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Learning & Laughing in South Africa!


Its Not Wine Its SA Grape Juice
Traveling around the world is not only fun, but also very educational. Our family recently took a trip to South Africa to visit Johannesburg and Capetown. We spent approximately 10 days touring around S. Africa and visited museums, gardens, sandy beaches, etc. 

DJ & TJ wearing African Masks
Over the course of our stay, we learned so much! But more importantly, our son DJ, was able to learn through the activities we engaged in and through interactions with an older peer model. We were able to have educational moments in geography as we taught him about the differences between continents, countries, and cities as we compared our travels from North America to Africa. DJ's curiosity was sparked as we toured the national botanical gardens. He read about the plant life (with assistance of course) and explored the insect life and their ecosystem. Additionally, he was full of questions about the rhinos, ostriches, and wildebeests from the safari we took Capetown. It was funny listening to him talk about the how big the dung was from the rhino as he said to us, "There is no way poo-poo can be that big." 

Tour Guide Holding Rhino Dung
One of the biggest teaching moments in S. Africa came when we took DJ to the Apartheid museum. For a four year old, the lessons and takeaways from apartheid museum were very minimal. However, we were able to discuss the racial caste system with him in a manner where he could understand the basic definition and intent of apartheid. Additionally, we were able to introduce the iconic figure, Nelson Mandela, to him. We explained to him that Nelson Mandela was an attorney like daddy and that gave him a point of reference about Mandela's desire to help people. We were also able to explain how Mandela was elected to be the first black president of South Africa like Barack Obama was the first black president of the USA. That made him extremely happy seeing how President Barack is the only US president he knows of and he is black. Lastly, we were able to connect Mandela's desire to help black Africans just like Malcolm X and MLK did for Africans in America. Making these connections for him allowed him to remember the information he was learning at the museum and be able to critically think about the numerous questions he eventually started asking.  


There was so much history, geography, science, math, and other teaching wrapped up into our trip. As parents, it gave us more information we can use later to teach DJ and as he gets older he will be able to understand more complex concepts. It was a perfect place to travel with the family. This was an amazing experience for our family and it will only get better as we continue to venture through Africa. Until next time... 

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