Goodbye OWLAG!

With tears in our eyes we say goodbye to this school community. They have been the most warm and welcoming sisters we could have had. We cannot wait to connect again.

We are now on the bus en route to the airport. We’ll send our next note from the plane, in about 6 hours or we’ll update our info if there are o changes

Porter’s at OWLAG

It’s hard to describe the warmth with which both the girls and faculty at OWLAG have welcome us. From the first minute we have been so overwhelmed with their attention and care. It really feels good to be back in an all-girls community, we did not realize until now how much we appreciate that aspect of our life.

Today we had a busy day with plenty of activities. In the morning we attended a showcase performance of their music department. We listened to their choir, orchestra, marimba ensemble and rock band. Music is a core component of the culture in this community and it was obvious in the incredible quality of their music ensembles.

We also had a “Girl Talk” during which the girls discussed many of the problems affecting young women today. In the afternoon our girls went to two community service activities alongside the OWLAG girls. One group helped paint a playground at a local orphanage’s daycare and another group knitted blankets to be donated to people in need on Mandela day.

Our day also included a Braai (South African barbecue dinner) at the head’s house and a presentation of our BUILD projects with the OWLAG community.

It has been a very complete day, but we are also getting a little sad as we realize that we will be boarding the plane to come back home tomorrow. This has been such an amazing trip, full of new experiences and incredible people.

Arrival at OWLAG

Our group is finally at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Our host sisters were anxiously waiting for us and they had a great reception for our group. They took our girls to their rooms and then to dinner. After that they had some dances and ice breakers games so they would get to know each other. Everyone is very warm here and they have prepared a lot of activities for our two days here. The group is going to bed now after a long day. Tomorrow we’re looking forward to a pretty packed program at the Academy that includes performances, discussions, community service and reports about our entrepreneurship work.

Goodbye ALA! , Hello OWLAG!

Today we had our last day at ALA and celebrated the Africa Land of Opportunities day. We will update later on the experience, but we wanted to write at least a quick post to confirm that we are en route to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls, expecting to be there in about an hour.

Day 9: Presentations

Today we worked hard all day to prepare our BUILD project presentations. We practiced our presentations and described our projects to our peers for feedback. This was a very important part of the process as it helped us improve our projects.

In the evening we had a goodbye dinner as we will be leaving the Academy tomorrow for the second part of our trip at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, after attending the Africa, Land of Opportunities symposium at ALA.

We are very excited about the day tomorrow even though we are sad to say goodbye to this school that has taken such good care of us and where we have grown so much in just a few days.

Day 8: BUILD

BUILD is a component of ALA’s signature program in Entrepreneurial Leadership and it is a design thinking strategy for innovation and development. A very important aspect of our work here consists of advancing our own student projects following the BUILD strategy and learning how to implement it. Our group is divided in four smaller pods. Each of them is working on a project following ALA’s model. We are expecting to actually implement this projects upon our return on campus. They are projects that have a human centered approach and that try to solve problems that we care about in our community.

Today we spent most of the day working on our BUILD projects. In morning and afternoon sessions the girls refined their work and are getting ready to present to their peers for feedback before they are unrolled. Everyone is very excited about this work and we look forward to making change happen when we come back!