Tuesday, January 29 – Johannesburg, South Africa
Students arrive on international flight Delta #200 from Atlanta with Dr. Hahn around 5 PM and transport to St. Benedict's to check into accommodations and have some dinner. We have an orientation meeting after dinner.
Wednesday, January 30 – Johannesburg, South Africa
Despite the jet lag, the day begins with a Sociology class with Dr. Maher followed by a trip to the Apartheid Museum. We have lunch at the "Truth Café" and on the way home stop at a local mall where students can exchange money, e-mail home and update their Facebook status. Dinner is back at St. Benedict's followed by a lecture by Dr. Dale McKinley, Furman alumni and South African activist.
Thursday, January 31 – Johannesburg, South Africa
A full day of programming at Orange Farm with Bricks and his comrades learning about various community activist projects (e.g. gardening, day care center, youth soccer program, radio station) and the anti-privatization movement. Dinner provides a shocking contrast and perfect illustration of the gap between the rich and the poor at Montecasino.
Friday, February 1 – Johannesburg, South Africa
Soweto bicycle tour in the morning with a stop at the Hector Pieterson Museum along the way. We eat lunch at Lebo's (who runs the bike tour) and then return to St. Benedict's where Moketsi, a staff member of the Center for Global Education (CGE) prepares the students for their first home stay before he drops them off for the weekend.
Saturday and Sunday, February 2 and 3 – Johannesburg, South Africa
Home stays with families in Soweto for three nights and two days.
Monday, February 4 – Johannesburg, South Africa
Students return to St. Benedict's from home stays. We start the day with a Sociology class with Dr. Maher. Next, we visit to Wit Medical School for a medical museum tour. After lunch we have a meeting with Dr. Ben-Erick van Wyk on Ethnomedicine. Dinner is at St. Benedict's followed our first Student Led Discussion (SLD) which serves as a home stay debrief.
Tuesday, February 5 – Johannesburg, South Africa
Morning visit to Market Photography Workship for Dr. Bright's class and afternoon visit to Market Theater Lab for Dr. Olaiya's class. Lunch at the House of Beers. Dinner and a show at Umoja!
Wednesday, February 6 – Johannesburg to Giant's Castle, South Africa
A long day's drive to Giant's Castle. Upon arrival, check into our mountain side chalets. Dr. Maher holds a Sociology class after dinner.
Thursday, February 7 – Giant's Castle, South Africa
A free day for hiking and relaxing.
Friday, February 8 – Giant's Castle to Durban, South Africa
Morning drive from Giant's Castle to Durban. Students have a free afternoon to settle in and check out the town. Dinner is on their own. We stay at Elangeni Hotel.
Saturday, February 9 – Durban, South Africa
Toxic Tour with the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance in the morning followed by a visit to Ghandi's Phoenix Settlement. We have lunch at Ushaka! The students are on their own for dinner.
Sunday, February 10 – Durban, South Africa
Visit by Furman alumnae Hillary Taylor in the morning. Free day followed by post-dinner lecture by Professor Patrick Bond on everything from a human rights critique to water privatization to the activities of the TAC. Dr. Olaiya arrives in the evening.
Monday, February 11 – Durban, South Africa
Lecture by Professor Linda Richter for Dr. Hahn's Psychology class followed by a lunch time lecture at the Center for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal by Faith la Manzi on her experiences being HIV+. After her talk we visit the muthi market tour in downtown Durban. Later with have a Sociology class with Dr. Maher and hold our second SLD – Student Led Discussion after dinner.
Tuesday, February 12 – Durban to Mthatha, South Africa
We begin the long drive from Durban to Cape Town. Our first stop, Mthatha. Dr. Olaiya holds and English class after dinner.
Wednesday, February 13 – Mthatha to Grahamstown, South Africa
Another long day driving. Our second stop, Grahamstown. We arrive in time to check into the Graham Hotel and head off to the National English Literacy Museum for some archival work for Dr. Olaiya's class.
