Today’s Blog Writers: Mayrra Sardjito & Sarah Wagner
Today we had a fairly simple day, and we focused on ALA classes as well as our BUILD presentations. The Porters students were given the opportunity to join any class of their choosing, diverging from their chommie’s schedule. We went to various classes such as African History, Creative Arts, English Literature, Entrepreneurial Leadership, French, Philosophy, etc. Through these fascinating classe,s we were able to see the ALA students’ political and social awareness and love for education. The African Philosophy class got into debates and discussed topics such as should babies be killed, while other classes like International History had a review day and played games to recap events from semester 1. The students were able to have heated debates, while later laughing and joking together. We believe the motto for the day would be: attack the idea not the person.
Right after school, we had BUILD. Since we had a big presentation in front of judges after dinner, we spent two hours making slides and prepping. We were all super excited to present the ideas we had been working on since coming to ALA. The five groups presented issues on: supported formerly incarcerated people in the workforce, ocean pollution, women in the workforce, mental health, open-mindedness, and transparency between students and teachers. It was super helpful to get feedback from the panel of judges to revise our BUILD ideas. Overall it was a great day and we enjoyed hanging out with the ALA students!
Some pictures from the day:
Today’s Blog Writers: Katje Knoblauch & Willow Quine
Today we boarded the bus from ALA to the town of Soweto (South Western Townships) for our second visit. When we arrived, we were greeted by local guides who welcomed us by singing traditional songs. Soon, we were on our way to a 4-hour walking tour that provided us insight to the communities of the towns and the history behind them.
On the tour, we got to visit the home Nelson Mandela lived in for roughly fifteen years and where his family lived for over forty years. Our guide provided us with information about his historical importance and we learned a lot!
Next, we saw the memorial site of Hector Pieterson, who was the first student to be shot in the Soweto uprising in 1976. We also were treated to ice pops called ice lollies.
Then we were provided with an amazing meal at the camp sights! We got to feast on traditional South African food, consisting of corn, meats, bread and vegetables, all made with organic homegrown food from their own garden!
We then got to stop at a local mall and buy ourselves South African snacks to try. Then we went out to dinner at Mozambik, a restaurant serving Afro-Porto (African-Portuguese) cuisine. We all laughed a lot and had a great time!!!!!!!
Overall, today was a complete cultural immersion and filled with eye-opening aspects tied to both the historic and present societies of this town. From the outside, Soweto is very different than the sheltered oasis that is ALA. However, our tour guides and the many other locals that we interacted with today helped us understand the historical importance it has to the culture of South Africa. Seeing it from the inside helped us appreciate this even more! Finally, exploring the local supermarket and enjoying a delicious dinner added a relaxing end to our day.