Susquehanna University; Inter-cultural visit to South Africa, May 2014, Day 3,

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Taste of Africa is hosting 15 Creative Writing students from the Susquehanna University, (plus two Directors):

THIS IS SOUTH AFRICA:  enjoy KRUGER PARK SAFARI, while part of the South & African Culture,

LIVING IN VILLAGE HOME-STAY, Commencing in the Alexandra Township, and then 3 nights of Immersion in Zulu Culture, in a Village in the Nqutu area.  We then visit St Lucia for 2 nights, as we take some R&R, drive through Swaziland, and spend a night in a Swazi Village outside the Numbi Gate. A drive through the Panorama Route, a night in a Shangaan Village outside the Orpen Gate. A day-drive through the Park to Punda Maria, 3 nights outside the Punda Maria Gate in Cedric & Nettie’s home village, a night outside Pafuri Gate, with a Venda Community, (a night in the Art community in Elim, and then end with a night in Soweto), or 2 nights in Pretoria:

DAY 3:  18th May 2014       –     visit day 2:

 Following the very two busy days, and the early rising in Alexandra, we have one of our late breakfasts at 09:00

We plan a walk around the village, meeting the other sub-groups families.

We visit with Sidney Mthobene family, where Chris and Colin was staying. Young Derrick does not introduce us to his family, rather to his culture. He takes us to one of his neighbours who is able to show the full cultural dress code..

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Then, as early as 11:00, Cyprian Mnguni sees a few locals at the soccer field and hurries us down to the field before we complete the home visits.

I am initially irritated due to the lack of activity, the few locals that were at the field when we get there, could have been brought to us at one of the homesteads.

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Then, the motivation for getting us into position, appears from the East, all the early preparation was due to the Chief attending the celebrations:

 

Only today, as I feflect on this day, do I realize the extent that this community paid their respects to us as a group, very seldom will the Chief be present at such a non-traditional celebration:

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Then the magic of the afternoon:

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During this stage I had the opportunity of having a personal chat to the Chief, and when he was ready to leave, 15:00, we said our good-byes:

And then, another magic experience, the Chief, Moreme Molefe, and his family join us for lunch.

To the group who had only heard of my two highlights on the trip, this is another one:

We end our very late lunch at 17:00 and need to report for supper at 19:00, braai at the Mnguni homestead.

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Cedric’s comment:

Following our evening introduction to culture, and now Derrick, maybe my request that our visitors are introduced to their culture was not necessary?

The Chief’s participation at the dance and joining us for lunch was very special.

At the start of the evening I attempted to get the Zullu community to break their culture of men eating first and separately, in order to allow the female students the same privileges that the male students were enjoying, but I was unable to budge them off their culture.

As the trip continues, I realise that even the local woman, will not budge from their culture and traditions:

Another magic day, a few highlights on this day  :

 

 Follow us on Day 4, 19th May: