Shoreline Community College Summer 2006 Study Abroad

Cape Town South Africa

Professor Ernest B. Johnson


Actual Flight Itinerary to Cape Town South Africa 

Depart SeaTac International Airport:  Monday, August 21 - 11:25 pm

Arrive Washington DC (United Airlines) Monday, August 22 - 7:10 am

Depart Washington DC: (South African Airlines) Tuesday, August 22 – 9:30 am

Arrive Jo-Burg Wednesday August 23 – 8:25 am

Depart Jo-Burg (SAA) –Wednesday August 23 – 10:00 am

Arrive Cape Town: Wednesday, August 23 – 12:10 pm


Depart Cape Town (to Jo-Burg): (SAA), Monday, September 18 – 2:40 pm

Arrive Jo-Burg, Monday, September 18 – 4:40 pm

Depart Jo-Burg for U.S.: (SAA) Monday, September, 18 – 6:40 pm

Arrive Washington DC: (19 hour flight), Tuesday, September 19 – 6:25 am

Depart Washington DC:  (United Airlines) Tuesday, September 19 – 8:30 am

Arrive SeaTac International: Tuesday, September 19 – 11:05 am

South Africa: Cape Town

Pre-Departure Guide

Program Overview

The program will be divided into three parts, pre-program preparation, the actual on-site program, and the follow up post-program. The pre-program will involve instruction in South African history and culture, journaling, interactive collaborative activities, and cross-cultural training for all participants. Once on site, students will attend lectures facilitated by scholars and community leaders, and travel throughout the city of Cape Town and to various cities, towns and townships in the surrounding areas. We will also travel to Nelson Mandela's home village. Students will be required to keep a journal, conduct and record interviews, and record their experiences (including both the physical and socio-cultural environment).

Educational Program

The educational program will begin with a pre-travel course on South African history, culture, language and customs, journaling, and webpage development. All participants should enroll in Dr; J's African Culture 210 Class Spring 2006 or make special arrangements to access course content. Pre-travel email contact with participants in the home-stay experience will also be established.

Students will have a chance to collaborate with students from the UW in facilitating Theater of the Oppressed dramatic performances between a group of students from Cape Town and Washington Middle School in Seattle. This collaboration will be part of a UW seminar series under the supervision of Professor Eugene Edgar of the UW CHID program.

See: (Grant Proposal:Worlds Apart Hearts)

 Learning Objectives

*       Participants will learn to appreciate and interact with diverse cultures appropriately

*       Participants will learn to respect the strength, durability, and integrity of South African cultures

*       Participants will examine the impact of Apartheid on Black, White and Colored South Africans

*       Participants will examine how race is constructed in South African society

*       Participants will interact with South Africans from a cross-section of society in authentic socio-cultural situations


Study Abroad Program

First Phase (with a slow start for the jet-lagged)

Our first week in South Africa will be spent in and around the majestic city of Cape Town, nestled beneath awe inspiring Table Mountain. In the modern urban setting, after recovering form the long flights, we will visit the attractions, and meet with UW students arriving onsite. We'll have diner and listen to music at the Africa Cafe and other fantastic and affordable restaurants.

In Cape Town, we will explore the modern urban setting, have lectures on the history of the area, and we'll travel to historical sites, including Cape Castle, the Cape Peninsula,  which by train brings you to the very edge of the majestic African continent where fantastic cliffs split the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. This southern-most tip of the continent is also the home of the famous South African Penguin.     See:  www.bouldersPenguins.html     Highlights also include a cable car to the top of Table Mountain and a ferry ride to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and other black activists were held for years during the Apartheid era. Robben Island.


For 15 nights we will be accommodated at the Riverview Guest Lodge, which is conveniently located near the train station, several shops, restaurants, and a supermarket. (See link below)

Second Segment: Visiting the village where His Excellency Nelson Mandela was raised.

See: 100 plus websites on the Nelson Mandela

During the second week will be traveling along the scenic Garden Route from Cape Town to Qunu, the village in which  Mandela was raised, stopping at cultural and historical sites in between.  We will be visiting the scenic and historically  segregated cities of Mossel Bay, Knysna, Jeffery’s Bay, Port Elizabeth (the city where Steve Biko was imprisoned  and tortured), East London (our point of departure for Qunu), and by contrast the distinctively Black town of Umtata. Once in Qunu we will investigate the HIV/AIDS center that was under construction when we last visited in 2003, and hopefully have a chance to interact with the remarkable residents of this African village.  We will also make a short pilgrimage to Mandela's birth village and his presidential residence. This entire journey should take eight days and seven nights.


The Garden Route region runs along a scenic stretch of coastline beginning in Cape Town and ending in Port Elizabeth a small coastal city on South Africa’s south east coast. The region has become South Africa’s most popular tourist destination after Cape Town, and it’s not hard to see why. Visitors are drawn year-round to its indigenous forests, freshwater lakes, wetlands, hidden coves and long beaches. The narrow coastal plain is well forested and is mostly bordered by extensive lagoons that run behind a barrier of sand dunes and superb white beaches. The region has some of the largest patches of indigenous forest in the country - giant yellowwood trees and wildflowers - as well as commercial plantations of eucalyptus and pine.

Highlights of the Garden Route include the Wilderness coastal stretch, the whale watchers paradise of Hermanus, Knysna's lagoon and forest-based activities, as well as Plettenberg Bay, a location that combines some of South Africa's best swimming beaches with beautiful forest and indigenous vegetation. Near Plettenberg Bay is the unspoilt Tsitsikamma National Park, where dense indigenous forests are punctuated by streams and tumbling waterfalls flowing towards the coast.


