Calla in Cape Town

Calla in Cape Town

Calla Wilson-Traisman
May 20, 2014

Arriving in Cape Town, South Africa is something I will never forget. After traveling for hours, I arrived slightly jet-lagged and extremely excited. The driver who fetched me at the airport told me he would be taking me to a “back-packers”. I was panicked because I thought he was implying I was going backpacking, and I did not feel prepared in the slightest way. However, I quickly realized that a “back-packers” here is the same thing as a hostel. You can imagine my relief! The following days and weeks brought a whirlwind of new experiences, people, and opportunities. As I began to settle into life in Cape Town, I eagerly awaited starting my internship at MOSAIC and seeing how my professional life would develop. I could never have imagined what was to come.

My experience at Mosaic has been better than I could have ever hoped for, and I have been blessed to have the most incredible supervisor. Initially her confidence and strong demeanor intimidated me, but as it turns out I think I have the best internship someone in my position could have and that is largely to her credit. I have had the opportunity to work on various projects of interest that also support the organization, in a way that feels challenging and exciting but not too out of my reach. I have been fortunate enough to be invited on all sorts of adventures and activities, both inside and outside the office. Every day at Mosaic is a little bit different, and that keeps things interesting and authentic. I feel I have a much deeper understanding of how domestic and gender based violence presides in South Africa and the challenges that women face. Though the work is intense and the content quite heavy, it has opened my eyes to an issue, which I am passionate about. To see the work that the organization does is truly amazing; I cannot emphasize enough how much I support their initiative and I feel honored and privileged to be a part of it. The first few weeks here were slow because my supervisor was out of the office, and I had no idea what to expect. Now that things have finally gotten going and I feel settled at Mosaic, I am quite sad that I only have a few weeks left. I think that is part of the bitter-sweetness of traveling: the temporariness of it all is what makes it so special; meanwhile feeling like there’s never enough time.

As I prepare for my last few weeks in Cape Town, I look forward to having more life enriching opportunities and experiences. My supervisor has invited me to go to Johannesburg with her at the end of the month, and I plan on travelling up the garden route the following weekend. Though it feels a bit strange not to spend my last two weekends here in Cape Town, I look forward to exploring more parts of South Africa! Prior to departure, I had so many questions and concerns regarding this whole experience. I think the biggest thing I have taken from this experience is to just let go, and trust the situation. So far, it has worked fabulously.

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