Day 6 (Kevin Chaplin & Leon Holtzhausen)

Wednesday we had a full day of class where Kevin Chaplin, Leon Holtzhausen, and some of Leon’s students came to speak to us.  Kevin is Stuart Hendry’s mentor that has always inspired him.  I found that interesting since I feel that Stuart could be a mentor himself because of his great accomplishments in South Africa.  Kevin talked to us about having a vision, keeping focus, and dreaming big.  He shared this quote with us, which is also on the wall at the Philippi Children’s Centre that said, “Reach for the moon, and if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” It is a very encouraging saying that makes one think about what the worst that could happen is.

He next told us about the founder of Pick-n-Pay, Raymond Ackerman, who created the “Four Legs of the Table.”  The “Four Legs” are the administration/finances, the branding/products, the people, and the corporate social responsibility.  Ackerman believed that you do not have to follow the bottom line, but that if you do these other things, it will just follow.  With the “Four Legs of the Table,” he then focused on leadership as it pertains to caring for other people.  Being a South African during the time of Apartheid, he was really determined to change things for the better. He said to not ever become stuck in a comfort zone.  Having worked at a bank, Kevin knew that many times he was only promoted because he was a white male.  He knew this had to stop because he was no longer the only capable employee for the higher up position.

Our second speaker of the day was Leon Holtzhausen and his students who talked to us about the impact of violence on community development.  Being a psychology minor, I really enjoyed listening to Leon because he discussed people’s motives for being violent and if that was somehow related to poverty. He gave us this quote by John Moir that said, “When we tug at a single thing in nature we find it attached to the rest of the world.” Leon proceeded to give us some statistics on HIV/AIDS, crime rates, children and orphans, and unemployment.  In closing, he asked one of his female students to answer all of the tough questions we were wondering concerning South Africa.  I really respected her because she said that she had studied at Ohio State and knew where we were coming from with our curiosity.  In every question she answered, it all went back to if you understand the history of their country, then you will understand why they are the way they are.

Later that evening Kevin Chaplin came once again to talk to us.  This time he really went in detail about the Amy Biehl Foundation by showing us a clip about the organization.  Amy was a young American girl who came to South Africa to fight for the black people’s freedom during Apartheid.  To her she saw no difference in color, which resulted in her being killed during a car raid.  He continued his discussion with explaining to us what ubuntu was; valuing and respecting others.  Concerning Amy Biehl, this goes to say that her parents should forgive the men who killed their daughter (which they did.)  He closed by giving us the acronym WATCH meaning to watch our words, attitude, thoughts, company, and heart.  Following the acronym is how we would fully live up to ubuntu.

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Day 5 (Philippi Children’s Centre)

Tuesday morning we drove to Philippi to participate in a service project on the township’s school.  Upon arrival, we met the principal of the school and Kissmea, the project manager.  (Note that they are both woman leaders!)  Stuart gathered us up in a huddle to explain why we were doing the work and to pump us up for the day by doing a rather loud chant.  Next, we were briefed on the safety rules and told what was appropriate for us to wear on the job site.  To me, the rules were a little much.  I was assigned the task of painting the inside of the principal’s house, which meant that I would need to wear a hardhat, goggles, and a mask.  The crew laughed at us when we arrived wearing t-shirts, workout shorts, and tennis shoes since in their minds, it looked like we were all about to go for a run.

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After our briefing and given tasks, it was teatime.  I would have rather started work and then taken a break, but that is not how it works in South Africa.  Therefore, we sat down, had a snack and water break as we were told to do, and then started working.  Morgan and I were in charge of painting the inside of the principal’s house.  Painting is not really my thing, so it took me a while to figure out the most efficient way to get the job done.  By doing this, I got paint all over me.

When I was told it was time to take a break and play with the kids I was ecstatic!  The second I stepped onto the playground I had kids all over me that all desperately seeked attention.  To me, that just showed how little love and affection they are given at home.

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Then, it was time for lunch.  I was also surprised by what we had to eat: lasagna, side salad, and soda.  Many of the paid workers would only have a few slices of bread for lunch while we were given a full meal to eat.  How can this be fair? Also, if you think about it, we were taking away their work.  Since this is their job, we are performing tasks that they are getting paid to do, and when the job is finished, they are unemployed again.  In the workers’ way of thinking, I am sure they were unhappy when they found out another volunteer team was coming to help finish the school.  The person that assisted Morgan and me kept asking if we were coming back tomorrow, and I am sure this is why.  In addition, we began painting the bathroom that apparently did not need painting, but we were not told this.  Now we wasted time and paint to do a task that we were not even supposed to perform.

At the end of the day, we had a closing ceremony where the principal, Kissmea, and Stuart all thanked us for our hard work, which included us receiving a t-shirt and certificate. Overall, I had a great day working at Philippi Children’s Centre, but I could not stop thinking about what we learned by reading Toxic Charity. Personally, I felt like I did a good dead for the community, but I am not sure that the paid employees would agree with me.

