Halfway: Setting Deadlines and Exploring Local Wonders

Progress at Work

I started this week off with a one-on-one check in with my boss to go over deadlines and expectations for the last half of the internship. I’ve been doing a ton of research and making solid progress on the outputs, but this was a good reality check for how much time I have left and what tasks need to be my priorities for the coming weeks. My goal is to get a draft of the database as well as my Country Note finished two weeks before I leave to allow time for feedback and editing.

I then met with the research team, and we discussed a proposal to switch from excel to google forms as a data collection method. I have used both before while many of the other team members were familiar with only excel. I offered my suggestions and said I was more than willing to try and help create the google form or test out using it, whichever would be more useful for the rest of the team moving forward.

This week also provided answers to a few clarifying questions I had regarding the database, specific to Ghana. I had a few concerns that I was misunderstanding part of the codebook which would lead to a misrepresentation of the data from Ghana’s mandate and final report, so I spoke with some of the other researchers who have been doing the same tasks for different countries and made sure I was in line with their understanding of the codebook.

Exploring around Cape Town

Since I went down to Simon’s Town last weekend, I decided to stay local and continue exploring the Cape Town area this weekend. On Friday, after I got off work, I headed over to Signal Hill to watch the sunset.  I had heard great things about the view from the hill, and it is one most famous sunset spots in Cape Town.  The uber ride to the top of the hill was amazing and I was tempted to ask my driver to stop part of the way up because I was enjoying view, but it was even better once I reached the peak. At the top there was a sitting area off to one side to watch the sunset over the ocean, but before I grabbed a seat, I looked around at some of the trails and the views on the city side.  After a few photos I grabbed an ice cream before sitting back down to enjoy sunset. From my seat, I could see the ocean, Lion’s Head, Table Mountain, and many other famous landmarks that make Cape Town the beautiful city that it is. The view was even more amazing than I had been told and everyone on the hill was so friendly. I hope I get to go back and watch another sunset from Signal Hill before my time in Cape Town is over.

View of surrounding mountains and onlookers just before sunset at Signal Hill.

The next morning was a Saturday, so I decided to head to a place in Cape Town I had not explored yet: the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. A highlight of the garden was the tree canopy walkway which takes you out over most of the garden to get a great view of the surrounding mountains and the local foliage. I was worried that because I am interning in Cape Town during their winter, the garden would not be very vibrant, but from the canopy walkway it became clear how much is still colorful and alive during the winter. After the walkway I ventured through a few other areas of the garden including the sculpture garden, the arboretum, and the fragrance garden before picnicking on the lawn. I could not think of a better place to have my lunch as the view of the mountains from the lawn was breathtaking. The garden is a popular spot for lunch or just getting some time outdoors for people who live in Cape Town.  I enjoyed being surrounded by so many people who use the garden as part of their daily routine, including a lively group of kids chasing each other around the grass. I ended up spending almost the whole day reading and lounging in the garden before heading home a bit before closing.

Botanical Gardens with mountains in the background.

The next day I needed to primarily focus on running errands and tidying up my apartment for another week working at home. I did some grocery shopping then headed into my local pharmacy, which I have found to be the best spot for gluten free snacks. By the time I came back and finished tidying up I decided to head to lunch. Luckily, I live really close to the center of town so there are plenty of great restaurants only a few blocks away. I grabbed lunch at Clarke’s Deli, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots.

From there I decided to extend my walk to visit Bo-Kaap. Bo-Kaap is a neighborhood full of brightly painted houses and was one of the first things that popped up on google when I looked up Cape Town before arriving.  I had walked through the neighborhood on my way to other places, but I wanted to take the time to stop at look at the houses. The highlight of my Bo-Kaap visit was an orange and white cat that decided to stop and spend some time with me.

Orange and white cat approaches law student in front of colorful houses at Bo-Kaap.