International Student Trips Powered By Discovery Education
South Africa Adventure

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


We flew back to Johannesburg last night. While on the plane, I found out that the operators of the shark tours made a video of our day with them. I hear I looked green in the video. I am so glad that they were able to capture ALL of my misery! I miss the beauty of Cape Town, but this part of South Africa looks more like what I had pictured in my mind. Although it is brown and dry, there is also beauty here. We are currently on our way to the Cradle of Humankind where some of the earliest remains have been found. These remains were found in Sterkfontein Caves. While we were there, it started raining - something that NEVER happens in Johannesburg. The temperature was the low 50s and very, very damp. Then we joined Dr. Collin Mentor at his archeological dig at the Drimolen Caves. He has spent over fifteen years of his life overseeing this dig. He has dated this site at approximately one million years old and told us that thirty percent of all the world's information about fossils is found in a five-mile radius around this site. This accumulation of fossils is partly because of the limestone deposits in this area which aids in the preserving of fossils. We then visited a open market area where people from the country sell their crafts. The vendors would try to direct everyone into their booths and then would talk nonstop. Most of the students were able to deal with the extra attention given to them by the merchants. I thought I might have to rescue Kelby, but he was having the time of his life. He was talking to all the vendors. I think he may have even been able to sell them some stuff! Our last stop for the day was the Lesedi Cultural Village that depicts the traditions of the tribes of South Africa. We enjoyed a traditional dinner there and watched a native dance performance. Probably the most sincere moment I have witnessed while on this trip occurred when I talked to our tour guide about the effects Apartheid had had on his life. He became emotional because he had lived through such horrendous things in his life. He was unable to speak about these things but said he felt compelled to tell the students about the sufferings that had occurred under Apartheid laws. He will share the story with them tomorrow - if he is able. He loves his country so much and wants it to progress into becoming the nation he knows it can be.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Karen, I thought green was your favorite color! Hope you are having a great time in the cave. I am very jealous. Bring back lots of info. Love ya!! Steve

Anonymous said...

KAREN, I'M SO PROUD OF YOU AND YOUR STUDENTS. YOU ARE NO LONGER THE TIMID CHILD I REMEMBER FROM SO LONG AGO. WOULDN'T MISS GRACE BE SURPRISED TO FIND YOU IN AFRICA! I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO SEE YOU AT THE REUNION. LOVE, DENISE

Angela Muse said...

That Shark video would be great to see! will you get a chance to get it?

Anonymous said...

Hey! You were made for this kind of experience - who would have thought it!!!! Think of you every day. "Aunt" Geta

Donnie said...

Sounds like you are having a blast. Has your motion sickness gotten better. Have any of the kids gotten sick? I have been keeping up with our group every day. Doesn't sound like the weather has cooperated. We are Proud of you and we know you have been great representatives of our school and state.

Coach B.

Donna Clark said...

Karen, I can't imagine a few sharks and a little movement bothering anyone who is brave enough to take 4 students half way around the world!! It sounds like everyone is having a great time and I am so happy for you all! May God bless you and keep you all through your travels!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,You look like you are having fun. I could not find your blog, so Geta got it for me. We are ok, be very careful and you and your kids come back safely.Love you Mother

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 12 days
When June 2nd - 13th, 2009
Focus Wildlife Research/Conservation
Political History
Culture