Africa 2015 Trip
All arrive safely. Let the learning begin!
Successful first full day of study away in Southern Africa. Orientation and a SOC class in the morning followed by a visit to the Apartheid Museum in the afternoon.
Morning at the South African Historic Archives, afternoon touring the old prisons and Constitutional Court.
Morning bike tour of Soweto. Afternoon home stay preparation before they go off for 3 nights with a local family.
February 7 and 8
Students on homestays in Soweto. Making fat cakes, going to church services, seeing what it's like to live in South Africa.
Students return from their home stays and we debrief in the morning followed by a trip to the Voortrekker Monument, lunch, and our first Student Led Discussion. We bid adieu to Professor Ching who is safely on his way back to Furman.
Market Photo Lab and Museum Africa in the morning followed by lunch at Orange Farm and a tour of their community projects (day care center, recycling plant and radio station where the students made their African debut).
Morning lecture on ethnomedicine followed by afternoon visit to a muthi market and a tour, show and dinner at Lesedi Cultural Village.
Drive to Giant's Castle in the Drakensburg Mountains. One of the most beautiful places in the world.
Day of hiking in the Drakensbergs Mountains.
Morning visit to Sangoma (traditional healer) before we drive to Durban. We celebrate Valentine's Day in style with a private catered meal that Peter has arranged for us with a view of the Indian Ocean.
Morning visit to Phoenix Settlement, Ghandi's home in South Africa. Favorite quote, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
Morning visit to health economist studying the impact of having an HIV positive mom on child development. Afternoon trip to the Indian market and roof top pool. Late afternoon Student Led Discussion#2.
Toxic tour in the morning looking at the environmental impact of industries in Durban. Afternoon SOC class followed by an excellent documentary film on Justice Albie Sachs called Soft Vengeance. Very powerful!
Flight from Durban to Cape Town. We bid farewell to Peter and hello to Linda our new facilitator from Center for Global Education.
Morning visit to Robben Island where Mandela was a political prisoner for years. Lunch on the Waterfront followed by a visit to the District 6 museum commemorating the forced removal of thousands of people during the Apartheid era. Group dinner at a Chinese restaurant to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Morning visit to Treatment Action Campaign an HIV/AIDS activism group. Followed by a walk with a township photographer through one of the informal settlements. Lunch at a local Bed and Breakfast. Afternoon SOC class and our third Student Led Discussion.
Morning talk with Bishop Peter Storey about the role of the church during Apartheid followed by a visit to see the penguins at Boulder National Park. Lunch by the sea and an afternoon hike at Cape Point.
Morning trip up to the top of Table Mountain with stunning blue skies and clear views. Afternoon tour of Cape Town with an Afrikaner guide and his own historical narrative.
Morning walking tour of Cape Town and visit to the Slave Lodge followed by afternoon visit to a Sociologist at the Children's Institute and then photographer Paul Weinberg at UCT.
Morning tour of Kirstenbosch National Garden. Delicious Cape Malay lunch at Biesmellah in Bo-Kaap area followed by museum visit and guided walking tour of brightly painted houses.
Free day in Cape Town. Some go to wine country for a bike and ride tour. Others stay in town and go to museums and shopping. Still others go off for some adrenaline filled adventures.
Last day in Cape Town - 3 gallery visits for the photography course. Tonight we'll bid farewell to South Africa with a celebratory group dinner at The African Cafe. Tomorrow - off to Namibia
Flew from Cape Town to Walvis Bay, Namibia which looks a bit like landing on the moon.
February 28 and March 1
Weekend in Swakopmund. Students had a free day on Saturday (some sand boarded) and a dune tour on Sunday for photography class.
Morning tour of Mondesa and DRC - Democratic Resettlement Community (an informal settlement outside of Swakopmund, Namibia). Afternoon visit to Mondesa Youth Organization - an after school enrichment program for talented youth from a poor neighborhood. They learn English, maths, music and reading.
Morning Sociology midterm followed by tour of the private hospital in Swakopmund. Lunch in town and afternoon rural homestay prep and Student Led Discussion #5. Final dinner in Swakopmund at The Tug...our group of 20+ might have messed with the "unforgettable ambience" but the meal was delicious.
