Close call with an elephant.

This man found a cave and felt that God told him this is where he belonged. He had been there nine years and decorated all of it by himself and accumulated everything. It operates as a place where homeless people can stay to get back on their feet. Truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

Update on what pieces I’m currently working on…

Gender paper for my gender and culture class: To what extent is the South African government taking a stance against rape culture, and what are the actors, policies, and ideologies that have shaped this culture in the first place? 

7-8 pages due on Wednesday ahhhh!

Honors project: Here is a snippet from my abstract…¬†

"For my paper, I would like to explore this notion of doublethink and cognitive dissonance and expand on how it is necessary to apply to areas such as gender roles, women’s sexuality, ideas of feminism, etcetera. Furthermore, I would like to investigate on why it is important to be able to accept contrary opinions and beliefs on a more general sociological level to become a more conscious and compassionate person. In my paper, I will generally argue that experiencing cognitive dissonance and doublethink are necessary in in the efforts to queer society, dismantle oppressive institutionalized beliefs, and foster tolerance and compassion among the people."


I’m just starting to collect research and putting them in a folder to read later, since I have to work on the two above papers first. But here is a good little blurb on it from wikipedia.¬†

See, so I am doing work! … along with all the cool adventure stuff.¬†

Sorry for the neglect…here are my spring break adventures

hey everyone!

I’m sorry I have not been writing on here. I’m going to do a few posts today. This one will be about all my spring break adventures! I’m just going to make a list of what I did on the Garden Route/ ADDO Elephant park…

  • Pet Elephants (amazing, best day of my life)
  • Monkeyland - monkeys roaming everywhere with no cages!
  • Cat park - lions, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs etc!
  • Ostrich farm
  • Canopy zipling
  • Cango Caves
  • Found a cool religious man who pretty much made a hotel out of a cave to help out homeless folk (AMAZING! will do a seperate post for that)
  • Game drive in the natural habitat of elephants, lions, rhino, etc (elephant almost trampled us, video soon)
  • Tsitsikamma Suspension Bridge
  • Went to the southermost tip of Africa, where the atlantic ocean meets the indian ocean
  • Went to the hills where J.R Tolken got inspired to write Lord of the Rings
  • Horseback Riding
  • Spent the 18th birthday of the backpackers called Island Vibe in Jeffreys bay…and lets just say we got weird

So many adventures, and its a blessing to have two spring breaks in one year! In March, I went to Haiti for spring break - and then this one here in South Africa. Absolutely amazing.


What is Empowerment?: Breaking down this important word

Interesting lecture today on Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa. We dissected what the word empowerment even means. These are just rugged thoughts throughout this lecture. WARNING: LIVE BLOGGING RN 

Pretty good definition: “Expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, influence, control and hold accountable institutions that affect their lives.” - Narayan¬†

Disempowerment results from INSTITUTIONAL BARRIERS. 

Different types of power include…
Power Over
Power To
Power With
Power Within

Empowerment is multifaceted - individual, organizational, communal. 

  1. Personal power and strength
  2. access to decisions making processes, control and influence over environment and ability to affect the distribution of social and economic resources
  3. Collective efforts that lead to community competence

Empowerment economically, politically, socially, and legally. 

I always talk about empowering people whenever I go across seas and now I actually know what the hell I am talking about.


Back to Work!

Now that Daniel is gone, I can get back on my grind. The past couple weeks have been filled with sharks, penguins, cheetahs, lions, elephants, zebras, buffalo, hippos, and ostriches. It was great to spend 16 days with him. He left today and I’m a bit sad. :( But I’m glad we got to do these amazing things together.¬†

Now I’m back on my grind - got a paper due next week and some other shenanigans then I’m on holiday for two weeks! I can’t wait to see my VCE babies tomorrow! I’ve missed them and seeing them will make me super happy.¬†

I’ve spent hell money - so that needs to stop. Pasta and oatmeal will be my diet for the next month or so!!!

OHHHHH and there is a talk on the Palestinian and Israeli conflict on Sept. 2nd! I am super excited to go to that and participate in a discussion on whats going on in Gaza. 

I also have been following whats going on in Ferguson, and I wish I could be in the states to join the struggle and educate. 

My highlight of this week was visiting Robben Island and being able to see the cell that Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in. It was touching and inspirational to be in the place where the freedom fighters were kept as political prisoners. Our tour guide was an inmate of 5 years at Robben Island for being a member of the African National Congress (ANC) in the 80s. He talked about being tortured and humiliated there, as most people were. He also talked about how they demanded better conditions in all aspect of prison life through organization and international pressure. It was truly amazing to hear this man’s story, and it humanized the entire experience. I was reading the information there and they said that toward the end of the prison’s existence many of the officials of the prison and the guards started being nicer to people because they realized that these imprisoned men would most likely end up as their new political leaders. It gave me chills reading that - and it brought me great hope for other nations who are pursuing this same struggle.

It was just a great, revolutionary experience. And I wore my Che Guevara shirt while there in solidarity for the freedom fighters.

Till next time!

So I was this close to a shark.