Nate said this experience would be intense -- and he was right. The past few weeks have exposed us to the human condition from Camp's Bay to Delft Township but has also led to a different way of looking at class as a community. Here are just a few of the lessons that we have learned along the way.
1.The people in South Africa have showed us how their hope and compassion for each other has led to change for the entire country. The people from MaAfrika for example, each of the workers have difficulties but know that as a group they can face it together and handle new situations that come their way.
2.Gratefulness, this is not just because there are people living on small incomes and being content with what they have but there is a real joy and hope that money cannot buy and we think it comes from being a part of something bigger than yourself like family, government, and community.
3.Pride we have been witness to immense pride in being South African. Although the country has had a tumultuous past they have been survivors had have been leaders in change, forgiveness, and reconciliation so much so that they are models for global conflict.
4.Individuality, each person on this trip has learned more about themselves and how they function in a group. Patience is one lesson, from waiting for others to get ready for class to also listening to others during our talking circle. As an individual you are still part of a group or community of some sort and it takes time to discover how to lead and express responsibility within that structure but this course has pushed us to look at how we answer to others and ourselves never forgetting to use a collective lens.
5.Learning doesn't just take place in a classroom. You have to be student and teacher at the same time; this allows you to have open mind and heart. For example in our talking circle, as we listen to others we get to have new lens on an experience and in this context we also get to share our view point and ideas.
There are so many other lessons that have been learned and we believe that as time passes and we return to home, school, work, friends, and families other lessons will reveal themselves. Our time spent in South Africa has been short but rich and it will be missed.
- Zamzam and Angela