Global Perspectives on Human Language:
The South African Context

Sites and Scenery


Language & Education

History & Culture

Sites & Scenery

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Below are photographs and captions of some of the sites our group visited and the scenery we enjoyed while in Cape Town and the Western Cape area.

Sundowner at Signal Hill [no photos so the following are included instead]

Sunset at Camp's Bay

Sunset light illuminates the mountains known as "The Twelve Apostles"

University of Cape Town
[not a good photo of the Sara Baartman sculpture in Library]

Townships: Khyelitsha, Langa, Guguletu

A typical street scene in Khyelitsha [better photo?]

A woman weaving at the Women's Empowerment Center, an organization started by mothers at the Philani Créche (nursery school) in Langa Township.

The community garden at the Tsoga Environmental Center in Langa

A Xhosa boy wearing the traditional dress of a married woman, as is done during a particular cultural festival day of "reversal"

Bokaap: the former Slave Quarters of the city, now transformed...

Whales at Kalk Bay [no photos, video available]

An artist's rendition of the "Southern Right Whale," revealing its massive size in comparison to a human

Penguins coming ashore at Boulders Park

Table Mountain [no photos]

Robben Island

A historical photograph showing prisoners arriving at the dock

Robben Island Museum
Brief Summary of Robben Island's History

Cape Point

Rocio, Manon, Christian and Lizet

The view from the end of the earth

Khoisan Rock Art in Cedarburg

Course Itinerary

Sept 1, Wednesday
Students arrived in Cape Town, staying at the Green Elephant Backpackers Lodge

Sept 2, Thursday
Colleen Knipe-Solomon of Fundisa Tours gives an orientation, followed by a drive through the city up to Signal Hill's spectacular sunset view; champagne and cookies were enjoyed by all. Dinner at the Waterfront.

Sept 3, Friday
Much needed catching up on sleep; orientation lecture and by Professor Baugh and discussion of course readings in the afternoon.

Sept 4-5, Saturday & Sunday
Free days for exploring on your own

Sept 6, Monday
Reading and discussion in preparation for meeting with Kay McCormack, a UCT linguistics professor and author of course text: Language in District Six.

Sept 7, Tuesday
Visit to University of Cape Town (UCT) for a walking tour with Diane and her father the librarian-- we were treated to a display of rare books. Kathy Erasmus organized a program for the afternoon including meeting with Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows and Kay McCormack.

Sept 8, Wednesday
Full day of excursions, beginning with Bokaap, the ex-slave quarters of the city. Visit to community projects in the Langa Township including Philani Nutrition Center, Tsoga Environmental Center, loveLife. Visit to the Chris Hani School in Khyelitsha. Supper and dancing to a youth marimba band at Lelapa Restaurant in Langa.

Sept 9, Thursday
Escorted by Linda Biehl herself, our group visited various projects sponsored in schools by the Foundation, including: Peer Reading Models, Music Education, Drama Group and Craft Enterprises.

Sept 10, Friday
Return to University of Cape Town for the 5th Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture, given by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela-- freedom fighter, former president and ever-beloved leader of South Africa.

Sept 11, Saturday
Ferry to Robben Island where former prisoners led our tour, offering history of the island itself, of the expansion of the prison to accomodate rapidly growing numbers of political prisoners, and also sharing their personal experiences as detainees. In the afternoon, the group rode by cable car to the top of Table Mountain.

Sept 12, Sunday
Free day

Sept 13, Monday
Before-dawn departure for Clanwilliam brought us to the "Living Landscapes" project where young tour guides-in-training develop their skills, and Khoisan cultural arts and crafts are made. In the afternoon, we read to students from the award-winning Elizabethfontein School and donated books. They demonstrated the diverse dances of the region in an elaborate performance; our group later enjoyed sharing our own traditions of dance with the students in the courtyard.

Sept 14, Tuesday
After an overnight stay in rural Cedarburg valley, we ventured out to hike the Sevilla Rock Art Trail where we viewed rock art first created by the San and Khoi peoples between 200 and 6,000 (or more) years ago. Returning to Cape Town we passed through Langebaan, an idyllic coastal nature reserve-- with flamingoes!

Sept 15, Wednesday
Principal Abrams escorted us around a highschool in Cape Flats and our group spoke in multiple languages, sang and danced with a class of 11th graders. Afterward, we visited the Early Learning Resource Unit, a non-profit organization providing teacher professional development and working to develop literacy materials in multiple languages.

Sept 16, Thursday
Tour of the Cape Peninsula, including Hout Bay, Chapman's Peak Drive, a winery (with duck ponds) in Stellenbosch. Lunch in Kalk Bay was followed by a trip to Boulders National Park where penguins freely roam. Epic views were had by all at Cape Point, the bluff where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet. The day concluded with watching for wildlife (no whales so far...) in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.

Sept 17, Friday
Student presentations of research, followed by an informal lecture by Raj Mesthrie, a South African linguistics professor (UCT) and author of the "Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics."

Sept 18, Saturday
Research and writing up projects

Sept 19, Sunday
Free day

Sept 20, Monday
Completion of projects, followed by our farewell party. In the evening our group was joined by Linda Biehl at Moyo, an eclectic African fusion restaurant with romantic atmosphere and delightful musical/dramatic performances.

Sept 21, Tuesday