My daily commute to work in Cape Town (CPT) involved a 45-minute bus ride, followed by a seven-minute walk to the train station and then a 15-minute train ride to the office. On a good day, without delays, my commute would be about an hour and 15 minutes each way. Although this was exhausting, it was probably one of the best parts about being in CPT as I not only learned about various parts of the city but I also met some interesting people along the way. I’m going to miss that bus ride.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been working primarily on the evaluation of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) training programs. We have been interviewing and surveying various stakeholders to get a variety of perspectives on the College’s programs. After several tutorials and even a seminar on ATLAS.ti, I was ready to go. Most of my time is now spent editing, prepping and coding the transcripts from graduates, industry representatives, college staff as well as students who did not complete the program. To my surprise, much of my anxieties around doing qualitative research were dispelled as the process has been rather intuitive. The best part of doing all the coding is that I now have a much deeper understanding of the various perspectives which will be beneficial for writing the report.
After five weeks of exploring what I now know as one of the most beautiful places on Earth (yes, I’m making that claim, you’ll see why in the pics below), it was time for me to head back to Joburg. The Friday before I had to leave, I was busy uploading all my documents and folders to google drive and making sure I had all that I needed for when I returned to Joburg. My supervisor said she had to step out for a quick run but would be back soon. About 45 minutes later, my supervisor walks into the office with a Sacher – Torte cake! She smiles at me and says “it’s a tradition to buy a cake for someone’s birthday but since it’s your last day, I think a cake is definitely appropriate”. I was sooo moved. Everyone in the office filed in and out of the small kitchen to bid me farewell and also strongly encouraged me to return to the Cape. One gentleman even offered me a job in his architectural firm if that would get me to stay. I’m not sure I would be very useful in that department but it was certainly a nice gesture.
I enjoyed every minute of my time in CPT. I wish I could share everything, but then you would be reading all day. So, here are some pics for now. I’ll tell you about Robben Island in the next post…So, stay Tuned!