) Umlungu = White personBraai = Barbecue Uxolo = I’m sorryBreu = Brother Yebo = YeahDankie = Thank youLekker = Nice * A cheer done responsively, frequentlyTekkies = Sneakers done at marches, protests, etc.; has roots in the anti-apartheid movementAcademic VocabularyIt’s also important for you to know a little bit about the vocabulary used to talk aboutacademics here in South Africa: School: the word used for elementary and middle school, as well as high school to an extent. You, as a Stanford student, are no longer in “school.” If you say “I go to school in California,” South African will be confused that you haven’t yet graduated from high school. Learners: a common term used for students, usually those still in “school.” You can use the term “student” to refer to yourself. Matric: the matric exam is the national exam that South African high school students must pass in order to graduate from school. Good matric scores are essential for getting into university. Each year, the names of the students who pass matric are published in the newspaper. 1st year – 4th year: In South Africa, the four years in college are NOT called freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. Instead, the are simply referred to as 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year and 4th year. So you’re unlikely to be understood if you say “I’m a sophmore in HumBio,” instead say: “I’m a second year at Stanford University studying Human Biology.” 6
  7. 7. University: Pretty straight forward, this is what you call Stanford or UCT (reminder: Stanford wouldn’t be referred to as a “school” here). Faculties: UCT is divided into seven different “faculties” – The Centre for Higher Education Development, Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Science. Within those faculties there are different departments (e.g. Languages & Literature or History within Humanities). This is a little different from Stanford, where we just refer to our individual majors. NATIONAL ANTHEM OF SOUTH AFRICAThis is the official version of the national anthem, combining Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrikaand Die Stem/The Call of South Africa.Xhosa English Translation:Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrica. Lord, bless AfricaMaluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo. Let her horn/banner be raisedYizwa imithandazo yethu, Hear our prayersNkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo. Lord bless us, her familySothoMorena boloka setjhaba sa heso, Lord, save our nationO fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho. Stop the wars and sufferingO se boloke, o se boloke setjhaba sa heso, Save it, save it, our nationSetjhaba sa South Africa, South Africa. The nation of South AfricaAfrikaansUit die blou van onse hemel From the blue of our heavensUit die diepte van ons see, From the depth of our seasOor ons ewige gebergtes, Over our eternal mountainsWaar die kranse antwoord gee, Where the cliffs echo backEnglishSounds the call to come together, Sounds the call to come together,And united we shall stand, And united we shall stand,Let us live and strive for freedom, Let us live and strive for freedom,In South Africa our land. In South Africa our land 7
  8. 8. Safety in Cape TownThis list of do’s and don’ts is in your logistics packet, but it bears repeating. The BOSPstaff in Cape Town will be a great resource to you, and help you learn to navigatesafely during your quarter. Cape Town is a large, metropolitan area. Like most bigcities, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and be “street smart.” Somegeneral safety tips: • NEVER walk alone outside of the UCT campus, especially at night. Walk with at least TWO other individuals. • During research project / service-learning work, utilize local hosts as guides and travel with them whenever possible. • DO NOT wear flashy jewelry; be aware of where your valuables are and NEVER leave your things unattended, even on campus. • • DO NOT use your cell phone in crowded areas outside of campus; cell phones are particularly vulnerable to theft in Cape Town. • Its generally not a good idea to pull out a map as it alerts those around you to the fact that you are a tourist. If you need to consult a map, duck into a shop to check. • Make use of program-approved taxis and Jammie Shuttle whenever possible. Mini-taxes and train are ok when traveling together during the day. • If you are taking a tour (i.e. in and around the City Center and/or surrounding townships) stick closely with your tour group. • Pay attention to those around you; be wary of people approaching you trying to sell you things. • One-shoulder purses are particularly easy to snatch. If you have a purse that goes across your body, it is a better idea to wear it. • It’s a good idea to have a computer lock to secure your laptop to your desk. • Backpacks are also vulnerable, especially in crowds. Some students have had success using key rings or backpack locks to close their bags. Messenger bags that are worn at the side can also be useful 8
