Before applying to the South Africa Program I was very anxious about visiting the country and working in extremely under resourced communities. As I learned more about this experience and the opportunities ahead I decided to take the plunge and to apply for this amazing program. Upon arriving to Cape Town or more formally Muizenberg in which we are staying, I am in complete “awe” of the beauty in the landscape and the inspiring people of the township.
Through my few days in the crèches with the mentor teachers and the children of Vrygrond, my outlook on education, learning, and resourcefulness has changed completely. The principals and teachers of Vrygrond have dedicated their lives to educating the children of the township and to working in the community to make it a better place. This commitment and motivation from the teachers can be seen in their interactions with the children and the love that they bring to the classroom. As an outsider and new teacher in the classroom, I have felt so impacted by my time thus far through the enthusiasm of the children and the warmth I have received from the teachers. I am extremely grateful to be here in South Africa and to learn and grow with my mentors here in Vrygrond! Many more adventures to come! – Courtney Ockershausen