I feel so fortunate to have had a chance to return to Cape Town in March, nearly five years to the date I left. I always knew that I would return again, but I did not realize that time would come so soon and under the circumstance it did. I made my way to Cape Town to be part of the Global Open Education Graduate Network (GO-GN), a gathering of PhD students around the world researching open education. This meeting was held in advance of the annual Open Education Global Conference also held in March. Both of these events were instrumental to my research progress, you can read more about this on my portfolio.
The trip crept up on me, and before I knew it I had been in the air for twenty hours, ran frantically to my connection through Amsterdam, and was landing in Cape Town under night skies and in warm late summer air. As I drove into the city, so many memories came flooding back. Things had changed of course, but I recognized so many landmarks so close to my heart. The big one, of course, is Table Mountain, which looms over the city and made my heart skip a beat when I saw it again. Without a doubt, my heart was beating faster as a result of being back here again.
I was fortunate to be staying so close to where I used to live, right at the foot of Gardens in the city centre. I checked into the Protea Fire and Ice hotel where the graduate meetup was to be held with a days grace to recover from the jetlag. Somehow I managed to bounce back the day after my flight and felt quite energetic the day following my flight. I like to believe I was summoned up to Signal Hill as I spent a great deal of time hiking while living here. I managed a great run and was delighted by the 360 degree views that signal hill offers. It was so good to be back.
The next day I met the GO-GN team and PhD cohort for 2017. The next few days we spent bonding, musing, commiserating, sharing, and solidifying relationships which I hope to continue in the future.
In the days that followed, I re-explored Cape Town further, meeting up with old colleagues, friends, and locations. This was truly a wonderful opportunity to come full circle on my experience in South Africa. I am so much of who I am due to my experience in Africa and forever thankful for my experiences, friends, and colleagues. This trip further enhances that connection.