My trip to Africa with the Youth Entrepreneurship Program was a very powerful experience. It was also a life changing experience for me. I learned so much historically, culturally and it helped to enrich my basic life skills. This experience helped me grow tremendously as a person. I am more than happy and grateful to have endured what I have in those three weeks. I enjoyed the variety of activities that were lined up for us.
The educational sites were all really powerful and inspiring. I learned so much about South Africa’s history, with apartheid in particular. At each place there was one thing that really interested me the most. When we first visited the site of the student uprising of 1976, what really pulled my interest was the police opening fire on the group of students who were protesting in Soweto. Also being at the Hector Pieterson museum was very special, especially being able to hear what happened from his sister Antoinette, who was actually there. Then at the Apartheid Museum, I was really engaged in the section about Steven Biko and others who were brutalized, killed and treated unfairly while in jail. I was really brought to reality when I realized that all of these horrible things were happening while I was born. Another knowledgeable experience was the tour of Robben Island. What really made it powerful was having an ex-prisoner as our tour guides. There on the island I was most interested in how the government was so scared of Robert Sibokwe that they had to isolate him from the entire world including other prisoners on the Island.
One of the best parts of the trip for me was the variety of cultural experience. Being able to spend so much time with the organization Teboho Trust, directed by Jose Bright was also very special. The students there had great spirits and I’m happy we formed such a tight bond with them. Participating with them in the workshop allowed me to be able to learn more about them individually, where they are from and more about myself and where I’m from. The activities we completed in the workshop are mostly what helped me grow. They opened me up to new things and got me to do things I never would have done.
I also liked going to the different places that helped me better my future. Places like the youth conference in Cape Town. It was sort of out of my league although I did gather some valuable information from the speakers. Also going to Citi which was an incubator business, which I learned was where entrepreneurs get help in starting their businesses. I think that is a great program and I am glad we got a chance to visit.
Seeing that I liked the learning experiences I also liked the fun ones. We had the chance to go bowling, to the malls, and to an amusement park. I’m glad we got to do things like that because people at home wouldn’t believe they had places like that in Africa. I also enjoyed going on top of Table Mountain and going on the boat rides. They both were adventures things to me that I wouldn’t really do.
Something really important to me was seeing the different countries, cities, townships and neighborhoods. Cape Town was a beautiful place. Nice scenery, nice places to visit, eat and shop. Then right outside of there we visited a township called Lunga. They weren’t as fortunate to have all those things. Also Maputo in Mozambique, I felt like it was poorer and less safe. It also looked really undeveloped. Johannesburg was more of a “city” to me. It had a nice downtown and near a nice suburb. It also had a township right outside the city called Soweto. We spent a lot of time there. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but u could see the conditions the whites made them live in.
The trip overall was WONDERFUL! I would really like to go again next year. I feel it’s so much more for me to learn. I am so grateful of the opportunity.
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