I was in Makhanda, South Africa for about 3 weeks. While there, we took language lessons every morning, and I can now carry a basic conversation in isiXhosa. We would then either visit a school or attend a guest lecture relating to Apartheid’s legacy and the South African public education system. In the afternoons, we tutored students in the nearby townships through the Inkululeko program.
I was surprised at how many quick and close connections I made with the people in Makhanda. I was also surprised with how the students were so eager to learn, and how easily they engaged with the tutors. I feel like I have a much better understanding of South Africa’s education system, as well as a better understanding of my own practices as an educator. I would like to continue learning the isiXhosa language, and have found several online resources to do so. There were so many lessons that I can apply to my teaching career back at home.