Free day/game lodge

On our free day a group of us went to hike Lions Head, one of the mountains that overlooks the city and the waterfront. The hike was very difficult and even more technical than the hike up Table Mountain. We had to use chains to climb up some of the extremely steep sections. The actual Lions Head is basically a giant boulder. The only way up it is a very steep climb up a staircase like trail. It was closer to rock climbing than hiking. It was overcast all day and all the way up to the top of the trail, but once we finally got to the top, the clouds opened up for a few minutes. The view was incredible just like the view from the top of Table Mountain. Making the hike was well worth waking up early on our free day. 

Next we went to a famous pub founded by a former rugby player right across the street from the Cape Town Stormers stadium. It was a cool environment, surrounded by true rugby fans getting ready for the game. 

The stadium was just like most stadiums in America. We almost felt like we were in America until the game began. Rugby is much different than football and we quickly learned that. I felt almost like I was at Hogwartz watching Quiditch because of the unfamiliar game with unfamiliar teams. I quickly caught on to the rules and started really enjoying the game. It was the Cape Town Stormers vs. the Reds. After a slow start, the Stormers scored first. It was neck and neck until the the last few minutes of the game when the Stormers extended their lead with very little time left on the clock. The Reds couldn’t convert and it was a win for Cape Town. The fans were going wild, chanting, “here we go Stormers, here we go”! repeatedly. They had a lot of team spirit,which reminded me a lot of American sports. I really enjoyed the game and will try to follow the Stormers with the rest of their season.

On our final day we drove up to the Aquila Game Lodge to go on a game drive. It was about two hours northeast of Cape Town in the middle of the bush. When we arrived, we had an amazing buffet-style lunch in a dining room that had birds flying around in it. After lunch, we moved into our huts. There were four people to a hut and there were about ten huts in the village, surrounded by a large fence protecting us from the wild animals out in the bush. 

We unpacked our stuff and headed back over to the main building to prepare for the safari. It was a cloudy, cold day but we were still excited to see some of the Big FIve (Cape Buffalo, Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Leopard) and others. We loaded up with blankets on to our large excursion vehicle. As we left our safe, gated village, and crossed over to the wildlife reserve, we immediately saw a large Cape buffalo chewing the cud. Shortly after, we saw some springbok, ostrich, and rhinos feeding. Throughout the day we were lucky enough to see lions, a giraffe, kudu, wildebeest, and a hippo. We took lots of pictures and considered our first game drive to be a huge success.

The following morning we got to go out again and see the Africa elephants, more hippos, more lions, a cheetah, a leopard, and some crocodiles. It was an amazing way to cap off an incredible trip. Saying goodbye to South Africa was tough, but I felt good because I knew I go so much out of the trip. I learned so much about business, entrepreneurship, leadership, culture, geography, tourism, and charitable giving. I also got to see some amazing things and meet some awesome people. It was even better to experience it all with members of my PC family. I grew closer to the friends I already had and developed many new friendships as well. I also enjoyed spending time with Dr. Turner, his lovely wife Nancy, and our new “dad”, as we liked to call him, aka Mike List, our chaperone. I couldn’t have imagined a better trip and will highly recommend it to anyone considering it in the future. 

-You stay classy South Africa,

Dylan Murray

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Day 9- Free Day/ Rugby Game

Saturday was our free day to go and do anything around the city that we wanted to do. A big group of us had heard about Green Market while we were there so we decided to take a trip to go see what it was all about. We started our walk down to Long Street not really sure where we were going. The only directions we had were to go towards Long Street and turn by the Purple Turtle. We made it to Long Street and thankfully found the Purple Turtle, if anyone was wondering I think it was a hotel. We made it to Green Market and it was not what I expected at all. I thought it would be a nice inside market but it was just little tents stacked up on top of each other with any kind of souvenir you wanted. We made our way around the market and found plenty of things that we wanted to bring home. I bought two bowls for my grandmothers. I also found an awesome painted picture of an elephant that I had to buy. I was walking around with Patrick who wanted a picture of the Big 5. This was a huge task because every tent that you walked to they had a different type of the picture and of course they all had “a special price for you.” We finally found one picture that we both loved. After haggling the price down to a reasonable one we had to make our second trip to the ATM so he could buy it. Once we had the picture in our hands it was time for us to leave. We made our way back to the hotel so we could have lunch and then make our way to the rugby game. We all pilled into the taxis for the last time and headed for the stadium. We got there to find something that looked like football tailgating in the US. One of the funniest parts of the trip was when we parked and got out of the taxis the police pulled up to give them tickets for parking where they did. Once even tried to pull away but he got stopped and got a ticket. We got there early so we went to one of Grant’s friends bar. This was cool to see how excited these people were for the rugby game. We hung out there and had a few drinks before we left for the game. We got to the game and had good seats so we could see what this new game was all about. The game reminded me of American football a little but there were a lot of different things they had going on also. I am not going to lie I was lost most of the time but the game was very interesting to watch. We all had a great time cheering for the Stormers and were even more excited when they pulled out the win. Saturday was a great day for us to do something that we had not seen yet or just walk around the city and enjoy one of our last days there. This day was when I realized that the trip was about to be over and that we were leaving Cape Town the next day. I had not realized how much I was going to miss Cape Town until that moment. Image

