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South Africa: beyond the classroom walls

A+wild+Greater+Kudu%2C+a+member+of+the+antelope+family%2C+grazes+around+the+watering+hole.
A wild Greater Kudu, a member of the antelope family, grazes around the watering hole.

A wild Greater Kudu, a member of the antelope family, grazes around the watering hole.

Avery Barker

Avery Barker

A wild Greater Kudu, a member of the antelope family, grazes around the watering hole.

Avery Barker, Editor-in-chief

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During the summer, some students have the chance to visit diverse locations and learn about subjects that can’t be taught in a classroom. My father and I had the privilege of visiting Limpopo, South Africa for a hunting safari with Daggaboys Safari but while I was there I learned a lot about the culture of the country and it’s people.

On our trip to South Africa, we were able to spend time in the Dubai International Airport, where we had pizza that we paid for with United Arab Emirates Dirham, which has an exchange rate of 1 US dollar to 3.67 UAE Dirhams.

The stores or gift shops in the airport sold soccer jerseys because the airline we were flying with, Fly Emirates, is a big sponsor for teams such as Real Madrid or Arsenal. Surprisingly in the Johannesburg Airport I could barely find a soccer jersey, but there was an abundance of jerseys for their national rugby team, the Springboks.

When we arrived in Johannesburg, we stayed in a hotel right outside the airport. This is where we started to reach a language barrier; most of the people in South Africa spoke Zulu and very little English.

We checked into the hotel at about 10 p.m., which was approximately five in the morning Oklahoma time. We ordered room service where we were surprised to find that one USD is equal to about 13 South African Rands, so our total came out to ten USD total for two big burgers, which tasted very unique.

It was then a five hour drive to the Limpopo region of South Africa. On the drive it was safari after safari, which shows how important tourism is to the economy of Limpopo. At our safari, the guide, Gerhard Vaas, and his family spoke English, Afrikaans and Tswana. They had to use different languages to communicate with the many workers they employed and let live on their land, which kept many of them off the streets and out of poverty.

The safari was an amazing experience because we were able to see animals in their natural habitat, unlike zoos, and observe and study how beautiful and graceful they were. One of my favorite animals I saw was the baboon; they would come in to the watering hole and stay for hours on end, playing, fighting and doing hilarious things. Not only was the safari a farm for beautiful animals but it helps the people and economy by selling the meat from their hunts to the locals for discounted prices and providing many people with jobs and a safe place to live.

The most important thing I learned was that we are blessed to live in a country, where the people have basic rights and extreme poverty is much less prevalent in everyday life.

For more information contact Avery Barker at [email protected]

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South Africa: beyond the classroom walls