By Emily van Ewijk Avans From University of Applied Sciences
Today was the first day. It was finally going to start. We went to school with a bus, which was about one hour too late. We got to know the South African times already. The first day we started with a workshop about using photo story and about social media. We also did some little games to get to know each other a bit more. We also met in groups for the first time and we added our last group member, the South African student. We started preparing our first presentation which would be the next day.Day 2
Today we had to give a presentation about our expectations about the project, the other students and the country. We made a video using photo story 3 and we played in the class. The teachers were very excited about our video. We also got workshops today about project management and culture, which was very interesting.
Today was a day we learned about empowerment and cultural diversity. Especially the empowerment workshop really worked for me. It was about how you could build your own self-empowerment and confidence. Which are very interesting to me and I really learned some things about how to get the best out of myself, which was very precious to me. The teacher was also very inspiring.
Today we were all very excited about finally visiting the schools. Unfortunately, we only got to visit one school. We saw what the playground looked like, we saw the equipment’s they’ve had available to work with and we also saw a class doing physical education in the only spot of shadow that was available. The children were all playing sports in their uniforms and it was really hot. It was a bit sad to see, we are so used to have sporting clothes and cool sports locations and those children were just playing sports in their normal school uniforms in the heat of the day. It was really an eyeopener for me to see them.
Today started with a workshop about pedagogy and physical activity in South Africa. It was really interesting, and we could use the information for our project. But it was Friday, so we went out and did something fun with the group. We went crocodile cage diving and we went to the lion park. It was fun, and we got to know each other better. I also got to hold this little crocodile, which was very scary but cute at the same time. We got some information from our guide about the crocodiles and watched the brave ones go crocodile cage diving.
Saturday fun day! Today we went to the spice route with the group. I really enjoyed the food, the view, but mostly the wine…
After our free Sunday, we went back to the University on Monday. It was time to work in our groups and develop our programs. We had so many great idea’s, it didn’t all fit in one lesson. One idea we all liked was about the game ‘’one for all’’ were the entire class must work together to achieve all the little games within 30 minutes. So, this became our lesson and we had to work it out.
Presentation day! We had to present our plan to the other groups. We got some real good feedback and we were very excited to improve our idea, so we could really make it work on the pilot day!
Pilot day! We were all very excited about this day. We hoped our lesson would work and that we could give the children a fun physical education lesson. It went out really well and we played the little games with them and they won the game! It was so fun to see the happy faces and work together with the children. For example, one thing I did with the girls was making a healthy alphabet which would only include fruits and vegetables. It was really hard to find a fruit or vegetable for every letter in the alphabet, but together we did it. I was really surprised by how smart these girls were. I also did a little anatomy quiz with them and they really knew lots of the answers.
Today we visited Drakenstein APD. It was a place for disabled people to work. It made me so happy to see that they were all so happy and made such beautiful things together. We do have places like this to in the Netherlands, but I didn’t expect that they have those initiatives here too! It really surprised me! I bought a surprise blikkie from them, with a surprise inside, to support them. It was so much fun, I couldn’t wait to open it (found a cute chain inside). After this, we went back to school to work on our final presentation and finish our long-term program, but we also planned a real African Braai with all the students!
The last day… It was sad to know we had to say goodbye to all the students already. We finished our program with everyone’s presentation and we had some typical African lunch called vetkoek. It was so good… After everything was done we had an evaluation about the program and we made a group picture. The moment to say goodbye had come along… we had to say goodbye. I met amazing people and it was hard to say goodbye. But goodbyes aren’t forever, I hope we meet each other again!
My personal experience of this project is mostly that South Africa is an amazing country. So much beautiful nature and beautiful people. It makes me sad and angry that there are so many social issues and I hope that in the future things will be better for South Africa. I learned so much of it and it really made me realise how many good things we have in Europe, but also that we all work so hard here that we sometimes forget to enjoy. South Africa taught me to enjoy. I went home but left a little bit of my heart there. I know for sure that I will come back once again to meet all those beautiful people again.