-Katalin Bramblett

Day 8- Class/ Bandwidth Barn

Day 8 started with a great speaker Ali Meadows. She is a professor at the University of Cape Town She teaches classes on sustainable tourism in South Africa. She started by talking about South Africa in general. She explained about how it is very diverse and has some great tourist attractions such as the beaches and open land. We also discussed poverty and how 73% of people in South Africa still live in poverty. She said that the government is doing a better job about getting sanitation to the poor. Her next topic was tourism and how it affects South Africa’s economy. Tourism is all about supply and demand and understanding your resource base and protecting it. The big thing that South Africa has for tourism is the natural resources of untouched land. In 2011 tourism contributed 9% of the global GDP. This is a large part of South Africa because of the natural resources that it has to offer.

The second speaker we had on Friday was Luvuyo Rani. He is a young entrepreneur in South Afric. His business is Silulo. Silulo is a company that has cafes where people can learn to use the internet. They also offer classes for those who are interested in a career in IT. Many of the students that they teach these skills go on to work for Silulo. Silulo started as one café and now has 18 branches in the Western Cape and 5 in the Eastern Cape. It hopes to open 7 more cafes in the next year. Luvuyo is an inspiration because he came from a very poor township and used his resources to open a very successful business.

The second half of our day was spent at Bandwidth Barn. Bandwidth Barn is a company that was started to help entrepreneurs start their businesses. It is a place where they rent out a space and can share all of the resources that Bandwidth Barn has to offer.

Day 8 was a great day that was an inspiration to see people like us strive to succeed and there were many who have become very successful business owners.

-Katalin Bramblett

Day 7- Boudlers Beach/Cape of Good Hope/ Seal Island

Thursday was a day full of traveling around the Western Cape. We started the day in a small seaside town where we had a coffee and were able to walk around. After, we headed for Boulders Beach; his was one of the things I had been looking forward to the whole trip. Boulders Beach is where the African penguins live. We spent a little time watching the penguins and taking tons of pictures. Our next stop was the Cape of Good Hope. This is the very tip of Africa. We were able to walk to the tip and go to the lighthouse. From there you could see the best views of the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. It is still crazy to think that we were at the very tip of Africa. After we got lunch and had a time keeping the birds from eating it. Some of got a little closer to the birds than we preferred. The next place that we went was Hout Day. There we got on a boat to go to Seal Island. This is where a lot of the shows are filmed for shark week. It was scary to see how close the island is to the land. Once we got back to the shore we were able to walk around and see some of the famous fish and chips restaurants along the boardwalk.

Day 7 was a day full of all of the tourist sites we had been waiting to see. We also learned some history about each of these sites from our tour guide AlexImageImageImage

 

-Katalin Bramblett

Day 6- Kevin Chaplin and Leon Holtzhausen

Wednesday was a day full of class. We had a few great speakers that opened our eyes to some of the strengths and failures of South Africa.

            The first speaker of the morning was Kevin Chaplin from the Amy Beihl Foundation. He talked to us about how he worked in a bank for 20 years then he decided to change careers. It took one person, Stuart Hendry, introducing him and saying that he had worked in the bank his whole life to make him realize that he needed a change. He took a large jump and inherited the Amy Beihl Foundation and quit his job at the bank. He also talked to us about leadership and how we must learn from others. We also must be constructive and flexible.

            The second speaker we had was Dr. Leon Holtzhausen from the University of Cape Town. He is a professor in the social work department that teaches social development. This was one of my favorite presentations from this trip. It hit home because I study a lot of the same stuff at school. We started with questions from us. A lot of the questions we asked were about crime, private security, and the townships. We also talked about HIV and AIDS and how it is the highest killer of children. We talked about crime and how mist victims are also children. We also discussed the unemployment rate in South Africa; it is one of the highest in the world at 42%. We dug more into violence and what the impact is. A lot of it is due to fear, insecurity, and lack of control. Also, the impact of poverty is unemployment, survival, and nothing to lose. This helped me understand a little more about why some things in South Africa are happening.

            Kevin Chaplin came back to talk to us again that night. He talked about Ubuntu spirit and the Amy Biehl Foundation. He said you should live your life with the Ubuntu spirit, which means being compassionate and striving to help others. He also talked about how our attitude us contagious. He said, “your attitude at the beginning of the task will determine success or failure.” The last thing he did was he showed us a video from the Amy Biehl Foundation. This explained how Amy was killed taking some of her friends home. It also showed footage from the Truth and Reconciliation trial when her murders were granted amnesty. I was amazed that her parents were able to sit in front of all of those people and say that they forgave her murders. Once they started the organization they employed two of her murders that still work there today.

This day was a great day in the classroom that we learned more about leadership and South Africa. 

-Katalin Bramblett