  9. 9. Exercise and SportsCape Town is a very active city full of people who participate in a variety of sports. Youmight get involved through: • Running. It is safe to run for exercise during the day, though it is always recommended to run at least in pairs if not in a larger group. There is a nice path along the river by the Stanford house which is frequented by local and foreign exercisers, and the run to Rhodes Memorial is a good one if you enjoy hills. If you can get to it, Seapoint’s promenade is great for long seaside runs. However, it is important to stay aware of your surroundings. The river banks and trailsides host many bushes and obstructions that muggers or other people might hide behind to surprise joggers. • UCT gym and clubs. Stanford students can join myriad UCT teams and clubs. • Rock climbing and yoga gym near the train tracks in Obs. • Hiking, swimming, surfing and other outdoor sports . • Soccer. Many local and international students in the area enjoy soccer (still often called soccer here, not football) and organize low-stakes matches with local teams.LGBTQ LifeCape Town is often known as a “pink city” and is considered by many to be the mostLGBTQ-friendly city in Africa. However, even though SA’s progressive constitutionrenders homophobic discrimination illegal, it’s important to be aware that many residentsdon’t share these institutionalized ideals. Phenomena like “corrective rape” of lesbianwomen and blatant bigotry are still a problem, particularly in township communities.However, you might take advantage of Cape Town’s queer-friendly culture through: • Greenpoint. This neighborhood in town hosts Beefcakes (a Chip-n-Dales-esque diner), Bubbles Bar (which features daily drag shows), Bronx and Crew (clubs for a night out) • Gay Flag of South Africa. This campaign raises money to fight discrimination by selling SA “gay flags”. Learn more at gayflagofsouthafrica.co.za. • Triangle Project. This NGO is based in the same business complex as the Stanford Centre and offers a library of queer-focused books and films. 9
  10. 10. Thinking about Cross-Cultural Service HOW WE CAN ACT CONSTRUCTIVELY IN CROSS-CULTURAL SITUATIONS (From the School for International Training)Use stereotypes as categories to be broken down, not built up. Start out with anacknowledgement of the existence of stereotypes, identify their positive and negativeaspects from both points of view.Don’t compare apples and oranges. The inherent differences between cultures maymake valid comparison impossible. The way something is done within the cultural andenvironmental setting of one country may not be adaptive in another setting.Get to know people as individuals, not as examples of a culture. Remember that eventhough there seem to be some generalizations to be made about any cultural group,individuals maintain a uniqueness within their own culture. No one individual is going tobe a perfect example of that ethnic group.Take the initiative to be friendly. Bridging the cultural gap begins with overcoming thatfear of something new or different. A positive, friendly attitude will be very helpful.Especially if you are in the minority group, remember that the majority doesn’t need togain your acceptance, so it’s even more important to be open.Explain some facets of yourself if necessary. Let people know what makes youdifferent from the stereotype, especially if you think you fall well outside the culturalnorm.Don’t attempt to obliterate differences. We can all learn from different cultures.Remember that you are a sum of your lifetime of experience, both good and bad, withinyour own culture. You can’t just step out of that position and become totally objective.Don’t try to become one of the locals. Sometimes your attempts to mimic another culturecan backfire, appearing as offensive. Cultural diversity is just as adaptive as biologicaldiversity.Forge bonds with people in similar circumstances. Riding a bus together, taking somecourse, shopping – these situations give you common experiences and a starting point forconversation.Focus on a common task. Working together toward a common goal can help breakdown barriers. ** See Ivan Illich’s “To Hell with Good Intentions,” attached at the end of this packet. ** 10
  11. 11. Weather in Cape TownCape Town weather is very similar to Stanford’s. Winters (June-August) are fairly mild (in the50’s) and wet. Summers (December-February) are warm and much drier. Weather in Cape Town, South Africa (from http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/) Temperature Wet Average Discomfort Relative Average Days Month Sunlight Average Record from heat humidity Precipitation (+0.25 (hours) Min Max Min Max and humidity am pm (mm) mm) Jan 11 61 78 44 99 Moderate 72 54 15 3 Feb 10 61 78 41 100 Moderate 77 54 8 2 March 9 57 77 43 102 Moderate 85 57 18 3 April 8 53 71 37 102 - 90 60 48 6 May 6 48 66 30 95 - 91 65 79 9 June 6 46 64 28 84 - 91 64 84 9 July 6 44 17 28 84 - 91 67 89 10 Aug 7 46 64 30 89 - 90 65 66 9 Sept 8 48 64 34 93 - 87 62 43 7 Oct 9 52 70 34 89 - 79 58 31 5 Nov 10 55 73 39 93 - 74 56 18 3 Dec 11 57 75 41 100 Moderate 71 54 10 3 11
