JOURNEYS & REFLECTIONS
South Africa Educational Study Program
May 17- June 12, 2001


Skidmore Seminars (12 hours)

Seminar One, May 17
Orientation
Focus on South Africa's History
Guest speaker: Overview of the History of South Africa
Discussion of Welsh's A Narrative History.
Guest speaker: Understanding South Africa pre and post apartheid
Discussion of Nelson Mandela's book: Long Walk to Freedom.
A Beverley Naidoo workshop. Each student will come to class having read
one children's novel by Beverley Naidoo.

Seminar Two, May 18
Two Apartheid Experiences
Discussion of Kaffir Boy and Miriam's Song

Focus on South Africa's School System
Public and private early childhood and primary schools in South Africa.
Slide presentation of South African schools.
Understanding teacher training in South Africa.
The national curriculum for language and literacy.
Process articles assigned from syllabus.

The Diverse Experiences of South Africans
Discussion of Rivonia's Children in relation to Mandela and Mathabane books.
In-class writing prior to discussion.

Basic Techniques for Effective Classroom Observation.
Observational and interview techniques.
Learning to use the Primary Language Record. This is a structured British language and literacy observation tool which students will use with their assigned student at Edendale Primary School over the course of 3-4 days.

May 22-24
Pretoria
Edendale Primary School
School visits
Visit Union Buildings in Pretoria
Voortrekker Monument

We will begin our visit in the Gauteng, place of gold (previously the province of Transvaal). Transvaal was named by the Voortrekkers (Afrikaans/Dutch pioneers into the hinterland) because of their crossing the "Vaal" river. Pretoria was named after the "Voortrekker" who established the town in 1837, Andries Pretorius. It was also the first seat of the "Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek" under President Paul Kruger. After gold and diamonds were discovered in this area, the Anglo-Boer War broke out (Britain wanted the minerals). Pretoria is known as the "City of Jacarandas" and is the country's capital where many diverse cultures are representative within the historic buildings. The jacaranda trees were imported from Brazil and they bloom with beautiful purple flowers throughout the city in September and October. Pretoria will be our home base and we will stay with host families in groups during our time there.

The Edendale Primary School was established during 1988-1991, the "apartheid" years when there was a dire need for good education for children of all races at the lowest possible cost. It is located on ten hectares in the lovely rural area between Mamelodi, Ekhangala, and Cullinan, 30 km. out of Pretoria. The school started as a mission farm school and has grown to one of the best schools in the Gautng area. We will spend several days in classroom settings at Edendale and we will bring books for the library from a Book Drive we will conduct at Skidmore prior to out trip. Additionally, we will have the opportunity to visit other schools in Soweto and Mamelodi, private as well as government. Soweto is a township and was the center of the black African struggle, especially in education.

The Union Buildings are home to the administrative branch of government. The Voortrekker Monument was built during the 1950's in memory of the Voortrekker's suffering and courage. It displays the painful events at the heart of apartheid. The amazing tapestries inside the museum trace the historical moments of the trek across rivers and the Drakensberg.


May 25-27
Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park was a tremendous foresight of President Paul Kruger, who during 1898 declared the land between the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers as a sanctuary for wild life. As Yellowstone was established in 1872 by the Americans (the first national park in the world), so was Kruger National Park the first game reserve in Africa. The park occupies 1,948,528 hectares in Mphumalanga (formally Eastern Transvaal). It is a place to admire 450 bird species, 50 fish varieties, 40 types of frogs, 34 snack species and many more, including the "Big Five"-the lion, rhino, elephant, hippo and buffalo. Various antelopes, lizards, iguanas, and crocodiles also find their homes in this vast area. Where prehistorically, man and beast fought a war of extermination, this park was man's first offer of friendship and peace. We will spend a few days searching for game and will sleep two nights in a rest camp in hut accommodations.

