Postcards from Around the Globe
Day 6: Saturday, May 23, 2009
Adam McFarland - We went down and ate one of the largest breakfasts I have ever had. So many of the foods here are similar, but so many more are very different…We then drove through Clayton’s parents’ home where his mother told me later where he grew up and went to primary though high school. There are just so many people standing on the streets, but with seemingly no purpose. It’s idle but extremely relaxing. You never see people in the U.S. just sitting around enjoying life in the middle of the day. The people aren’t lazy; they’re just relaxed. The landscape is so beautiful even though there is rubbish everywhere. It’s like everything, even the trash, has been laid out meticulously and draw on the canvass of the mind only to be released to the outward world as reality.
Tremaine McGregor ’09 - Traveling to the school where the Teboho Trust program is based was an opportunity to uplift some individuals who really needed it. We were introduced to the program's founder, Jose Bright. He founded the program in February 2001…He did a lot of work in the new South Africa, in regards to amalgamation of the post-Apartheid society. Then he decided to begin the Teboho Trust program to develop leadership among the South African youth. The program builds self-esteem, life skills, and education among the kids and teens, and eventually allowing them an opportunity to travel to America.
We were given the chance to teach classes for a while. I visited the fourth and fifth graders. They were supposed to work on prepositions for English, but in the absence of material, we spent most of the time getting to know each other. I introduced myself and allowed them to ask me any questions that they had about me. Many of them asked about America and how people view one another there, my feelings about Obama, had I ever met him, why was I in South Africa, what I wanted to be when I was their age…It was my responsibility to teach, though, and I began with algebra.
Following this enjoyable class, we met with students, grades 8 and up… They had plenty of questions for Vann, Jonathan and I. We spoke about everything from different tribes, student aspirations (to study forensics, anthropology and public relations), history, and even Tyra Banks! In response to the time we had given them, the students sang their original song to us. It was amazing and catchy, and it felt good to see young, creative minds at work and in unison with one another.
Down the street from the school…we went to the memorial of a young boy who was murdered during Apartheid. His name was Hector Peterson and his death represented some of the world’s ugliest human behavior. Also, it is a reminder that we can never allow the world to become a slave to its prejudices and hatred towards others. This moment was even more powerful as one of the students at the Saturday program with Teboho Trust, Gabi, accompanied us to the memorial. He is 13, and became well acquainted with Jonathan and I. I sensed something in him that made me believe he was a natural-born leader. He had an aura of self-confidence and knowledge of self that you don't see in many other people his age. I feel that he represents a new wave of leadership and hope in South Africa, along with the kids we met today, like Ntando, Cindy, Thando, Alex, Ntoko, Khotso, Sizwe, and others.
Eric Vickers - Around three o’clock, we left for downtown Johannesburg to eat lunch and attend the Africa Day festival. For the first time, I conquered fear and enjoyed crocodile. We watched traditional tribal dances and listened to the wonderful live entertainment. Once we finished our meal, we moved to the stage that boasted a clear covering and white should equipment. As the sun began to hide its face, the stage became the main attraction as people from all over the continent of Africa celebrated heritage. The singing and rhythmic beating of drums caused dancing and movement that only Africans and descendents of Africans could show. After a day and night of culture, dancing and entertainment, we returned to our hotel to rest for the next day.