  12. 12. Packing List**Important note on packing** TRY NOT TO OVERPACK! Research the baggagelimitations of the airlines you’re flying with – most charge large fees if you go over that limit.Also, you may want to bring home gifts and souvenirs, so it’s helpful to go over with room inyour bags.Clothing – Pack according to the weather q Any prescription medications youinformation above need (also bring a copy of the prescription signed by your doctor)q Shorts / Skirts / Dresses / Pants q South Africanq T-shirts electrical adaptorq A couple more formal outfits --You’ll be (these can also be spending part of your time in a professional purchased cheaply setting (e.g. community organizations) once in SA) – do Capetonians tend to be more laid back than not bring small Johannesburg counterparts, but ‘business electronic appliances (e.g., hairdryer, casual’ is generally upheld in work hair straightener); they will not work environments. with the SA electricity grid…buy them there from Clicks or similarq Sweatshirts/jacketsq Swimsuit – we’re near some of the q Any toiletries that you want in a certain American brand most beautiful beaches in the world (e.g. contact solution, over-q Comfortable walking shoes, sandals, the-counter medications) one pair of nicer shoes Important DocumentsOther Useful Items q Passportq Water bottle q Debit / Credit cards – it’s good to have a back up cardq Headlamp or flashlightq Computer / Computer Lock q Photocopies of your passport, credit cards, and IDsq Umbrellaq Camera Examples of things that can beq Extra small duffle bag for short trips (i.e. purchased IN Cape Town the Bing trip) – also good for “spill over” stuff you have on the way home! Soap, toothpaste, lotion, razors,q Mesh laundry bag feminine products, other basic personal hygiene items, cosmetics, laundry detergent, school supplies. 12
  13. 13. Observatory (Obs/Obz), Our HomeThe Stanford house and center are in an “urban village” known as Observatory. A shortdrive from the city center in one direction and townships in the other, Obs is a bohemianneighborhood that was historically mixed-race during apartheid. Home to many studentsand a great nightlife, Obs is a desirable place to live for locals and visitors alike!Restaurants in the Obs Area(And there are many more than this to explore…)Obz Café BabooCoffee bar & restaurant. In the heart of lower main. It is an115 Lower Main Road, Observatory Italian restaurant, offering a great selection of pizza and pasta. Two for one on pizza dailyMango Ginger before 8pm. The bar area is Obs’ trendiest bar,Bakery and local/healthy food café. and offers a selection of cocktails, with105 Lower Main Road, Observatory comfortable seating a flat screen tvs.Mimis Deli and Café Blue MarlinBreakfast all day, good sandwiches and Sushi and Asian food restaurant and cocktailhomemade smoothies bar. Also offers a take out menu.Lower Main Road, Observatory Sushi ZoneCafe Ganesh Asian -- Japanese, Chinese, Korean menus.Unique down to earth African no nonsense place 34 Lower Main Road, Observatoryfor local artists, writers, performers foreign laidback visitors and local students. Kuai66 Lower Main road/Trill Road, Observatory Health Food – breakfast/lunch/dinner. Yummy smoothies, burgers, etc.Panchos Shop 7 Rondebosch Village Main RoadMexican Restaurant, comfy & casual Rondebosch127 Lower Main Road, Observatory Nandos in RondeboschCoco Cha Chi Fast food type chain – their signature is chicken.A favorite of the 2008 group. Free wifi (with Shop 18 Rondebosch Shopping Centrepurchase). Good breakfast/lunch, coffee. A few Main Road, Rondeboschpopular items: the chocolate pear muffin and themango mint smoothie. Africa Cafe (for special occasions)20 Lower Main Road, Observatory http://www.africacafe.co.za/ Family style, price-fixed menu – they call it aTouch of Madness “communal feast” consisting of traditionalCasual bistro, lunch and dinner. Ndebele, Xhosa and Zulu dishes (you get a small12 Nuttal Rd., Observatory taste of everything) Incredible food! 108 Shortmarket StTaste of Asia Cape Town City Centre, Cape TownSushi, Asian, Vegetarian for lunch or dinner45 Lower Main Road Observatory ** Also, Obz has a McDonalds and KFC now, if that’s your thing 13
  14. 14. EASTNORTH SOUTH Stanford House 14
