Michelle Brooks
Georgia, USA

“From the moment I stepped off the plane in Cape Town, I knew this traveling experience would be different. It’s like the mountains and the sea and everything in between cast a spell over those who come here. This spell made my internship researching ways to protect the oceans surrounding Cape Town with the SANParks Cape Research Centre all the more rewarding. I cannot begin to explain how valuable being an intern with such a prestigious organization in South Africa was. Between meetings with SANParks officials from all over the country to fieldwork with lone fishermen on the West Coast, the experiences I had while working with the CRC were incredible. And the experiences I had outside my internship were even more inspiring. I don’t think I could choose any single thing that changed my time here, but some of the most memorable experiences I had were climbing Table Mountain, jamming to some great music at Rocking the Daisies, having a baboon try to steal my lunch, dancing the night away with friends on Long Street, tasting some of the best food Cape Town has to offer at the Old Biscuit Mill, the Heritage Day wine run at Steenberg Vineyards and getting to know this amazing city inside and out. While visiting the District 6 Museum I found a poem printed on a little tile in a back room that perfectly describes my time here, “From the deck to the desert, from the mountains to the sea, Cape Town has become a part of me.” Cape Town becomes a part of you in all of the best ways. So while my time here may not have been as long as I would have liked, I know that the part of my heart that Cape Town stole will draw me back here again soon.”

-Michele Brooks pictured atop Lion’s Head.