Thursday, February 14 – Grahamstown, South Africa
The day begins with a return to the Literacy Museum to watch Master Harold and the Boys. We also visit with Andrew Stacy of Rhodes University who entertains us with musical instruments from all over Africa. This is followed by a full day of programming with the Theater Department at Rhodes University for Dr. Olaiya's class which includes one act plays, a protest and dance related to the "One Billion Rising" campaign and even some pole dancing!
Friday, February 15 – Grahamstown to Port Elizabeth, South Africa
The day begins with a tour of Grahamstown and then we leave for Port Elizabeth with a stop along the way for lunch. Upon arrival we check into the hotel and have a discussion with Winston Ntshona for Dr. Olaiya's English class.
Saturday, February 16 – Port Elizabeth, South Africa
An all-day driving tour of Port Elizabeth followed by an evening with the Isithate Theater Workshop group who performs several selections from Athol Fugard for Dr. Olaiya's class.
Sunday, February 17 – Port Elizabeth to Mossel Bay, South Africa
Continue our drive down the Garden Route with a stop for a water front lunch and some shopping before arriving at beautiful Mossel Bay. Just enough time for a quick dip in the ocean before dinner at the Point Hotel. Dr. Bright flies into Cape Town.
Monday, February 18 – Mossel Bay to Cape Town, South Africa
We hold our third SLD in the morning before we depart for Cape Town. Sadly, the bus (finally) dies along the highway on our way into town but we are rescued by CGE coordinated transport. After checking into the Lady Hamilton Hotel, we are handed over to the Center for Global Education (CGE) staff Romanus who leads our orientation session.
Tuesday, February 19 – Cape Town, South Africa
Visit to Self-Help Mannenberg with Patsy Daniels and tour with community members in the morning. Lunch at the Mannenberg Community Center. In the afternoon we go to the District 6 Museum.
Wednesday, February 20 – Cape Town, South Africa
Our morning is spent visiting art galleries for Dr. Bright's class including the Stevenson and Goodman Galleries. We have lunch at Kopanong and do a walking tour of the area. In the afternoon, we take the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain for a quick look. In the evening we have dinner at the waterfront and attend a show at the Athol Fugard theatre for Dr. Olaiya's class.
Thursday, February 21 – Cape Town, South Africa
Met with Mandla Majola at Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), an HIV/AIDS activism organization for Dr. Maher's class, followed by a visit to the Center for Child Development to hear about their efforts with early childhood development centers for Dr. Hahn's class. Over lunch we hold our 4th SLD. In the afternoon we go to the Bo-Kaap Museum and do a walking tour with Shireen Narkedien. We have a fabulous group dinner at the African Café that night.
Friday, February 22 – Cape Town, South Africa
We take an early morning trip to Robben Island, the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela was held during the apartheid years. We have lunch on our own at the Waterfront and spend our afternoon at Brundyn & Gonsalves and the Erdmann Contemporary Gallery for Dr. Bright's class. Dr. Olaiya holds an English class before dinner.
Saturday, February 23 – Cape Town, South Africa
Free day to rest, shop, bike & wine, and other exciting activities! Dr. Olaiya heads back to the states.
Sunday, February 24 – Cape Town, South Africa
In the morning we head for Cape Point to see where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic. We visit Boulder National Park to see the penguins and enjoy a picnic lunch by the ocean. After lunch we make a brief stop in Simon's Town for a photo opportunity before meeting Bishop Storey who talks to us about the role of the church during the Apartheid era.
Monday, February 25 – Cape Town to Sosussvlei, Namibia
We take a flight from Cape Town to Walvis Bay, Namibia where we load into combis (vans) for the drive to beautiful but hot Sosussvlei Dune Lodge. We eat at the lodge while watching springbok and gemsbok at the watering hole.
Tuesday, February 26 – Sosussvlei, Namibia
We wake up before the crack of dawn to take 4x4 vehicles to the dunes for sunrise photography. Midday we have an Art class with Dr. Bright, a Sociology class with Dr. Maher and another Student Led Discussion. By late afternoon we head back to the dunes for sunset photo opportunities.