  15. 15. Grocery stores, post offices, pharmacies,etc.Pick n Pay KwiksparObservatory, Shop 1, St Peter’s Square, 65 Station RdCnr Main & Anzio Rd, Observatory ObservatoryPick n’ Pay is the equivalent to Safeway – Kwikspar, a relative of the bigger Spar chainyou can get all of your groceries there, as in South Africa, is smaller and maybe a bitwell as airtime for your cell phone and more expensive than Pick ‘n Pay. That said,kitchen supplies (like Tupperware or coffee it’s about 2 blocks from the house, so verycups). Remember to bring your recycled convenient.bags, because groceries stores in SouthAfrica charge for new ones. Just 5-6 blocksfrom the Stanford houses. Pharmacy Closest is also in the same center as Pick n’Post Office Pay (St Peter’s Square).Located above the Pick n’ Pay in St Peter’sSquare (right near the Jammie stop)Places to Stay(For friends, family, or you should you be arriving early or stayinglate!)Koornhoop Manor HouseCnr Wrensch / London RoadsObservatory, Cape Town(+27) 021-4480595Just 2 minutes walk from the Stanford houses -- 8 en-suite double and single rooms and 2large furnished self-catering apartments (3 bedrooms, lounge and kitchen). Offers a full-spread continental breakfast, secure parking, a beautiful big garden to relax in, andpersonalized service from hosts - Vic and Trish Smith33 South Boutique backpackers33 South, 48 Trill RoadObservatory, Cape Town(+27) 21 447 24 23email: info@33southbackpackers.com 15
  16. 16. http://www.33southbackpackers.com/Opened at the end of 2007, just around the corner from the Stanford houses. "BoutiqueBackpackers" is a new concept which describes 33 Souths ideal: a trendy, themed,stylish, clean, comfortable (boutique) establishment which still maintains the key featuresof a great backpackers: its homely, communal, affordable, safe and has a self-cateringoption. We invite you to see Cape Town through local eyes, and experience it as a proudSouth African would.Brentwood Guest house+27 (0) 21 448-88408 en suite double rooms (3 with fireplace). Home from home hospitality and value-for-money accommodation. Dinner on request. No children under 12.Little Scotia Guest house5 Rustenburg AvenueRondebosch , Cape TownTel: (+27 21) 686 8245email: scotia@new.co.zahttp://www.scotia.co.za/Fifteen guest-room B&B located in Rondebosch (two neighborhoods over from Obs).“Little Scotia is a relaxed and homely Bed & Breakfast guest house in the heart ofhistoric Rondebosch on the doorstep of the University of Cape Town (UCT). Thehomestead, though steeped in history, has been tastefully modernized.”Aloe House B&BFrank Gaude12 Howe StreetObservatory, Cape TownTel: +27 214485337E-Mail: frank@aloehouse.co.zahttp://www.aloehouse.co.zaSmall (2 room) guest house located 4 or 5 blocks away from the Stanford houses.Wild sage Mountain B&B70 Arnold StreetObservatory,Cape TownSmall B&B offering 2 self-catering apartments (each with 2 rooms). Also about 5 blocksfrom the Stanford houses.At Villa Garda B&B (Mowbray) 16
  17. 17. 5 Osborne RdMowbray, Cape TownFrederic Rusterholz+27 21 762 1543Villa Garda offers 7 fully decorated guest rooms all en-suite bathroom with shower.Amenities in each room are aimed at maximising convenience and comfort for the guest.About a 15-20 minute walk from the Stanford houses.Malleson Garden Cottage ( Mowbray)http://www.capetown-direct.com/mowbray/malleson-garden-cottage11 Malleson Rd, MowbraySelf-contained garden cottage. Double bedroom, separate bathroom, and an open plankitchen / lounge / dining room. Fully furnished and equipped. Linen and towels areprovided. The cottage is serviced / linens replaced twice per week. Secure off-streetparking is available.Places to GoRead your guidebook, talk to your professors and other locals – there are plenty of placesto see! Among my favorites: • Table Mountain: (self explanatory) Incredible views of Cape Town … ride the cable car up or talk to one of the BOSP staff about how to hike safely in the area. http://tablemountain.net/ • Old Biscuit Mill: About a 30 min walk from the house. Produce, cheeses, artisan breads, vintage collectables, etc. market, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Turns into a vintage fair on Sundays - Open the rest of the week with shops. http://www.theoldbiscuitmill.co.za/ • District Six Museum: Very well thought-out museum about District 6 http://www.districtsix.co.za/frames.htm • Mzoli’s in Gugulethu: Literally, you go into a butchers shop and pick out the meat/sausage you want, then you go sit down while they barbeque it for you (called Braai in South Africa) • Around Cape Point: a good adventure to rent a bus for, and go on as a group • Beaches: Cape Town has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – check out your guidebook for recommendations. 17
  18. 18. • Green Market Square: loads of traditional African art pieces, curios, and everything else you would expect to find at a craft market. Very close to the main downtown train station, and Long Street (a popular street for shopping and going out at night) • Kirstenbosch: South Africa’s incredibly beautiful national botanical garden, set into the eastern side of Table Mountain. In the summer, there are outside concerts at the Kirstenbosch amphitheater. http://www.sanbi.org/frames/kirstfram.htm • Two Ocean’s Aquarium: A great aquarium showcasing the animals living in the Atlantic and Indian oceans that meet at the Cape Point http://www.aquarium.co.za/Websites to Check OutUniversity of Cape Town: http://www.uct.ac.za/Information about societies and sports clubs, library info, daily news, etc.Mail & Guardian: http://www.mg.co.za/ Well respected weekly newspaper. Started in1985, the Mail & Guardian was