Map of South Africa


Qunu and Mvezo Website

Third Segment

Once arriving back in Cape Town we will resume our relation with the residents of the townships, attend cultural lectures about the history and contemporary realities of life in and around the townships in preparation for our home-stay. This phase of the onsite program will entail a visit to a high school in historic Langa township, a two-night home-stay in one or more of the townships, an opportunity to investigate projects first hand e.g. the HIV/AIDS pandemic, cultural/political responses to Apartheid, and current state of reconciliation.

We'll also explore several historic townships (Cape Flats), where we will experience the stark contrast between the lives of the materially wealthy city dwellers and the culturally wealthy, yet materially deprived, masses of "Black" and "Colored" South Africans. This is where millions of people struggle to survive and yet manage to maintain a light-hearted outlook often thriving through the sheer richness of their cultures and their creative initiatives.  We will have the opportunity of meeting with, attending lectures by, and interacting with former freedom fighters who are members of fantastic organization called WECAT.

See: WECAT website

Students will also collect oral histories, personal interviews, and images to be part of their post-program project.  These records will be acquired in a manner that is respectful of and true to the cultural ethos and values of the persons interviewed or otherwise recorded.  This aspect of the educational program requires awareness, knowledge, and skills that will allow you as a quest in someone’s community, to avoid appropriating their culture for your own academic purposes.  Selective and appropriate onsite experiences will be recorded in collaboration with our hosts.  Those collective images and records should be properly stored and protected in order to have them produced and when appropriate exhibited upon our return.  Before departing we expect to have a closing celebration and then prepare for the long journey back to Seattle.

Fourth Segment 

Upon returning to SCC, students will have a chance to compile and organize their recorded explorations of their specific areas of interests. The final component will be a visual and/or audio-visual production of the study abroad experience to be exhibited for the campus. 


Descriptions of Select Places around Cape Town

Cape Peninsula National Park

Lying at the southwestern tip of Africa, the Cape Peninsula National Park (CPNP) encompasses the

incredibly scenic Peninsula mountain chain that stretches from Signal hill in the north to Cape Point

in the south a distance of approximately 60 km. The narrow finger of land with its many beautiful

valleys, bays and beaches is bound by waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warm waters

of False Bay in the east. It has within its boundaries two world renown landmarks the majestic

Table Mountain and the legendary Cape of Good Hope. Recognized globally for its extraordinarily

rich, diverse and unique flora and fauna, this singular land formation - with its rugged cliffs, steep

slopes and sandy flats - is a truly remarkable natural, scenic historical, cultural and recreational

asset both locally and internationally.

Table Mountain certainly is one of the world s most splendid natural wonders and it is the best known

natural feature in South Africa. It is a rather steep climb to the top; therefore the cableway is

a popular alternative to reach the Western Table from where a host of footpaths can be followed for

further exploration. The Western Table also offers various visitor facilities including a curio shop

and a restaurant.

Boulders is home to 570 pairs of the endangered African penguins. Visitors have the rare

opportunity to interact (even swim), with these birds in their natural habitat. Cape Point is the

southern most tip of the peninsula and is in the region famous as the Cape of Good Hope.

Signal Hill, Noon Gun, a popular look out point above Cape Town, used to be the place from

where early colonials received their signal when ships were entering the bay. Every day, at noon, a

canon is fired as a reminder of this old colonial tradition.

Your stay will provide plenty of discussions around the Park s approaches and strategies to a variety

of conservation issues, e.g. fire and invasive vegetation management, contractor development,

medicinal plant stripping (illegal) vs. resource use rights, cultural heritage management as well as

community partnerships.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden (not in season)

The National Botanical Institute (NBI) manages eight Botanical Gardens in South Africa, Including

Kirstenbosch. Through these gardens and their research and educational programs, NBI strive to

encourage appreciation, enjoyment and conservation of South Africa s wonderfully rich natural

flora. Though your visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden will focus on traditional plant use and

conservation issues, other places of interest here are the Environmental Education Centre, the

National Botanical Institutes reference library, the great glass house and the visitor complex.

Township Visits

Several days of your time in Cape Town will be spent in the townships in the Cape Flats. You

will visit the townships of Montana, Cross Roads, and Langa, and possibly others.  You ll

experience first hand the day-to-day activities of ordinary people, and have an opportunity to

visit the Love Life center in Langa.

Tsoga Environmental Resource Center, Langa Township

The Tsoga Environmental Resource Center is a community based organization, with varied

educational programs that include food gardening, recycling and literacy. Tsoga also promotes a

new perspective on the concept of tourism in disadvantaged communities, by offering a host of

cultural tours, including a walking tour around Langa.

Robben Island

The history of this island goes back thousands of years. In the past few centuries it has been used as

a pantry and source of raw materials by seafarers, and colonists and as whaling station, hospital,

mental asylum and leper colony. However, Robben Island is best known for as a place of

banishment. It is the location of the famous prison where Nelson Mandela and many other

members of the struggle against apartheid were held.



The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town is a hub of activity with shops (everything you

could wish for), movie houses, restaurants and pubs, a host of harbor activities, including

boat/yacht charters, craft markets and of course the Two Oceans Aquarium. At the Two Oceans

Aquarium (TOA) visitors are astounded by live displays of marine life from the oceans and

coastline of southern Africa -some of the richest and diverse marine life in the world. The TOA

also offers educational programs for schools and other groups.