(A Few) Student Reflections

Short layover in Dubai is the perfect time for a few reflections from their time in South Africa. Enjoy!

Trinity: The thing that surprised me the most about my first time in South Africa would have to be how nice the people are. They were all so friendly and welcoming especially when they knew I was American. It was surprising that the people wake up so early here and expect everyone to be up with them sometimes before the sun came up they would expect everyone to be up. Another thing that surprised me was how cold it was here in their winter time. I thought that it was going to be a lot warmer even though it was their winter time. I didn’t expect to have to wear layers so I am really glad that I brought a lot of them.

Charlotte: What most surprised me about my time in South Africa was the fact that many people do not like Nelson Mandela. In America he is seen now as a hero, an icon for human rights, we are only taught the good parts of his story. However, many of the youth in South Africa see him as a sellout. They say that he did not negotiate for all the people, their land, or to give the correct name back to South Africa. I was very stunned on the first day when many people referred to him as a “sellout”. I found all of this very surprising because he is seen as such an amazing, godlike person in the US, yet many people in South Africa see him as just the opposite.

Annie: the most surprising thing about my time here is the way people view nelson mandela. some people call him a sell out and don’t like him and i would never have predicted that. i thought he was a hero to the people but i learned most people don’t think so. i also was surprised about the difference in the education systems. the students in south africa are taught how to be respectful and to always be grateful. they are required to take classes about life and learn how to take care of themselves. they learn how to speak their thoughts in a brilliant way.