Hello, again, from Mzanzi!

The Leadership Festival wrapped up today around lunch time. Now that the other students have headed off to their homes, our students have a bit more time to reflect on their experiences (see below) and take in more of the South African culture. This afternoon we ventured out for a tour of the Royal Bafokeng nation and a meal at Luks Eatery for traditional African cuisine. Here, we learned the Zulu word for South Africa is Mzanzi, which means low. After lunch, we drove through a mining town and visited their child center. This space was opened in the last 5 years by the king as a place for children in the community to hang out and “think outside the box.” There’s a computer lab, recording studio, and more there. We saw many local kids playing outside during our stop. We also saw the Phokeng Hospital and King’s residence on our tour.

The following are the students’ quick reflections:

Catherine – “My favorite parts of my trip here in South Africa were listening to poetry which reflected the deep history of the country and interacting with the other students. The other scholars taught me about the reasons for why Nelson Mandela was a controversial leader. Furthermore, I learned about Winnie Mandela about whom I had never learned. I am very appreciative that I have gained knowledge and friends from this experience.”

Victoria – “At the end of this conference. I have learned that being a leader is not about being the most charming, loud, pushy, or outgoing. Leadership is an attitude that enables people to believe that they can make a valuable change within their communities. This attitude encourages people to make the world a better place for everyone. Being taught this attitude helped me learn the true meaning of leadership and made this trip even more valuable.”

Charlotte – “It’s been a wonderful experience here in South Africa. I learned so much about Mandela as a person and a human rather than as an icon. I also made such good friends and relationships with the people at Lebone. I am so grateful to have gotten to go on this trip and can’t wait to experience more.”

Trinity – “I really enjoyed my time in South Africa. I learned so many new things about the culture here . I think that this was an amazing experience and I am so glad that I came here. Everything is so different down here and I really enjoyed it. I had no idea about all the mixed emotions of Nelson Mandela and I am glad that I learned it all!”

Annie – “I feel extremely lucky to be able to have the experience of another culture that many people will not have. I was talking to someone today and she said she had never seen a fox in person. There are many things I have never seen in person before that I get to see here, and I am learning many new things. Everything here is different from America and I am grateful to see it all.”

Azzuri – “I really enjoyed South Africa, but I think what I enjoyed most was meeting new people from a different part of the world who have so much to share and offer.”