Chilly Firsts

Oh boy, is it chilly here. It’s nowhere near as bad as Michigan winters, of course, but it would have been nice to come here right out of a Michigan winter so I would think that this is warm. I miss the Michigan sun so much right now, I can hardly believe it. Especially since I came straight from summer, my body isn’t used to the lack of sunlight or temperatures below 70°. Whatever, I’ll live.

After getting in to the Cape Town airport at 9:20 (right on time!), my driver brought me to my loft for me to ring the bell and… have no one show up. Where were they?

“They’re probably out partying right now. It is a holiday weekend, after all.”

So the driver and I rang the doorbell several more times, hoping that someone would come to the door. Anyone. I was chilly and tired and wanted to put my things away and climb into bed. Finally, at 10:30PM, from the top of the stairs, I hear –

“Hello? Who are you?”

To which I promptly, loudly, and also somehow meekly responded,

“It’s Emily, I’m the new intern.”

And I was finally let in.


The next morning, I woke up at 6AM, which was great for me except that I had no food and no concept of the space. So I got up, looked around the common areas of the loft, peeked out the window, and went back to bed.

I woke up at about 10AM to people murmuring – sitting up, I saw two young women talking to each other.

“Oh, hello!”

“Hi?”

“Nobody told us you were coming. Sorry for not letting you in last night.” “Well sometimes, people will just wander by and ring the doorbell. We usually just ignore it, but it was really getting on my nerves this time, so I wanted to go see who it was.”

Oh. Okay.


I got up, unpacked my belongings, and started chatting with one of the other girls. They were going to the Waterfront, a nearby mall. We wandered around a little bit, looking at all the pretty trinkets and clothing in the area. (Now that I think about it, I’ve gotta go back to pick up this one t-shirt from a local street-wear brand that was pretty cool.) After a little while, Josh told me he was at the mall as well – so we shared our locations with each other on Facebook Messenger and started walking toward each other, only for me to walk in a direction that was definitely not toward Josh. Oops.

Eventually we found each other, got lunch, and wandered around the mall. (You can watch our joyful reunion and our brief adventures in the vlog on my Youtube channel).

The day concluded rather calmly and uneventfully. For that, I’m grateful. There’s plenty to do and see while I’m here, but this time, I’m in no rush – and I love that.


Today, I had my first day at Penda! The walk in was a brisk 52°, but the day warmed up as it progressed. The office space is a shared space, and it’s super cool! I’ll do my best to get some photo or video coverage of the workspace and my loft soon.

I have yet to really sink into the work since I’m still getting acquainted with the area and my tasks, but I’m excited to be developing some of the brand identity for Penda Trust, providing some photography services for the nonprofits they work with, and learning more about digital marketing while I’m here.

Don’t forget to check out the pages I link in my blog posts – there’s only so much I can tell you about in each of these, so those are vital to filling out the big picture. And I would assume that most of you are following along because of the photography I’ve done, so why wouldn’t you want to get the full picture?


My personal plans while I’m in Cape Town are to create a photobook of my time in Cape Town, or at the very least an impactful series of photos that tells a story of the work I’m doing. I brought just enough film to take one photo a day – I don’t anticipate taking a photo every single day, but I figure that gives me some room to take a couple extra photos while sightseeing or having dinner with my roommates.

Enjoy watching this journey!

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