Sunday, July 18, 2010

South Africa update

When I first started this incredible journey I thought I would be able to blog on a daily basis and constantly writing in my journal. I definitely realize now how unreal that expectation was. There are some nights that after dinner I am so exhausted, but exhausted in a great way. I love that every day I am challenging myself both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. The students that I have the privilege to teach keep me mentally sharp everyday with their outstanding questions and insight into the topics we are teaching.

I will give a quick update on how things have been going.

The Teach With Africa program has been incredible. The teaching fellows that I have had the chance to work with so far this summer are some of the most amazing, intelligent, and hard working individuals that I have had the chance to work with. In addition to living in a house together with over 15 people it has created some great times to develop bonds with each other.

In the last couple of weeks I have had the chance to do some extraordinary things and to soak up South Africa.

The picture you see above was taken by my roomate as we were leaving Langa where we had the chance to watch one of the LEAPSA's have a soccer practice. My roommate and I conditioned with the team, which including running drills and other exercises. After I finished the workout, I truly realized how out of shape I am. South Africa loves meat, just as much as I do. I don't think I can count the number of all meat meals that I have eaten without any vegetables.

I had the chance to hike up the historic Table Mountain. Everyday when I am walking to and from school, there is Table mountain in the background. It is an amazing sight to behold everyday while I am here. I was able to hike up there with one of the other TWA fellows. It took us right at 2 hours for the hike. Being that I am a hiking amateur, I was very proud of myself for completing it. We thought about hiking down, but we took the table car down which was a great journey.

2 weekends ago I went kayaking out in the Atlantic Ocean to see the penguins. This was only my second time kayaking but I am definitely hooked after I did it the first time with my students in Puerto Rico. Kayaking was definitely a big arm workout. Since it is winter time here in South Africa, the water was definitely cold and of course I would forget to bring a change of clothes, but I was able to dry out standing in the sun. I am so glad that I decided to go kayaking. It was truly an incredible experience.

The picture above is the next incredible step in my journey of being here in South Africa.  In about an hour I will be headed to Langa. Langa is a township outside of CapeTown that a majority of the students that I am teaching come from. Langa is one of the townships that was set up during the apartheid era in South Africa, and a place of residence for Black South Africans. I have been to Langa several times now, but not for any extensive amount of time. I will be living with a host family there for two weeks. I am extremely at the opportunity to live in a community that has experience so much hardship and struggles. I definitely encourage you to look up or simply "Google" Langa to see pictures and the history behind this township. I will try to update as much as possible when I have time and can get to a computer at school.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful start Josh - great way to encapsulate your first days and weeks in South Africa and throw out some highlights. I look forward to hearing more of your experiences and insights! -K2