Friday, June 08, 2007

Cape Town Day 3

Friday involved spending a good bit of the day in the University of Cape Town (UCT) library. After getting a letter of introduction from Dean Hill, which they never even asked for, I was able to use my Boston University ID to gain visiting scholar access to the library. Unlike US university libraries, the University of Cape Town organizes its library according to the Dewey Decimal System. This meant relearning how to find books! Fortunately, most of the books I wanted were in the African Studies Library which meant that I only had to fill out a little form and the books were brought to me in the reading room. I am researching the role of religion in Apartheid, its fall, and the establishment and implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. Interestingly enough, many of the books were written by or edited by either Em's professor Andre du Toit or by her internship supervisor Alex Boraine. I was also surprised to discover that one of the books I was reading that involved both of these professors also had contributions from scholars of the Boston Theological Institute, including my boss, Rodney Petersen, and one of the International Mission and Ecumenism Committee members, Raymond Helmick, SJ. What a small world! I arrived back at the apartment much drier than the day previously. That night we went and had Indian food with Emily A and Niv again along with two more of Em's friends, Jenn and Eliot. Jenn is studying in a similar program to Em's and Eliot is studying community theater and social transformation. We had an invigorating discussion over dinner and then Jenn, Em and I went in search of gelato. Unfortunately, the gelato store was closed so we satisfied ourselves with milkshakes at a restaurant on Long Street that Em had occasioned before.

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