Bless CBS Down in South Africa

Travel is supposed to make the world feel smaller. But on the eve of our Chazen trip to South Africa, the feeling among the 30 of us is probably of the size and expanse of our coming excursion.

Over the next 10-odd days, we will try to familiarize ourselves with the history, culture and economy of the fifth largest country in Africa by population. We’ll visit 10 companies, ranging from a firm that makes explosives for mining to a nonprofit that teaches agriculture to children.

We will hike to Table Mountain in Cape Town and bask in the impossibly beautiful views of a city often sandwiched between the sea and the hills. We’ll go to Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg to learn about the one of the most notorious regimes of postwar history, and also to Robben Island in Cape Town—where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years—to appreciate the great man who fought that regime. And we’ll ride on a safari through the world-famous Kruger National Park and its 5 million acres.

There is a lot to take in, and the excitement that precedes any big trip is this time mixed with some fear—at least for me. Thankfully, our trip is ably led by Thando Mtshali ’18, Divya Raj ’18 and Maria Sebastian ’18, and under the watchful eye of Prof. Elizabeth Webb.

So eager were we CBS-ers that some of us got to Cape Town a few nights before the official start of the trip. I am already in awe of the city’s beautiful mountains and beaches, as well as its vibrant restaurants and nightlife. Plus, we got to ring in the New Year here in style, some of us in a little more style than the others…

I’m looking forward to sharing more of our adventures over the next 10 days.

~Abheek Bhattacharya ’18

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