It’s been a bit of a crazy week here in Cape Town. Record rainfall has hit, soaking everything and everybody to the core, flooding roads, and wreaking havoc in the townships. Thanks to my nice waterproof rain jacket, I have been surviving the wetness, but I am anxiously anticipating the nice summer weather that is waiting for me back in the States when I return next Saturday.
My second to last week in South Africa has been going quite nicely, although it has been a bit hectic (a word South Africans love to use). Last weekend, I spent Saturday afternoon climbing Lion’s Head again. It was not as nice weather as the last time I ascended the peak, but it was a neat experience since there was a cloud at the top and we got to be in the middle of a cloud while climbing! Other than that, I just hung out around our house and watched several (perhaps one-too-many) movies.
Monday was my final official day at the District Six Museum. After weeks of work and a frantic few days of writing and formatting, I finished my final report and handed it over to the museum staff. Today (Friday), I will be meeting with my supervisors at the museum to discuss my findings and how the museum can move forward. Hopefully it will go well, as all of my work this summer will be for naught if I cannot sell the permanent staff on my recommendations. I will try to upload the document to the blog in the near future.
As far as my history research for my thesis on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I have been keeping busy with that too. After endless phone calls and emails, I was finally able to locate the documents I was looking for. Since last Thursday, I have spent countless hours scanning and photocopying reports, memos, submissions, and other random documents associated with the passage of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Bill, the act that set up the TRC. I have been extremely lucky that those who I have been able to get in contact with have been extremely helpful and generous in sharing their time with me. As fate would have it, the material I am working with is not all in one place, so each day I make a circuit around Cape Town hopping from one organization’s archives to the next. It’s a bit like a scavenger hunt, except the more documents I find, the more reading I have to do!
On a final note, I finally figured out my plans for my last week. Thursday morning, I will be flying to Johannesburg. Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, I hope to meet with several people there to talk about my research. And then Friday at 8pm SAST (2pm EST), I begin the long, 20 hour-long trek back to the United States.
Seven days and counting…