widely read by those interested in South African politics.South Africa: The Good News: http://www.sagoodnews.co.zaA news website that highlights the positive developments in South Africa.City of Cape Town website: http://www.capetown.gov.za Keep up on local issues.An assortment of other frequently askedquestions…What should I know to become better acquainted with the people and culture ofCape Town? (Adapted from UConn Cape Town Guide)One of the biggest difficulties in adjustment that students experience in CPT is gettinguse to the pace of life in the city. Cape Town and South Africa move on their owntimetable and things generally run a lot slower here. Once you adjust to it, it’s actuallyreally pleasant, described by many students as the best part of studying here.With that in mind people generally try not to have incredibly hectic schedules like theydo in the states. So while each of you are probably used to having 15-18 hours of classes,volunteering in your free time, and still making time for friends, etc, it just doesn’t workhere. It’s hard to explain but once you are here you’ll understand what I’m talking about. 18
  19. 19. Am I going to stand out as an American?Yes. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are a lot of Americans here in CapeTown, and American culture (music, dress, movies, celebrities) is well-known here.People are generally curious to know more about you – so talk to them and hear whatsome of their perceptions are!Are there going to be any opportunities to travel outside of Cape Town while we arethere?Yes, some. We will go on a Bing weekend trip during the quarter and there will be somefree weekends that you and your friend may want to use to rent a car and explore nearbyareas. It’s good to keep in mind though, that you’ll be doing a full Stanford course-loadwhile here (don’t worry, a good amount of the course work has you out in thecommunities) so you’ll be busy!Do I need to bring malaria pills?You do NOT need malaria medicine for Cape Town (we don’t have the mosquitoes thatcarry malaria here). If you are planning to travel to other parts of South Africa (e.g.Kruger National Park) before, during, or after your quarter in Cape Town, you may needmalaria medicine. You can either bring some from the states, or buy it here.What should I do about accessing money in Cape Town? What bank should I use?Should I use an ATM card or a credit Card? Should I bring money or traveler’schecks?The best way to access money in Cape Town and South Africa is using an ATM. Thebest strategy is to go once during the week and take out all the cash you will need for thatweek. Then go home, put away your card and money in a safe place and only carry withyou the money you will need for that day.Check with your bank about the foreign withdrawal fee. Some banks (e.g. Citibank andthe Stanford Federal Credit Union) don’t charge a fee, many others do. It may be worthopening an account with the SFCU before leaving campus.Do not bring traveler’s checks or a large sum of U.S. dollars to exchange – this will likelybe a hassle for you.To what address can my friends and family send me mail while I’m in Cape Town?Stanford Centre in Cape Town(YOUR NAME)P.O. Box 14041MowbrayCape Town 7705SOUTH AFRICA 19
  20. 20. To Hell with Good Intentions by Ivan IllichAn address by Monsignor Ivan Illich to the Conference on InterAmerican StudentProjects (CIASP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on April 20, 1968. In his usual biting andsometimes sarcastic style, Illich goes to the heart of the deep dangers of paternalisminherent in any voluntary service activity, but especially in any international service"mission." Parts of the speech are outdated and must be viewed in the historical contextof 1968 when it was delivered, but the entire speech is retained for the full impact of hispoint and at Ivan Illichs request.IN THE CONVERSATIONS WHICH I HAVE HAD TODAY, I was impressed by two things,and I want to state them before I launch into my prepared talk.I was impressed by your insight that the motivation of U.S. volunteers overseas springs mostlyfrom very alienated feelings and concepts. I was equally impressed, by what I interpret as a stepforward among would-be volunteers like you: openness to the idea that the only thing you canlegitimately volunteer for in Latin America might be voluntary powerlessness, voluntary presenceas receivers, as such, as hopefully beloved or adopted ones without any way of returning the gift.I was equally impressed by the hypocrisy of most of you: by the hypocrisy of the atmosphereprevailing here. I say this as a brother speaking to brothers and sisters. I say it against manyresistances within me; but it must be said. Your very insight, your very openness to evaluations ofpast programs make you hypocrites because you - or at least most of you - have decided to spendthis next summer in Mexico, and therefore, you are unwilling to go far enough in your reappraisalof your program. You close your eyes because you want to go ahead and could not