RSIS - South Africa 2015 Blog
team one

Update six: 24th July

That’s all folks

It's been an amazing two weeks in beautiful South Africa, but today is departures day and all members of team two have now left South Africa. We wish everyone safe and pleasant journeys home.

Leadership team – the adventure continues!

Leadership students Selina, Rebecca, Mustafa and Louisa will be staying on in South Africa for another week taking it in turns to lead Team two during the first week of project work at Lwaleng School. The Leadership team will now spend a few days with the Project Leaders to put a plan of action in place for the following week.

The leadership student’s duties will include:

  • Liaising with the Project Leaders and local co-ordinators;
  • Writing risk assessments;
  • Delivering team briefings;
  • Delegating work/tasks;
  • Ensuring the happiness and wellbeing of the group; and
  • Debriefing with the Team Leader at the end of the day.

Wilderness Experience

The team spent their final few day’s in South Africa enjoying a Wilderness experience with Eco Training who educated the team on the importance of the wilderness, ecosystems and how humans and animal interact.

The team camped in the reserve where they learned skills including scat identification, bush-tracking and animal identification.

Update five: 22nd July

If you missed the live show, you can listen to Karen and Petra's interview on local radio show Ligwalagwala FM. Click on the link to Audio Boom below to listen.

Update four: 20th July

It’s been non-stop action in South Africa with the team enjoying their time (and being kept very busy) with the Kids Holiday Camp and Uthando Orphanage.

Savuka Youth Dance Troupe performed traditional Isizingili Zulu Dance and two members of the team made a guest appearance on local radio show Ligwalagwala FM.

Get the latest news

Don't forget to visit the student blog for news fresh off the press and to see a plethora of photos and videos, click the link below. You can register with the student blog to receive email alerts every time the students update the blog. Don't forget to leave them lots of comments and encouragement.

Building walls and busting moves

Day three on the project saw the walls climbing a little higher and window frames going in. The evening was spent singing and dancing with the The Zwelihle Choral Project.

Update three: 14th July

The project so far

The team have been on site now for two days working hard with the whole team pulling together. “The first day of our project was just as wonderful. It took some effort, but working in a team, painting, brick laying and cementing was great fun.” Sehaj Chawla

The team have been moving bricks, painting classrooms and mixing cement for the construction of a new library for Lwaleng School. Having moved some 400 bricks and starting build on a wall it’s easy for the team to feel pride in their hard word “We are now professional bricklayers!! It has been nice to see the progress in the project and pleasant to see the library finally coming together.”

The team have been working with groups of local school children, developing their leadership skills by leading sessions on English, maths, art and outdoor games.

Want more?...

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Update two: 13th July

Elephant Whispers

After the team briefing and busting some serious dance moves the team set off to Elephant Whispers for a close encounter with these gentle giants. Situated in the Sandford Conservancy on the banks of the Sabie River in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, Elephant Whispers is an elephant sanctuary that is committed to educating the youth on the plight of these beautiful animals, and to introduce ways in which humans and elephant can live in peaceful co-existence.

The team watched a demonstration showing just how graceful (and surprisingly coordinated) these animals can be and learnt more about their compassionate nature. The team exchanged ‘trunk greetings’ while the experienced Elephant handlers talked more about the sanctuary, their research and the animals.

"Elephant Whispers was one of the most amazing experiences with incredibly gentle creatures that I have ever had. They are truly amazing creatures and I hope to encounter them on our wilderness night." Mustafa Quadi

Students were able to have their photo taken with the elephants, take a look at some of the snaps captured by Vinny below:

Project work begins

Round Square teams have been working in this part of South Africa for the last three years and have helped a different township school each year. Our time with these schools not only leaves them with improved infrastructure in terms of much needed classroom teaching space, but it also encourages more support from the local education authorities. So the long-term benefit of each visit is tangible.

Our team has started work on site and have five scheduled days of construction ahead of them. More to follow soon!

Student blog

The students are learning to keep their own travel blog. Follow the link bellow to see more. Please show your support and send your love by leaving comments on their blog.

Update one: 10th July

Dear all,

All team members who were scheduled to arrive today have now arrived safely in White River, South Africa.

Welcome

Welcome, to the RSIS South Africa 2015 Blog for team one. We will keep you up to date with the team’s progress as they undertake this amazing life experience. We will email you periodically throughout the project with updates and links to the blog.

Arrival/Day one

All team members who were scheduled to arrive today have now arrived safely in White River, South Africa. The team are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the last three students who will join them over the next few days.

Some students have experience delays en route to South Africa due to the recent changes in immigration policy. Anyone who’s child has been delayed in their journey has already been notified directly by our on call manager who will continue to keep you posted on your child’s progress.

"The journey to South Africa was nerve wrecking but also really exciting! I traveled here for the first time on my own. Once I got on the plane I was filled with excitement and the motivation to start building." Charlotte Finney

Everyone is spending the day resting after the long flight and getting to know each other. In total there are 24 students and four adults in the team. Students have come from far and wide including Germany, India, UK, Cambodia, Bermuda, Denmark, the Bahamas, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Canada, Pakistan and Kenya. Everyone has been getting to know each other via Facebook before the trip but it’s always good to finally put a face to a name!

It’s early to bed tonight because it’s a busy day tomorrow with team briefings and their first taste of South Africa.

Mobile/cell phones

Just a reminder that students are not permitted to use their mobile/cell phones while on the trip.

In case of emergency

Round Square operates a 24-hour on call service. In the unlikely case of an emergency the project team will notify the on-call team immediately who will then notify parents with full details.

Itinerary

Click the link below to see your full itinerary on Travefy. This itinerary has been built to offer you time to acclimatize to the altitude, develop skills and to absorb the diverse and rich culture South Africa has to offer.