Today was my first karate grading, and I was so excited. There were 9 white-belts who attempted the first, yellow belt, and only four of us made it.
Today was the hand-in for the scara sub-systems. I Got to sleep at 3 am and was up again at 7am. I needed to print all my documents (over 15) and edit one or two things, but of course the printers weren’t working. I mean NONE of the printers at campus were working.
So I know I’ve been throwing the term SCARA around lately, so if you’re wondering what it means, its a Selective Compliant Assembly Robotic Arm… Yup its a robot, and I’m designing one. Let me tell you right now, this is not proving to be an easy task! Thankfully, I have the most awesome team, all of which are German. Well David L isn’t really, but thats debatable because he speaks fluent German.
Today was a pretty good day. I had a meeting to attend with some representatives from the City of Cape Town, so it was an excuse to dress up. I love the business-casual look, and always try to jazz it up a little so I don’t come across too yuppie! I didn’t take a picture, but you can get the picture, it looked a lot like this…
Well today was simply wonderful! Tumelo (my head of community interactions, and an absolute darling) and I were at Kramer bright and early at 9 am for a talk about the history of informal settlements in the Cape Area, right from when the Dutch first landed. Of course thats the only place anyone ever starts a history lesson about this country, as if history only began when there were white people around! How absurd, but anyway, we somehow managed to be invited to a SHAWCO township tour for semester-abroad students.
SHAWCO was founded in 1943 by Andrew Kinnear, a medical student who was moved to action by the need which he saw in the impoverished communities of Cape Town.
Well they really are something, but this year failed to get as many UCT student volunteers as they need to tutor children. So come on comrades, why not spend an hour a week changing the life of a young person?
We went on a tour to Kensington, a ‘coloured’ area, and then again to the Nyanga market (I think someones trying to tel me something, don’t you?). It was great to see what SHAWCO is up to, helping children, abused women, the elderly, the mentally ill etc.
After we got to campus, I just had time to check my mail and it was off again to Nyanga market (see what I mean), this time with Brennan (head of EWB) and other members of my team.
We met up with Shannon Royden-Turner, of Jakupa Architects who are currently upgrading the entire Nyanga taxi-rank area. They are creating an urban framework for the area, incorporating better flow and a public space that residents can be proud of. They also did the urban framework of the Greenpoint Stadium!
So all in all, I had a full and very tiring day trudging around Nyanga and Kensington, shaking hands and talking to people who live in those communities and seeing people in a slightly different light. It wasn’t nearly as scary today as it was on Tuesday (there was a hectic taxi strike on Tuesday and we were threatened when we drove past that area). Even the meat market wasn’t so bad, I’m even getting used to the smell! Poor Christina, my deputy had a tough time though, it was her first time after all. But gear up Chris! There’s going to be a lot more of that to come!
I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s when I got home…again… “Oh I’m just craaayzy about Tiffany’s”
I made a huge dish of Bread and Butter pudding today! With home-made custard…It was just ridiculously big! I had to send a whole lot home with a friend, 6 people ate from it, and there is still enough for two portions!
I got up and went for a run this morning, just got back. I don’t know whats wrong with me but running is hard work these days! I still clocked a personal best for the mile of 9’58”. That was pretty cool! I love my Ipod + Nike…it’s so worth it! For some reason I can’t load iTunes, or cant get into it…i think my computer isn’t fast enough..
So I got up at 6:30 am this morning and dragged myself to campus. I met up with three other members of my project team at a BP garage in Kenilworth. The plan was to go on a tour of the NGO Abalimi Bhazekhaya (the planters of the home), and their community gardens in Gugulethu.