do so if youlooked at some facts.It is quite possible that this hypocrisy is unconscious in most of you. Intellectually, you are readyto see that the motivations which could legitimate volunteer action overseas in 1963 cannot beinvoked for the same action in 1968. "Mission-vacations" among poor Mexicans were "the thing"to do for well-off U.S. students earlier in this decade: sentimental concern for newly-discoveredpoverty south of the border combined with total blindness to much worse poverty at homejustified such benevolent excursions. Intellectual insight into the difficulties of fruitful volunteeraction had not sobered the spirit of Peace Corps Papal-and-Self-Styled Volunteers.Today, the existence of organizations like yours is offensive to Mexico. I wanted to make thisstatement in order to explain why I feel sick about it all and in order to make you aware that goodintentions have not much to do with what we are discussing here. To hell with good intentions.This is a theological statement. You will not help anybody by your good intentions. There is anIrish saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions; this sums up the same theologicalinsight.The very frustration which participation in CIASP programs might mean for you, could lead youto new awareness: the awareness that even North Americans can receive the gift of hospitalitywithout the slightest ability to pay for it; the awareness that for some gifts one cannot even say"thank you."Now to my prepared statement. 20
  21. 21. Ladies and Gentlemen:For the past six years I have become known for my increasing opposition to the presence of anyand all North American "dogooders" in Latin America. I am sure you know of my present effortsto obtain the voluntary withdrawal of all North American volunteer armies from Latin America -missionaries, Peace Corps members and groups like yours, a "division" organized for thebenevolent invasion of Mexico. You were aware of these things when you invited me - of allpeople - to be the main speaker at your annual convention. This is amazing! I can only concludethat your invitation means one of at least three things:Some among you might have reached the conclusion that CIASP should either dissolvealtogether, or take the promotion of voluntary aid to the Mexican poor out of its institutionalpurpose. Therefore you might have invited me here to help others reach this same decision.You might also have invited me because you want to learn how to deal with people who think theway I do - how to dispute them successfully. It has now become quite common to invite BlackPower spokesmen to address Lions Clubs. A "dove" must always be included in a public disputeorganized to increase U.S. belligerence.And finally, you might have invited me here hoping that you would be able to agree with most ofwhat I say, and then go ahead in good faith and work this summer in Mexican villages. This lastpossibility is only open to those who do not listen, or who cannot understand me.I did not come here to argue. I am here to tell you, if possible to convince you, and hopefully, tostop you, from pretentiously imposing yourselves on Mexicans.I do have deep faith in the enormous good will of the U.S. volunteer. However, his good faith canusually be explained only by an abysmal lack of intuitive delicacy. By definition, you cannot helpbeing ultimately vacationing salesmen for the middle-class "American Way of Life," since that isreally the only life you know. A group like this could not have developed unless a mood in theUnited States had supported it - the belief that any true American must share Gods blessings withhis poorer fellow men. The idea that every American has something to give, and at all times may,can and should give it, explains why it occurred to students that they could help Mexican peasants"develop" by spending a few months in their villages.Of course, this surprising conviction was supported by members of a missionary order, whowould have no reason to exist unless they had the same conviction - except a much stronger one.It is now high time to cure yourselves of this. You, like the values you carry, are the products ofan American society of achievers and consumers, with its two-party system, its universalschooling, and its family-car affluence. You are ultimately-consciously or unconsciously -"salesmen" for a delusive ballet in the ideas of democracy, equal opportunity and free enterpriseamong people who havent the possibility of profiting from these.Next to money and guns, the third largest North American export is the U.S. idealist, who turnsup in every theater of the world: the teacher, the volunteer, the missionary, the communityorganizer, the economic developer, and the vacationing do-gooders. Ideally, these people definetheir role as service. Actually, they frequently wind up alleviating the damage done by money and 21
