Today was our first day leaving the Cape Town area. We went to Stellenbosch which is a really nice historical city about 45 minutes outside of Cape Town. Once we got there we had a day filled with tea time, wine tasting, and historical tours. The city looked reminded me a lot like Charleston or another historic city, but once we got deep into the tour there was a lot of African insight to learn. Our tour was great and something that I was really interested in was the roofs on a lot of the buildings. They were something I had never seen before. It was not your typical shingled roof, but rather a roof made from reeds. They were carefully placed in equal lengths on the roof, starting from the bottom and slowly getting smaller towards the top of the roof. On the interior of the house the ceiling is similar, but it is made from thicker reeds that look like pieces of bamboo. The average section takes around 8 days to build and it looks like a rather tedious process.
One other highlight of my day my going to visit a data analytics firm. It was a short visit, but I found it pretty interesting considering I took a class related to the subject of data mining last semester. As I walked around the office I saw a lot of familiar stuff on the computers as people worked. It is a lot of work in excel and the people that work at this firm take the data from excel and format it in their own programs. The final product comes out as specific business models to project companies sales for the future and even compare them to historical data. They had clients anywhere from major financial firms to oil companies and even Ivy League schools. It may have only been a short pit stop for the day, but it was surprising how similar it was to the ideas that we dipped into in business intelligence class.
Overall I had a great and tiring day. I cannot wait to work in a township tomorrow and see an entirely different aspect of society around here.