Author Archives: Sophie

Wheels are up and the South Africa group is on their way to JFK!

After many teary goodbyes and lots of hugs as the group departed from the African Leadership Academy, they arrived at the airport with plenty of time to shop and buy snacks for the flight. Cate and Sarah reported that all were in good spirits and looking forward to returning home.

Julia, Leela and Amy are ready for takeoff!
Maria, Scout and Julia with Ali, Angela and Mel are boarded and ready to take off!

The group boarded their South Africa Airway flight #203 to JFK which was delayed by 1.5 hours and they are currently in air. SAA flight 203 is due to arrive at 7:25am EST tomorrow (Thursday, 1/24) at JFK. Once they have landed, collected their luggage and passed through immigration, I will give you an updated estimated time of arrival at Porter’s.

The group arrived in Johannesburg and are at ALA!

After traveling for 20 hours or so, the group has finally arrived in-country! Everyone is tired but happy to finally be there. The moved through customs without incident, picked up some last minute items, and boarded the bus to the African Leadership Academy (ALA). Upon arrival they were welcomed by their Chommies (host students) and ALA staff for a short reception before moving their luggage into their dorm rooms which will be home for the next two weeks.

Susan, Cate, Amy and Sarah at baggage claim in Johannesburg
About to board the ALA bus at the Johannesburg airport.

Cate and Sarah report that our students jumped right into the activities and fun despite feeling a bit of jet lag! All are doing well.

Our group arriving on the ALA campus and being welcomed by their Chommies
Our students participating in ice breakers with their new friends.

Stay tuned for more pictures and updates!

Wheels are up and the group is en route to Johannesburg!

The South Africa group is en route! After a 5:00am departure from Farmington, they arrived at JFK with time for some food (apparently lots of Shake Shack!) and rest before boarding their South African Airways Flight #204 for Johannesburg. Sarah and Cate reported that everyone is feeling good and very excited to start their journey. 

Boarding their flight!
On board and ready to fly to Johannesburg!

The group is due to arrive in Johannesburg tomorrow, Saturday, January 11th at 8:59am local time which is 1:59am Eastern Standard Time. I will update this blog once the group has arrived in South Africa.

Stay tuned!

Welcome to the 19-20 Porter’s in South Africa Blog!

We are excited for this 11th grade InterMission class to begin their incredible journey to The African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Johannesburg, South Africa!

You can expect to receive updates once daily on this blog. Please keep in mind that the time in South Africa will be 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time so the postings may not happen on a schedule that makes sense in your time zone. This blog is the place to find pictures, videos and reflections from students and faculty on the trip, as well as to receive daily updates about the group’s activities and experiences. We are asking our faculty trip leaders to post all materials so that students can be present for every moment and so that they will not worry about posting to the blog in a timely manner.

We also strongly encourage you to keep contact with your children to a minimum during the immersion, which will allow them to fully experience the life and community of the school. Emailing periodically is a great way to touch base with without disrupting their experiences in school and other activities. We strongly discourage texting and phone calls for the duration of this cultural immersion.

It is going to be a FANTASTIC experience for all and we look forward to sharing it with you on this blog.

And wheels are up and the South Africa group is on their way to New York!

After a full last day at ALA and tearful goodbyes, the group is finally in air and en route to JFK International Airport on South African Airways flight #203. They are due to arrive on time at 6:40am EST tomorrow (Saturday) morning and should be back in Farmington by 10:45am.

Stay tuned for additional blog postings over the next few days as the students arrive back in the US and share their final reflections on their individual journeys over the last two weeks.


The group arrived on time in Johannesburg and are settling in at ALA

The group arrived in Johannesburg on time. After passing through customs, they boarded the bus for ALA where they were warmly welcomed by all.

Currently they are participating in orientation activities, meeting their Chommies (buddies) and moving into their dormitories. Though a little tired from traveling, everyone is doing well and enjoying the warm South African sunshine!


And wheels are up, the group is off to South Africa!

After a 4am departure from Farmington, the group arrived at JFK with plenty of time for breakfast and to change their USD into Rand before boarding their South Africa Airways flight #204 for Johannesburg. Amanda and MJ reported that everyone is in great spirits, a little tired but very excited to set off on their adventure.

Their flight is due to arrive in Johannesburg tomorrow, January 7th at 8:15am local time, which will be 1:15am EST tomorrow morning. I will update this blog tomorrow morning once the group has arrived in South Africa.