November 26, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 39°F


An introduction to Cape Town

Africa. When people hear the name they picture Masai warriors hunting lions or a war torn countryside where people would not be able to survive if it weren’t for peacekeeping organizations.

Africa. It is a place just as diverse than the United States with 54 recognized countries.

South Africa. A country that was torn apart by apartheid and is still trying to mend both its politics and its people.

Cape Town. One of the three capitals of South Africa and where I will be living for six months.

Cape Town (called Kaap Stad here) is an immensely diverse and modern city. Yes the tap water is safe to drink and there is electricity. After a 27-hour plane ride to arrive here, my study abroad program (IES) rounded us up and brought us to dinner in an area called Bo Kaap.

Bo Kaap is a predominantly Muslim area where coloured people live, (side note: referring to a person as coloured here is socially acceptable and it refers to a person of mixed heritage. Oddly enough if you are Asian or Hispanic, you are considered Caucasian here. Weird, right?) and has been present since the start of the city.

In order to learn about how diverse South Africa is, we made a traditional Malay meal: Samosas! It was a little hard to do while jetlagged, but a fun icebreaker to both introduce ourselves to the other exchange students and to the cultures that we will be interacting with.

Samosas fry in oil until they are fully cooked.


The owner of the restaurant teaches us how to fold the samosa dough.


From left, University of Vermont juniors Leah Delaney and Arielle Peet and Catholic University of America junior Mickey Jackson attempt to fold the Samosa dough.


If we made any mistakes folding the Samosas, our teacher would correct them for us.


Frying the samosas turned into a huge spectacle as we tried to make sure that we didn’t burn ourselves or our food.