First Three Days

We have been in Cape Town for three days now, and we have been extremely busy in class and exploring this beautiful city.  Sometimes when walking through the city, I don’t feel like I am in Africa until we turn around a corner and see a beautiful mountain in the distance.  On Friday, we went to the top of Table Mountain on a cable car.  We were lucky to have great weather and we were able to look over the city.  The picture below is Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain.

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On Saturday, we spent the day at Cape Town University learning about leadership.  Then we were able to meet local students from two different universities that are studying entrepreneurship, and they did quick demonstrations in which they explained their business plans.  I felt like I was on the show Shark Tank as I critiqued their business plans.  The students were bright and had great ideas and products that are not available in America and could potentially become products that Americans use every day such as portable solar powered phone chargers and a dress that can be changed to form over twenty different dresses.  There was a big difference in the students from the two schools because the students from the township school had ideas that would benefit the community as a whole rather than a product focused on making profits.  The Cape Town University was beautiful, and the pictures below are a view of the city from the school and a building with a vine growing on it.

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On Sunday, we went to St. James Church which felt like a normal church in the United States.  The pastor gave a shout-out to our group and the people were very friendly.  The pastor taught from the book of Ruth and told us that it is important to make good strategic decisions and make sure that we think critically when facing a decision.  After the service, we went to the coffee shop in the church where we met with some students from the youth program and we swapped stories about our home countries and schools.  After the service, we had a choice to hike Table Mountain or take the afternoon off.  I chose to take the day off and take a quick nap and explore around the Waterfront.

I have enjoyed learning about the city and I feel that talking to local people has allowed me to learn a lot about the city, the culture of South Africa, and the history of the city.  The scariest part of the town is the taxi drivers.  The taxi drivers will weave through traffic moving a lot faster than they should, and they will purposely take longer routes to run up the meter.  I have enjoyed bonding with fellow Presbyterian College students, Dr. Turner, and Dad(Mike).

Matt Smith

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