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Sean's Blog

I thought I was done learning once school was out!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Well I just made up the post about yesterday, because I went to bed right away last night, so here is what we did today.
This morning I felt a lot better than yesterday. We first went to the Apartheid museum, and for everyone who isn't sure how to pronounce Apartheid, the way they say it in South Africa is apartaid. It was very interesting to see. I learned a lot throughtout the trip from our guides, so I already knew way more than I did before coming, but the museum was good to put it all together. Mostly I enjoyed the pictures! One thing that reallt stuck with me was the fact that the separation was part of every tiny detail of daily life. It was highlighted by a collage of pictures of signs of different things like stores that were one color, beaches, train stations, everything. It is almost ridiculous. It also surprises me that a government would spend so much money and time holding over 90 percent of the populatoon from advancing in any way at all. It just amazes me that a system like that would last at all! Hitler's Nazi party was at least a somewhat majority, and they had control, while in South Africa it was total white domination while creating slums and simply holding back a huge majority of the people from advancing!
After the museum we went to the old Mandela home at 8115 Vilakazi(?) St. In Soweto. It was really small, as all the homes were, and there wasn't a whole lot to look at. The interesting thing was the bullet marks on the outside. They also told us that Nelson's wife, Winnie put up a bulletproof wall at one point so that the kids could go behind it to escape shooting when it would occur.
One of the most exciting events of the trip was the Masibambisane center, where kids go after school. The kids are pretty much all affected by AIDS, either having it themselves or family members, and some have been orphaned due to AIDS. We first toured the place, and saw the daycare area for little kids, the garden, playground, kitchen, and computer lab with just 4 computers. Then we got the chance to talk with the kids while they finished up some lessons. One mission of the center is to teach the kids hygiene, and the group of 6th graders (I think) that I met with were learning just that. The kids were very interested in the US and one girl even wanted to visit very badly. Once they finished, they cleared away all the tables and chairs, and we began a session of singing and dancing games. I was lucky that I had made friends with some kids already, and they helped me to learn the games very quickly! One game we had to "introduce ourselves", one was a succession of different motions, adding one each time. One game we even kept playing once the kids left, called big booty! I think everyone enjoyed the place a ton. For dinner we went to Wandie's place. Not much to say about it. Tomorrow we are off to Kruger, so don't expect any updates for a couple days!

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 12 days
When June 2nd - 13th, 2009
Focus Wildlife Research/Conservation
Political History
Culture