South Africa Educational Study Program
May 14- June 11, 2003

Skidmore Seminars (12 hours)

Seminar One, Wednesday, May 14

Focus on South Africa's History
Guest speaker: Overview of the History of South Africa
Discussion of history text.

Understanding South Africa pre- and post-apartheid
Discussion of Kaffir Boy
Discussion of Nelson Mandela's book: Long Walk to Freedom.
Video: “Facing the Truth” with Bill Moyers

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

Seminar Two, Thursday, May 15
A Beverley Naidoo workshop.

Each student will come to class having read one children's novel by Beverley Naidoo.

The Diverse Experiences of South Africans
Discussion of Rivonia's Children in relation to Mandela and Mathabane books.

Basic Techniques for Effective Classroom Observation.
Case Study Discussion
Observational and interview techniques.
Discussion of research work with Susan and Karen/Oral Histories and Reader Response.

Family Night
Township Dinner
Edendale Primary School
Voortrekker Monument
Visit Union Buildings in Pretoria

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 Gauteng 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 our trip.

The Union Buildings are home to the administrative branch of government.

(Make sure to pack lunches and snacks for school; we will stay for entire time during three days at school)

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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.

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Kwazulu Natal & Lake St. Lucia
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. We will be staying at the Hluhluwe Private School while in Natal and will have time to observe in the school as well as in a Zulu High School and village. The Principal of the private school will be our host and will arrange the visit to Lake St. Lucia. On that day we will finish with a swim in the Indian Ocean.

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Pretoria via Durban
Edendale Primary School
School visits
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.

We will visit the Diana Princess of Wales Mohau Childen’s Center for aids where we will see caretaker, infants and toddlers. Additionally, we will have the opportunity to visit other schools in Soweto and Mamelodi, private as well as government. Soweto is the township that was the center of the black African struggle, especially in education.

The Voortrekker Monument was built in memory of the Voortrekker’s suffering and courage. It interprets the painful and controversial events at the heart of apartheid. The amazing tapestries inside the museum trace the historical moments of the trek across rivers and the Drakensberg.

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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.

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Port Elizabeth
Storms River/Garden Route
Addo National Park
Oudshoorn in “Klein Karoo”
Visit Ostrich Farm

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!

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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 lose 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 South Africa 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, 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 Zenzele Basic Adult Education Centre for street people, as well as, a school in the township of Kyalitcha.

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For more information about the Journey please contact:

Karen Brackett & Susan Lehr
Educational Program to South Africa Directors
Education Department-Palamountain Hall
Phone: (518) 580-5140