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Journal 7

11/23/03

Durban is a complex city. Many view it as their favorite, full of culture,
entertainment, shopping. Others see the buisnesses, the harbor, the
textile area. Our group took a week to work with Ground Work, an
enviromental justice organization, looking at corporations and their
position in this society. South Durban is where industry has planted its
foot as next door neighbors to many people. Coming from societies that
wouldn't allow such things to be within twenty feet of our house, we saw
industry abusing its power with controling legislation, not responding and
repairing damage done to those who don't have a choice but to live there.
Our week with Ground Work introduced some of us to ideas of corporate
responsibility and what is allowed in South Africa.

I found myself challenged as a chemistry major. Thinking about how I want
to utilize my major after college, I can't help but consider industry. I
realized that if I don't want to support abuse of underdeveloped
countries, I need to understand not only what the company is doing in my
own country, but how it treats people in other countries. South Africa,
though it may be described as developing, is behind in ideas of
enviromental issues. There is no regulation of emissions in this country.
In order for them to encourage industrial development, there will continue
to be a heavy lobby to not develop that policy.

I did love Durban, it will be sad to leave tomorrow. While learning about
the industry, I formed a relationship with the people. My host mother
dressed us up in saris and her mother taught me to make roti and somosas.
On my last night there, I was in the kitchen rolling my first batch of
roti. I should explain they are a flat tortilla type bread that is then
eaten with chicken or Dhall. It did feel somewhat exhausting, host
families take a lot of energy. You can't always go home and relax. But you
do get to know this country on a different level. I don't understand
everything about the Indian community, but I do understand South Africa
and their diversity a bit more. I only have one more good-bye to say, and
that will be to this country. I think that bridge will be crossed and
thought about when I come to it.

-Stephanie Miller

Photos::
(from most to least recent)

Gallery 6

Gallery 6

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Gallery 3

Gallery 4

Gallery 5