I only have a few more blog posts till I am back in America! With less than 4 weeks left (and this week being my last full week in South Africa) everything has been really, really busy. And of course, I actually have homework due. Today was my last “real” class. However, Friday I have a “celebration of work” for LSCE, and then I will finally be a junior!
This past Wednesday was Election Day in South Africa…marking 20 years since the first democratic election after Apartheid ended! On Tuesday, when I was sitting outside working on some homework, I was able to hear some “why you should vote” advertising going on. At one point, there were South African students taking turns explaining why they were voting into a microphone. It was fascinating to listen too (and gave me a reason to stop doing homework). One black college student stated that she was voting because she was sick of hearing people tell her “she doesn’t belong” in certain bars on campus. Relating to her experience, I actually have heard of people getting kicked out of bars here on campus because of their race (or because of an interracial relationship)—absolutely ridiculous. Anyway, the ANC (current party in power) won but with a smaller majority than last election (what was predicted).
On Friday I had my last LSCE theory class. It was the first of what is going to be a lot of good-byes in South Africa. The class itself was probably my favorite LSCE class but was definitely the most challenging (mostly because I just had so many thoughts running through my head). We began class with our check-in. While completing the check-in, we did a drawing activity. Basically, everyone chose a symbol that they felt represented them at the moment. We passed around each other’s paper until everyone had each student’s symbol on it. Afterwards we all took some time explaining the symbol. When we were done explaining, we began a more “deep” activity. Basically, Grant (my teacher) called out randomly one person to sit in front of the class. Then he would randomly call someone out to explain what the person’s “gold” was (basically, the strengths of the person). Lastly, Grant randomly called on someone to write down all the strengths the person was saying. So, one by one we all sat in front of the class while someone explained his or her strengths. The activity was so amazing because of the group of students in LSCE. I realized from the activity that I could have been told to give strengths to any of the 24 students and I would not have had a problem. As I said earlier, on Friday I have my celebration of work. Basically, faculty of Stellenbosch University, the LSCE students, and the Lynedoch teachers all get together and yeah, celebrate our work. Some LSCE students made a really awesome movie so we will show that (and I will eventually have it on YouTube so you can all see it!), and we also have to exhibit all the learner’s artwork from the semester. We also began with a giant check-in with all the guests and LSCE students (of course). Lastly, we give out presents, awards, etc. We also get one last amazing meal from Grant’s mom, Colleen.
On Saturday, I finally made it to Robben Island! For those of you who don’t know, Robben Island is where Mandela was held in prison for more than 20 years. We took about an hour ferry ride to get to the island. The ferry ride was definitely the most dangerous boat ride I have ever been in…but also SO much fun. Some friends and I stood on the front deck on the top of the boat and hung onto the railings the whole time while the boat flew up and down and right and left. There were honestly a few times where I thought I might have died on that boat—which would have been kind of ridiculous given the fact that I have been near lions, jumped off a bridge, swam with sharks, jumped out of a plane, etc. Once arriving to Robben Island, we toured the island. It was way bigger than I thought. Afterwards, an ex-political prisoner at Robben Island gave us a tour in Mandela’s maximum-security prison building. It was so interesting to see Mandela’s cell and the amount of history that was created there.
On Sunday I went with AIFS to Cape Point (most South Western point of South Africa—very precise). The mountains were so beautiful (as always) and it was such a nice day out. Following Cape Point, we went to Simon’s Town and got lunch. From there, we went to see penguins! They were just walking around the beach…I even was able to get about a foot away from one! It was really neat…penguins are pretty funny animals.
Today I had my last LSCE lesson with my grade 5 class. The grade 5 learners taught me a lot, and have given me a whole different perspective on a lot of different situations. While teaching is definitely not my forte, I have gained lots of valuable experiences and memories that have currently influenced me and will continue to in the future.
This week is going to be VERY busy. I have a take-home test that is pretty time-consuming. But, what I am dreading doing most is my final profile for LSCE…I just cannot stand Word formatting. I have done about half of it and am already at 80 pages. Besides work, I am climbing Lion’s head again on Wednesday and on Thursday I have my end of the semester dinner with AIFS. On Friday I have my celebration of work. And on Saturday I am spending the day in Cape Town and then going to a South African vs. Australia Rugby game. Lastly, for those who do not know: I am leaving for Namibia next Friday for 11 days! When I return it will be June 2nd, and I will only have 4 days left in South Africa. Time is flying by!
Until next time,