Soon my class and I will embark on a physical and spiritual journey to the country of South Africa. While there we will interview Archbishop Desmond Tutu, known and revered throughout the world for his role in the toppling of Apartheid. But, in addition to interviewing Desmond Tutu, we will also be meeting with some lesser known heroes of the Apartheid Struggle and the turmoil that has followed. We will be interviewing Peter Harris an apartheid lawyer who defended the Delmas Four in a symbolic and highly crucial trial that served as an early herald to the end of Apartheid. We will also be interviewing Pregs Govender, former member of Parliament from 1994-2002 and outspoken advocate for civil rights.
One of the most meaningful aspects of the trip will be our visit to the Botshabelo orphanage for children orphaned by AIDs. It is here that we will have the chance to give back to a country that will be offering us so much hospitality and eye opening experiences. We will also be bringing donations to charitable projects such as, Philani Child Nutrition Project and Mylife Homeless Childrens’ Project, charities that have been equally vital to the easing of life for young South Africans affected by severe poverty.
One of the really beneficial things about this trip is that we will not only be forming mutual relationships with the people of South Africa but its animals as well. For the last three days of the trip we will be going on Safari in Kruger National Park, where we will get the chance to study the animals of the savannah and brainstorm ways that we can help out endangered Savannah animals such as the Cheetah whose existence in the world is hanging by a thread.
It is hard to say now whether I am more excited for all the exciting adventures that are sure to await me in this mystical country or for the moment when my class and I deliver to the charities all the donations we have spent months gathering. It has taken a lot of hard work, but no matter how large the physical gifts; they are a small price to pay for the gift of inner happiness that we are sure to experience as we journey to South Africa which as Desmond Tutu has said: “…so utterly improbably, is a beacon of hope in a dark and troubled world.”