Wednesday, February 27– Sosussvlei to Swakopmund, Namibia
We drive from Sosussvlei to Swakopmund with a stop in Walvis Bay for lunch. In the afternoon we make a visit to the Medi-Clinic for a talk and tour by Peter Sanders. Late afternoon we check into the Municiple Bungalows and have dinner on our own in town.
Thursday, February 28 – Swakopmund, Namibia
In the morning we have a midterm exam for Sociology class after which we take a tour of the town, particularly the informal settlements of Mondesa and the DRC. We have a picnic lunch at MYO – and learn about the after school opportunities for youth in their program. In the late afternoon we have a photography class with Dr. Bright. We enjoy dinner at the Tug restaurant.
Friday, March 1
We enjoyed a free day on the coast. Some of us took a desert tour, others sand boarded the dunes, and some relaxed on the beach and shopped for souvenirs.
Saturday, March 2
We departed from Swakopmund and drove to Khorixas, a more rural area in the northern part of Namibia. Pairs of students were dropped off with the families who hosted them for their rural homestay. We saw a lot of development since the last time we visited the families in 2011. Many of them now have electricity and pit latrines.
Sunday, March 3 & Monday, March 4
The faculty visited students at their rural homestays and delivered more drinking water for them. Some students worked in the fields with livestock, others attended community church services, some hiked, and a few lucky students even had the opportunity to repair house structures made from a mixture of dung and sand.
Tuesday, March 5
Students were picked up from the homestays and arrived at iGowati Lodge. After a morning reflection session, we visited the Red Cross where we learned about their volunteer-run, home-based care program. In the afternoon, we toured the Khorixas State Hospital to learn about healthcare delivery in rural areas. We had a student-led discussion after dinner.
Wednesday, March 6
We left Khorixas and headed in two passenger vans to Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. We arrived at Penduka (meaning "Wake up!"), a NGO that specializes in crafts and hospitality. This was our home base during our time in Windhoek. Professor Bright had a photography class in the evening.
Thursday, March 7
Our first full day in Windhoek was a busy one! We went on a tour of the city in the morning, followed by a scavenger hunt of sorts (i.e., Katatura Quest) led by local young people. After lunch, we went to Megameno Children's Home where we helped with homework, laundry and other chores – as well as played with the kids!
Friday, March 8
We learned about Penduka's TB program and visit a DOTS site in the local community. Then we went to Sister Namibia where we learned about contemporary issues related to women's rights in Namibia. After lunch, Linda prepared the students for their final homestay – this time with local families in the Katatura area. Host families picked up students before dinner.
Saturday, March 9 & Sunday, March 10
The students spent the weekend with their homestay families.
Monday, March 11
Students return from their homestays and Linda from the Center for Global Education (CGE) led us in a debriefing session. We then visited the USAID office and spoke to the people there about how the organization delivers foreign aid. After lunch we toured the Katatura State Hospital, the country's largest public hospital. Dr. Hahn held a psychology class in the evening.
Tuesday, March 12
In the morning, Dr. Veii, a professor of Early Child Development at the University of Namibia came to Penduka and spoke with us about the role of the Namibian government in early childhood education. Afterwards, Dr. Maher had a sociology class. After lunch, local young people who belong to an organization called Young Achievers took us into the Havana community where we offered to help people collect their water from a communal pump. After dinner we had a student-led discussion.
Wednesday, March 13
We visited the Namibia Children's Home in the morning, the only government run residential care facility for OVCs (orphans and vulnerable children). When we returned to Penduka before lunch, Dr. Hahn had a psychology class. In the afternoon, we returned to Megameno Children's Home. Some of us took the older children to the pool while others stayed behind to entertain the younger children and hold the babies.
Thursday, March 14
Our last full day in Namibia – and with Center for Global Education (CGE)! We began by meeting with Dr. Lucy Edwards-Jauch, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Namiba. She spoke with us about the relationship between AIDS and family structures in Namibia. Afterward we went the OYO headquarters where founder Philippe Talavera speaks to us about the role of the arts in educating young people about HIV and AIDS. After lunch, Linda and Romanus led us in a reflection of our time in Namibia. We had a celebratory group dinner at La Marmite, a Cameroonian restaurant.