May 28-30
Kwazulu Natal & Lake St. Lucia
Hluhuwe Game Park/Zulu Village
Sodwana Bay
Visit schools


Kwazulu-Natal is one of the most popular holiday destinations. We will see the highest mountains in South Africa and experience the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Lake St. Lucia is known for its crocodiles and hippos. Many different kinds of birds are also seen in this area and we may find the lake pink with flamingos. The Hluhuwe Game Park lies in Zululand, 165 miles up the north coast from Durban. Game viewing is excellent all year round and one-fifth of the remaining black rhinos live in this reserve, so be prepared to observe this wonder. We will be staying at the Hluhluwe Private School while in Natal and will have time to observe in the school. The Principal of the school will be our host and will
arrange the visits to Sodwana Bay, Lake St. Lucia, Hluhluwe Game Park, and a sugar farm with guides of both the Natal Parks Board and Santour.

May 31-June 3
Pretoria via Durban
Edendale Primary School
Visit Motheong School
Visit to Sun City
African Footprint (a musical)

We will return to our host families in Pretoria via Durban. Durban has become the capital city of Natal and one of South Africa's busiest harbors. It has delightful beaches on the Indian Ocean and is a popular seaside resort throughout the year.

Motheong School was the first PEPPS School to be started in 1989 in the township Atteridgeville. This school, together with Edendale were the first private schools established for disadvantaged communities in townships. Since 1994 and the new education policies, all schools are open to all children. Therefore the families at Motheong and Edendale pay fees and are mostly of middle to above middle income. The two schools do, however, provide free education to those in the area that cannot afford to pay.

Sun City was created on an ancient, burnt out crater. There was literally nothing there, when Sol Kirsner of Sun International decided to build the city of hotels, casinos and two golf courses. There are artificial tidal waves, volcanic outbursts, and entertainment centers.

We will begin our journey to Cape Town and the following will be our stops along the way:

June 4-5
Lesotho
Pony ride in the Drakenberg Mountains

Lesotho has always been an independent kingdom; land locked by South Africa and inhabited by the Basutho people. It is surrounded by the highest mountains of South Africa (Drakensberg and Maluti Mountains). It is also called the Mountain Kingdom. People of Lesotho are very poor and last year the Katzi Dam was built to bring revenue to this part of the country.

June 6-8
Port Elizabeth
Storms River/Garden Route
Oudshoorn in "Klein Karoo"
Visit Ostrich Farm & Cango Caves


Port Elizabeth is one of the largest cities in South Africa. The beachfront area is highly developed. The Garden Route is beautiful and we'll find the most inspiring scenery there. A stop at Plettenberg Bay, South Africa's impressive beach resort, will also be on the agenda. The Storms River mouth is located in the middle of the Tsitsikamma National Park. This park has a spectacular coastal area with deep gorges, tidal pools, forests and great beaches. For more than a century, Oudtshoorn has been famous for its ostriches. Nowhere else in the world do these huge birds thrive like they do in the Little Karoo. Farmers began raising them in Oudtshoorn around 1870 to satisfy the European demand for feathers to adorn women's hats and dresses. We will visit Highgate Ostrich Farm and you'll have the opportunity to hold as well as stand on an ostrich egg and finally ride an ostrich if you dare! The Cango Caves were formed millions of years ago, originally named, "place of water between hills" by the bushmen who inhabited he cave 15,000 years ago. We will take the short tour but there is an adventure tour where you shimmy up narrow chimneys and wiggle through tiny tunnels.

June 9-12
Cape Town
Robben Island, Table Mountain, Wines Routes
School visit

Cape Town lies at the northern end of the Cape Pennisula. Drive fifteen minutes in any direction and you will loose yourself in the landscape of 18th century Dutch manors, historic wineries and white sand beaches backed by mountains. Today, more than one million colored-the term used to describe people of mixed race-live in the city and give it a distinct spice. Cape Town attracts many tourists. The water front and cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain are very popular sites to visit. Table Mountain is flat on the top, resembling a table top, due to the millions of years of erosion, water, and wind effects. Robben Island is the notorious prison in Table Bay that held apartheid opponents including Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe, and Walter Sisula. We will spend some time visiting these sites, and will also have the opportunity to visit the Sezanani Basic Adult Education Centre for street people, as well as, a school in the township of Kyalitcha.



For more information please contact:

Karen Brackett & Susan Lehr

Educational Program to South Africa Directors
Education Department-Palamountain Hall
Phone: (518) 580-5140