March 4, 5, and 6
Long hot drive to Khorixas (northern Namibia) were we drop off the students for 3 nights of a rural homestay. While they see what it's like to live in rural Africa for a few days (watching chickens and goats being slaughtered, "mud-dunging" of huts, using "pit latrines" or NO latrines, etc.)
Students return from homestays, shower (for the first time in 3 days) and we head off to visit a home-based care organization. In the afternoon they tour the local state hospital and have a PSY class. After dinner we hold a voluntary emotional debrief session - 19 of 20 attend - fantastic!
Leave the rural north and head to the capital city of Windhoek. We settle into our new accommodations and then they have a PSY quiz.
Morning tour of the city of Windhoek followed by a catered lunch by an up and coming local catering company and afternoon visit to Heroes' Acre. Student Led Discussion #6 takes place before dinner.
Morning "Katatura Quest" - students break into small groups and go off with a local person their age to visit a variety of places (day care center, Planned Parenthood clinic, arts center, etc.). Afternoon includes a visit to the Namibian Children's Home (the only state run orphanage).
First morning speaker from the Namibian Women's Health Network and the second a Sociologist at University of Namibia who studies HIV/AIDS and the impact on family structures. A free afternoon (a rarity on this program) - students shop at a craft market and catch up on some studying.
Morning visit with "Mister Sister" an organization with 5 mobile medical units that travels around Namibia bringing health care to under-served populations followed by a tour of the new "Independence Memorial Museum". The students go off to do some community service at Hope Village, an orphanage, with a group called the Young Achievers in the afternoon. We have a group dinner at River Crossing Lodge.
Friday morning visit to OYO an organization that uses the arts (theater, dance,magazines) to educate youth about HIV related issues (sugar daddies, teen pregnancy, gender based violence, etc.) followed by late morning talk with USAID health officer about PEPFAR - President's Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief and other health related programming in Namibia. Afternoon lunch at Center for Global Education, a PSY class and homestay prep for their final homestay this weekend.
March 14 and 15
Students on homestays in Windhoek.
Students return from their home stays and we have a debrief session talking about their weekend. Next we visit Penduka TB, an organization with 14 DOT (direct observation therapy) sites that distribute medications and meals to TB patients. We eat lunch at Penduka and shop at their store selling handmade crafts by local women as part of an economic empowerment program. In the afternoon we hear a lecture on gender issues by a woman who was a freedom fighter, member of parliament and activist. Finally we check into our new home for the next 3 nights at Heja Game Lodge.
Morning tour of Katatura State Hospital, the largest hospital in Namibia. Afternoon SOC class followed by a representative from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Flash floods and hail on the ride back to the lodge.
Morning visit to Sister Namibia, a feminist organization followed by tour and talk at SOS Children's Village. Lunch at the mall followed by Student Led Discussion and CGE Final Reflection before we head to Botswana tomorrow.
Drive to Botswana. Picked up at the border and transported to Thakadu Camp in Ghanzi. Settle into camp and orientation by staff. Sociology class followed by dinner and a rain dance by local Bushmen.
Morning bush veld walk with a group of Bushmen exploring medicinal plants. Afternoon lecture with a local (half Bushman) woman discussing traditional healers and the trance dance.
Drive from Ghanzi to Maun and settle into Audi Camp. Afternoon cultural village experience with story telling, dancing and a traditional marriage ceremony.
Morning Psychology class followed by talk from founder of Cameras for Conservation. Lunch with Peace Corp volunteers. Free afternoon and a post - dinner wildlife documentary film (we'll meet one of the filmers when we're up in Savuti).
Morning visit to Thuso Rehabilitation where people with disabilities are provided with skills training and PT is offered. Afternoon visit to Bana ba Letsatsi (children of the sunshine) a program for OVCs (orphans and vulnerable children). Stop in town for some shopping followed by Student Led Discussion #8. Evening star show by Paul with his telescope
March 25 and 26
Moremi Game Reserve
March 27 and 28
Savuti in Chobe National Park
March 29, 30, and 31
Chobe National Park and a day trip to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe
Drive from Kasane to Maun for our final night in country before we fly out
In Maun and ready to start the long journey home. Fly Maun to Johannesburg, then to Atlanta, and finally on to Greenville. May the travel gods be with us.