  22. 22. weapons, or "seducing" the "underdeveloped" to the benefits of the world of affluence andachievement. Perhaps this is the moment to instead bring home to the people of the U.S. theknowledge that the way of life they have chosen simply is not alive enough to be shared.By now it should be evident to all America that the U.S. is engaged in a tremendous struggle tosurvive. The U.S. cannot survive if the rest of the world is not convinced that here we haveHeaven-on-Earth. The survival of the U.S. depends on the acceptance by all so-called "free" menthat the U.S. middle class has "made it." The U.S. way of life has become a religion which mustbe accepted by all those who do not want to die by the sword - or napalm. All over the globe theU.S. is fighting to protect and develop at least a minority who consume what the U.S. majoritycan afford. Such is the purpose of the Alliance for Progress of the middle-classes which the U.S.signed with Latin America some years ago. But increasingly this commercial alliance must beprotected by weapons which allow the minority who can "make it" to protect their acquisitionsand achievements.But weapons are not enough to permit minority rule. The marginal masses become rambunctiousunless they are given a "Creed," or belief which explains the status quo. This task is given to theU.S. volunteer - whether he be a member of CLASP or a worker in the so-called "PacificationPrograms" in Viet Nam.The United States is currently engaged in a three-front struggle to affirm its ideals of acquisitiveand achievement-oriented "Democracy." I say "three" fronts, because three great areas of theworld are challenging the validity of a political and social system which makes the rich everricher, and the poor increasingly marginal to that system.In Asia, the U.S. is threatened by an established power -China. The U.S. opposes China withthree weapons: the tiny Asian elites who could not have it any better than in an alliance with theUnited States; a huge war machine to stop the Chinese from "taking over" as it is usually put inthis country, and; forcible re-education of the so-called "Pacified" peoples. All three of theseefforts seem to be failing.In Chicago, poverty funds, the police force and preachers seem to be no more successful in theirefforts to check the unwillingness of the black community to wait for graceful integration into thesystem.And finally, in Latin America the Alliance for Progress has been quite successful in increasingthe number of people who could not be better off - meaning the tiny, middle-class elites - and hascreated ideal conditions for military dictatorships. The dictators were formerly at the service ofthe plantation owners, but now they protect the new industrial complexes. And finally, you cometo help the underdog accept his destiny within this process!All you will do in a Mexican village is create disorder. At best, you can try to convince Mexicangirls that they should marry a young man who is self-made, rich, a consumer, and as disrespectfulof tradition as one of you. At worst, in your "community development" spirit you might createjust enough problems to get someone shot after your vacation ends_ and you rush back to yourmiddleclass neighborhoods where your friends make jokes about "spits" and "wetbacks."You start on your task without any training. Even the Peace Corps spends around $10,000 oneach corps member to help him adapt to his new environment and to guard him against cultureshock. How odd that nobody ever thought about spending money to educate poor Mexicans in 22
  23. 23. order to prevent them from the culture shock of meeting you?In fact, you cannot even meet the majority which you pretend to serve in Latin America - even ifyou could speak their language, which most of you cannot. You can only dialogue with those likeyou - Latin American imitations of the North American middle class. There is no way for you toreally meet with the underprivileged, since there is no common ground whatsoever for you tomeet on.Let me explain this statement, and also let me explain why most Latin Americans with whom youmight be able to communicate would disagree with me.Suppose you went to a U.S. ghetto this summer and tried to help the poor there "helpthemselves." Very soon you would be either spit upon or laughed at. People offended by yourpretentiousness would hit or spit. People who understand that your own bad consciences push youto this gesture would laugh condescendingly. Soon you would be made aware of your irrelevanceamong the poor, of your status as middle-class college students on a summer assignment. Youwould be roundly rejected, no matter if your skin is white-as most of your faces here are-or brownor black, as a few exceptions who got in here somehow.Your reports about your work in Mexico, which you so kindly sent me, exude self-complacency.Your reports on past summers prove that you are not even capable of understanding that yourdogooding in a Mexican village is even less relevant than it would be in a U.S. ghetto. Not only isthere a gulf between what you have and what others have which is much greater than the oneexisting between you and the poor in your own country, but