A Group of 24 American Students Get to Grips With South African Cultures...
Buccaneers has a long-standing relationship with SIT Study Abroad who are an American organisation sending students abroad to step outside of their comfort zones and live with host families of other cultures from all over the world. The aim of their programs is to encourage young people to experience and appreciate people and cultures from all over the world for what they are - people - and not to classify them into categories of what or who they think that they are..
This year a group of 24 enthusiastic students arrived in Chintsa on Thursday evening after spending around a month in South Africa in both the Western and Eastern Capes, for a well deserved study break. Their field based study around multiculturalism in post- apartheid South Africa involved living with host families in urban townships over several weeks. Unfortunately before the group arrived at Buccaneers their Eastern Cape stay was marred by terrible weather! During their stay in a township just outside of East London it rained for the whole week! As you can imagine, living without the usual home comforts like electricity and running water could be difficult enough but add to it constant rain and no where to get either yourself or your clothes dry...and it must have been a challenging (but wholly worthwhile) experience. The group needed a well deserved break (and for the weather to play nice!).
The students arrived at Buccaneers on Thursday afternoon - just in time to play volleyball at the free activity, get to know the Buccs crew and enjoy a free glass of wine or two.
"oh my god, this is amazing, you can get just about anything you want for breakfast here!"
- a sure sign that our gorgeous fresh meals were hitting the spot! Friday morning also saw the arrival of Summer! Hoorah! The hot South African sun baked down on everyone as they gazed onto the ocean from the deck whilst tucking into breakfast and sharing clicking "Xhosa" stories. Within 20 minutes everyone was dried out, warmed up and in high spirits for the day ahead.
It wasn't all relaxation! After breakfast African Heartland
Journeys (AHJ) tour guides Denver and Milton picked up the group to take them on a tour of Chintsa and the community and volunteer projects which are going on here. The students paid a visit to the ladies at Thuba Bamboo who are creating bamboo products from local bamboo supplies. They also experienced a local favourite - the Big Green e-Machine (a solar powered mobile computer lab!) - which was working with international volunteers teaching computer literacy at Chintsa East School.
After a talk with local hero Mike Denison, Denver took the students back to Buccs to fuel up before an afternoon hike with Milton. The Stungu Hike is approximately 10kms, starting in Stungu and ending at the Chefani estuary (or Chintsa if your legs need a little more work!). With such a gorgeous, clear day this was the perfect chance to get some beautiful shots of the stunning views along the trail and an idea of the pace of life, rolling green hills and crashing waves of the Transkei. As the door of the bus swings closed when the group are picked up cries of "sharp sharp boet" can be heard. It's awesome to hear such enthusiasm and appreciation for South African culture and language.
Friday is (or course) Braai-day so braai master Sean (Price - the one and only!) braai-ed up a storm - from big boerewors, chicken kebabs and pork chops to HUGE fresh salads and garlic bread, all washed down with a local ale - a feast was had by all!
Inkwenkwezi welcomed the students in on Saturday morning with a drive around the reserve to spy local game. Another perfect picture opportunity! And Saturday afternoon allowed them a little respite to relax and enjoy the resort - chill by the pool, play volleyball and generally relax.
As the group make their way back to complete their studies and return to the US over the next few weeks we wanted to say
"sharp sharp boeties" for making us a part of your South African experience!