For our first full day of being in Pretoria we visited the University of Pretoria (also known as TUKS). The campus and overall environment was amazing. It was interesting to see how similar college life for South Africans is compared with college life in the United States. There were some differences but a majority was pretty similar.
We were able to meet with seven students to discuss what life is like living in South Africa, and attend the University of Pretoria. It was interesting to see how they separated themselves voluntarily at the table- the blacks sat together while the whites sat together on opposite sides of the table.
It was interesting to hear their different perspectives on South Africa and the university. When apartheid was mentioned, the black girls seemed to be taken back and it seemed to be a sore topic for them. We mentioned how the tour guide from the Voortrekers Monument believed that apartheid was not that bad, and that black people use it as an excuse. When that was said, they seemed to be shocked and offended.
When talking with the white girls on the subject of apartheid they seemed to be more cautious in talking about it. Both groups had completely different views and opinions on the matter. It was interesting to see how apartheid still affects many people today. It amazed me to see that people who did not live through apartheid were still carrying the past with them.
Our tour guide, Greer, who is coloured, was offended when one of the black girls called her white. She made it clear that she was not white and is coloured. Later in talking with her, we discussed what it is like being coloured and how she feels about apartheid. She had said she was on the fence with a lot of the issues, and how in the past she was not white enough, and now she is not black enough.
Today was a fantastic opportunity to interact with college student of all races, and get each of their outlooks on life and the country.