Friday, March 15
Packed up and ready to begin a new series of adventures in Botswana! Earl and No-No, the CGE drivers took us to the Buitepos Border Crossing where Elephant Trails safari guides picked us up. We had a picnic lunch on the road in Botswana and then arrived at Thakadu (translation: aardvark) in Ghanzi where our camp was already set up. After a Sociology class, we enjoyed the first of many delectable camp fire dinners.
Saturday, March 16
We met with local Bushmen who took us on a veld walk identifying medicinal plants and learning about Bushmen culture. After lunch we were visited by Andrea Hardbattle who spokes to us about Bushmen beliefs concerning illness and the dying art of traditional healing. After dark we experienced a Bushmen rain dance.
Sunday, March 17
We broke down camp and departed for Maun. The Elephant Trails staff gave us a lesson in setting up tents when we arrived at Audi Camp.
Monday, March 18
An adventure packed first day in Maun! After breakfast, we visited Thuso Rehabilitation Center where we were guided by Lindsay Ferguson, a Peace Corp volunteer from Kalamazoo, Michigan. After lunch back at camp, we were visited by two counselors from Women Against Rape (WAR). We rounded out the day with a boat cruise on the Thamalakane River, followed by another excellent dinner prepared by the safari staff.
Tuesday, March 19
We visited Bana Ba Lesatsi (Sunshine Children), an organization that works with orphans and vulnerable children and provides academic support, counseling, arts and vocational enrichment – as well as basic needs such as food and hygiene. We returned to camp in the afternoon for a Sociology class and a meeting with counselors from Tebelopele, a voluntary HIV testing and counseling center.
Wednesday, March 20
By this time, we were much faster at breaking down camp! We hit the road for Moremi where we had our first of many game drives!
Thursday, March 21
We split up into two groups. As one group did game drives, the other group went on a mokoro trip (dug out canoe) where we saw hippos, elephants, and frogs (among other things) close up.
Friday, March 22
After breakfast, we broke down camp and loaded up the safari vehicles for Savuti. We saw an amazing array of creatures in their natural habitat, including elephants, hippos, zebras, and countless birds.
Saturday, March 23
Another day in the Savuti area and Chobe National Park. We were fortunate enough to spot some lions while doing a game drive! We also viewed some ancient rock art. We ended the day with a Sociology class.
Sunday, March 24
With so much experience under our belts, we were certified experts at breaking down camp at this point in the trip. In no time flat, we were in the vehicles and on our way to Kasane where we set up camp at Senyati. We, of course, had some amazing animal sightings on the way.
Monday, March 25
After breakfast, we departed for a day trip to Zimbabwe. We visited Victoria Falls (and got very, very wet in the process). After a leisurely lunch, we had the opportunity to shop at a local craft market and learn more about Zimbabwe by talking with vendors. The Elephant Trails safari guides met us back at the Botswana border.
Tuesday, March 26
We spent the morning doing game drives in the riverfront area of Chobe National Park. We saw Cape buffalo, an outrageous number of elephants, and meerkats. In the afternoon, we took a cruise on the Chobe River and saw even more of Botswana's elephants! We ended the day with a SLD.
Wednesday, March 27
We broke down camp and started the long drive back to Maun. We set up camp at Planet Baobab near Gweta – which, as the name indicates, has quite a few gigantic baobab trees. The lodge's pool was a welcome relief from the heat.
Thursday, March 28
Back in the safari vehicles for one last road trip – this time a relatively short one to Maun where we returned to Audi Camp. After nightfall, safari guide extraordinaire, Paul Sheller, gave us a fascinating glimpse of the sky with a high powered telescope. We pack up our suitcases, enjoy the outdoor showers at Audi, and set aside donations of clothes and toiletries for Women Against Rape.
Friday, March 29
We enjoy two last meals with the staff of Elephant Trails, say our good byes, and then go the Maun airport to begin our long journey home.