Student Highlight: Elaine Wen

Programs for this blog post

Leadership & Service Through Mandela's Example

Authored By:

Matt Bisek

Hi there all you wonderful people!

‘Tis I, Elaine, thy writer for today’s blog. On the 18th day of July in the 22nd year of the 21st century, we honour the late Nelson Mandela, the first Black President of South Africa, with Nelson Mandela’s Day. The holiday is celebrated to commemorate Mandela’s work to end apartheid and aid in the spread of democracy and equality throughout South Africa. It’s tradition for South Africans to spend 67 minutes doing community service as a salute to Mandela’s 67 years fighting for justice, to which we contributed, but back on that later. We started our day with another isiXhosa lesson with the fantabulous Mama D. Then, due to unprecedented circumstances, *cough* the rain or as I personally theorize the tears of the lion on Lion’s Head, we had to adapt our plans. Instead of the Amazing Race, we split into three teams and did escape rooms at the V&A Waterfront. Though my team, the Slaydies, fought valiantly, Sierra, Kaden, Maddison, Maya, Isaiah, and Keara were the first out with an impressive time of just under 40 minutes. Though everyone had fun, it was definitely a learning experience for us, as a group, to see how our leadership skills and styles can play into others and how to always take everyone into account. As the H2O poured, our intentions of beginning community service at Bonga Primary School were obliterated, however, all is not lost as we, instead, picked up garbage on the beach for our 67 minutes. Matt found a particularly odorous spot under the bridge which he thought would be a splendid site to take Mariella and me. As the sun began to set, the team came back with numerous bags full of garbage. While rewarding, being our first act of community service, it did spark a few questions and ruminations on why we do community service and how there might be moral knots within. Regardless, those are ones that we may or may not find the answers to throughout the rest of our time in Cape Town. Thank you for following along with our itinerary and we shall see you again shortly.

Have a splendid day,