there is also a gulf between what youfeel and what the Mexican people feel that is incomparably greater. This gulf is so great that in aMexican village you, as White Americans (or cultural white Americans) can imagine yourselvesexactly the way a white preacher saw himself when he offered his life preaching to the blackslaves on a plantation in Alabama. The fact that you live in huts and eat tortillas for a few weeksrenders your well-intentioned group only a bit more picturesque.The only people with whom you can hope to communicate with are some members of the middleclass. And here please remember that I said "some" -by which I mean a tiny elite in LatinAmerica.You come from a country which industrialized early and which succeeded in incorporating thegreat majority of its citizens into the middle classes. It is no social distinction in the U.S. to havegraduated from the second year of college. Indeed, most Americans now do. Anybody in thiscountry who did not finish high school is considered underprivileged.In Latin America the situation is quite different: 75% of all people drop out of school before theyreach the sixth grade. Thus, people who have finished high school are members of a tinyminority. Then, a minority of that minority goes on for university training. It is only among thesepeople that you will find your educational equals.At the same time, a middle class in the United States is the majority. In Mexico, it is a tiny elite.Seven years ago your country began and financed a so-called "Alliance for Progress." This wasan "Alliance" for the "Progress" of the middle class elites. Now. it is among the members of thismiddle class that you will find a few people who are willing to send their time with you_ Andthey are overwhelmingly those "nice kids" who would also like to soothe their troubledconsciences by "doing something nice for the promotion of the poor Indians." Of course, whenyou and your middleclass Mexican counterparts meet, you will be told that you are doing 23
  24. 24. something valuable, that you are "sacrificing" to help others.And it will be the foreign priest who will especially confirm your self-image for you. After all,his livelihood and sense of purpose depends on his firm belief in a year-round mission which is ofthe same type as your summer vacation-mission.There exists the argument that some returned volunteers have gained insight into the damage theyhave done to others - and thus become more mature people. Yet it is less frequently stated thatmost of them are ridiculously proud of their "summer sacrifices." Perhaps there is also somethingto the argument that young men should be promiscuous for awhile in order to find out that sexuallove is most beautiful in a monogamous relationship. Or that the best way to leave LSD alone isto try it for awhile -or even that the best way of understanding that your help in the ghetto isneither needed nor wanted is to try, and fail. I do not agree with this argument. The damagewhich volunteers do willy-nilly is too high a price for the belated insight that they shouldnt havebeen volunteers in the first place.If you have any sense of responsibility at all, stay with your riots here at home. Work for thecoming elections: You will know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how tocommunicate with those to whom you speak. And you will know when you fail. If you insist onworking with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tellyou to go to hell. It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you areso linguistically deaf and dumb that you dont even understand what you are doing, or whatpeople think of you. And it is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define somethingthat you want to do as "good," a "sacrifice" and "help."I am here to suggest that you voluntarily renounce exercising the power which being an Americangives you. I am here to entreat you to freely, consciously and humbly give up the legal right youhave to impose your benevolence on Mexico. I am here to challenge you to recognize yourinability, your powerlessness and your incapacity to do the "good" which you intended to do.I am here to entreat you to use your money, your status and your education to travel in LatinAmerica. Come to look, come to climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers. Come to study. Butdo not come to help.Ivan Illich is the author of Deschooling Society and other provocative books. Thanks to NickRoyal, Tim Stanton, and Steve Babb for helping to find this speech.Some Thought Questions: 1. Clearly, Illich’s address is given in 1963 to people going to Mexico for the summer – not in 2010 to Stanford students going to Cape Town. But did anything ring true for you in Illich’s speech? Did it anger you? With what parts do you agree/disagree? 2. Should we just not do “service” in other countries then? Is it possible to go about helping a place that’s not your home? What does “service learning” mean to you? 24

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