Thank you David Bonderman!

Because of Mr. Bonderman's generosity, I have been given the opportunity to travel the world and learn about culture. As a Bonderman Travel Fellow I plan on traveling through Western and Eastern Europe, East Africa, Northern India and Southeast Asia. I am excited to experience new and amazing things that will better enable me to empower and inspire the next generation of young students.

ALSO!!! If you are interested in following the nasty development of my beard and can follow it at

Monday, October 18, 2010

After only a week in Joburg I've learned a lot...

Education can be as different as chalk and cheese...

On Friday I visited a lovely school in northern Joburg called HeronBridge College (college=high school). It's a small christian school with the most beautiful high school campus I've seen in my life. The faculty members were welcoming, the students were motivated and I had a blast! As I was leaving I said, "I might come back to Joburg just to teach at this school..." Fantastic place

Today (Monday) I experienced something a little different. Kingsway is a school for under-privileged kids living in "squatter camps." "Squatter camps" are similar to "Tent City" in Seattle, except much bigger...basically, hundreds of homeless families congregate in an open field and start building "homes" out of cinder blocks, rebar, tin sheets, cardboard, etc. Eventually, when violence and corruption overrun the camp, the government goes in with bull dozers to destroy the "houses". The families are forced to move out and find another field for their home. Sometimes "squatter camps" can be around for years before they get destroyed. The particular camp that most of the Kingsway students live in is just 5 km from the school. Eye opening! I was much more involved with the kids at this school than I was at HeronBridge on Friday....I taught 6th/7th graders a lesson on fractions and co-taught a class of 1st/2nd/3rd graders. It was SUPER challenging, but incredibly rewarding. As I was leaving I said, "I might come back to Joburg just to teach at this school..." Inspiring place

Along with South African education, I've learned a lot about the Marshall family! I couldn't have asked for a better welcoming than what I've received from the Marshall's extended family. I've stayed at three different Marshall houses, taken part in a big family dinner (including cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and pets), been escorted all over Joburg and have sincerely bonded with many of them :) I finally understand where Stephen gets his good looks and how he managed to bag such an awesome babe (it seems as though all of the Marshalls have found the sweetest/warmest/friendliest spouses in all of South Africa...) I couldn't say thank you enough!

I'm off to Soweto (township outside of Johannesburg) tomorrow....Then flying to Cape Town on Thursday! Woohoo

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