By Loyiso Gxothiwe
In 2014, I found myself having to move from Rhodes University’s Jan Smuts residence to a flat (or digs as seasoned renters and university students call it) in town. I had always planned on moving out of res six months into my first year. However, my move (which was motivated in part by financial concerns my parents had among other reasons) was unplanned and hit me unprepared.
The distance between my digs and campus was one of the toughest challenges I had to overcome in my new life. My first trip from my place to class involved me stopping at several spots to measure the distance and mark places where I had to pace myself on the hilly terrain.
On one of my breaks I encountered a building which I was quite familiar but had never really took note of until my predicament. This building is the monumental yet unassuming Natural Science Wing of the Albany Museum situated right at the entrance/exit to Rhodes University.
I first took note of this spot more for its many shade spots and welcoming benches surrounded by flora and little outdoor decorations than its structure. I stopped here after a record-breaking half jog/half power walk.
In the coming months, I would spend more time here. Because my place was so far, the shaded benches and beautiful scenery provided me a peaceful setting to recuperate during lunchtime or awkward uneventful periods.