Until we see each other again

Today’s update is written by Bloomfield College student Andrea Montes.

I woke up knowing today was going to be a very emotional day! Inkululeko typically does not meet on Friday, but yesterday Zuko announced that we will be holding a workshop and that everyone was welcome to attend.

Zuko (one of the Inkululeko’s staff members and a student doing his honors year – 4th year – at Rhodes University) had asked us to help during his workshop regarding “the rape culture, love and teen dating violence.” I was really happy to collaborate because this is a huge topic and I have done similar programs at Bloomfield College with my organization.

Inkululeko Students participating during the workshop

My day started at 8 a.m. again since it was my second day at the hospital. I met with the hospital manager who directed me to the medical surgical ward. I met their wonderful staff that took me in right away and made me feel welcome. The nursing manager of the floor took me on a tour of the unit. There were many similarities such as their med room and how they keep schedule drugs (narcotics, pain killers and medications with potential for abuse) locked with a lock and a key, also having two nurses to take scheduled 5&6 drugs.

The nursing manager explained they just started doing so not too long ago and that before it was just one nurse. Throughout my stay there were only a few patients and one of them was being discharged. The medical surgical ward sort of does everything, from receiving pediatric cases, post-op patients, etc. The hospital used to have a pediatric and maternity unit however they closed it down. Therefore, if patients are due to deliver they either have to schedule it with their private doctor or they go through the public section of the hospital where nurses can deliver the babies. I went back to the trauma/ emergency unit after spending two hours in the medical surgical unit. Overall I had a great time and got to observe a lot more things. It is just amazing the work that nurses do and I am so humbled to be able to observe a learn from them.

Joza Youth Hub students getting ready to go to the computer lab

I then headed back to the hotel where I changed my clothes and got ready for Inkululeko. Before heading to Inkululeko, we stopped at Joza Youth Hub. They also help keep kids away from the street, sort of like an after school place where they can do homework and meet with their friends. They provide the kids with a toy library, a music center, and a computer lab so that they do their homework. The kids were very nice but very shy as well.  We were told that the program is not mandatory but I was surprise to see the number of students there. It was really good to know that these kids were doing something with their time and staying away from trouble. Majority of the kids had to do homework and use the computer lab when we got there and the rest waited outside for their turn.

We then waited for a bus to take us to Ntsika Secondary School to meet with the Inkululeko learners for the workshop. As mentioned before this was going to be an emotionally charged and difficult workshop and was not mandatory for the students to attend, however everyone showed up! The workshop was also open to anyone who wanted to come; some of the students from Rhodes University came to the workshop as well. I was happy that the learners were interested in the topic. We had a pretty good discussion and most of them were engaged and had questions, which was good.

Zuko and Andrea during the workshop

Toward the end it started to  hit me that today was the last day that we will be working with Inkululeko’s learners. I mean I knew we were going to be here for a short peiord of time but time flew by so fast! As Zuko started to wrap up with the workshop I decided to give them some words of encouragement and thanked them for allowing me to share with them, guide them, work on their homework and discuss health related topics with them.

This was a very fulfilling moment because they are the first group of teenagers I have done a workshop for. I was happy knowing that they at least had learn something from me. As I was addressing all of them tears started to roll down my cheeks and I immediately received a big hug from Zanele who also started to shed a tear. Once I opened my eyes I noticed that more of the learners were around so we all hugged and I told them if they ever needed me they could count on me.

Inkululeko staff members, learners and Bloomfield College student Andrea Montes

Honestly this has been one of the best and most fulfilling weeks of my entire life. These kids are very smart and very unique in their own way. I just feel really lucky and blessed to had being part of their life for this past week. These kids will hold a very special place in my heart. I hope that one day I can come back and follow up with them, until then I wish nothing but success to them.

Saying our “goodbyes”




Today’s update is written by Bloomfield College student Armani Figueroa-Richardson 

It is never goodbye.

It is see you later.

Today was our last day with the Inkululeko learners. It was a sad day. Within such a short time we’ve developed a love for these children ages 13-18 years old. I (Armani) am so happy I was able to meet such awesome people who I’ll remember forever.

Each of the students had different characteristics, were very interesting and silly. Inkululeko isn’t held on Friday’s, but a lot of the learners came today because Andrea and I encouraged them to show up for a program we put together with Zuko (Rhodes University student and Inkululeko classroom leader) about domestic violence awareness and to say our “goodbyes” which I’d like to say see you all later instead. My mom always says, “goodbye means forever,” but I expect to see them again.

Armani and Zuko

We began our day working on our projects, Andrea went off to the hospital, and I stayed in town with Xolisa. Xolisa and I got some footage of the town, and later interviewed Zuko for my senior capstone. It was really interesting what he had to say, but I will leave that for you all to see in the short documentary.

Jason, Andrea and I met back at the hotel and headed to the Joza Youth Hub, which is a place for students to go to after school and work on their studies. There are many organizations held at that one facility. The organizations are similar to Inkululeko. I liked how the students went there on their own, whether it was to actually study or hangout with friends. The time I spent in the township, I noticed after school students don’t have much to do. As a result of this, students get themselves in trouble following the wrong crowds. Seeing students walk to a learning center to be productive or take up their time is way better than being into the wrong things in the community. Unfortunately, like every other program, they have limited spaces.

Bloomfield College student Armani along with Joza Youth Hub students

After, we headed to Ntsika to start our program about domestic violence. I was so happy to see most of our students there because they didn’t have to come. This showed me how much they appreciated us, but also how serious they take themselves and their studies.

As Andrea and Zuko further explained domestic violence issues and awareness, I stepped out and interviewed a student. Over the few days I’ve been with Inkululeko learners I’ve noticed the different personalities each learner has, I really was so amazed at this one student, and how serious he took his education.

From left to right: Asanele Yapi, Armani Figueroa-Richardson

I thought he’d be the perfect student to interview since my project focuses on education in Grahamstown.  Asanele Yapi, a 12th grader at Mary Waters High School left such an impact on me. I think from the very first day I met him, I knew he was very intelligent. In his interview he discussed the challenges township students face everyday, not having enough teachers, having to teach themselves, not having a place to study in peace and quiet (which is why he enjoys Inkululeko), and more. I think I felt a way about this young man because I saw how passionate he was about his education, and so humble. All of these things he’d love, we take for granted back home in America. I don’t think students back home realize how fortunate we are.

I thank Jason for inviting Asanele to dinner with us tomorrow, and I look forward to it. I think he’s going to be the future richest man in South Africa because he’s already rich in his mind.

Each of the learners taught me different things that I’ll take with me back home and for a lifetime. The young women I looked at as my little sisters. They weren’t just asking for help academically, but also asked for personal advice. They saw a sister in me. One 14-year-old told me she was “in love.” I looked at her and wanted to cry because she was so young, and I’d been there. Young and naive, but I knew she trusted me which is why she told me that. I gave her advice like a sister would, shared my experience and told her to focus on school because boys will always be there. Young women and men need mentors and people they feel comfortable talking to anything about.

Shadowing Nurses

Today’s update is written by Bloomfield College student Andrea Montes

Today was a very busy day for me. It started bright and early at 8 a.m. Jason had arranged with the hotel staff for me to shadow at the local hospital. I met with Leann at the front desk and then headed to “Settler’s Hospital.” This is a government-funded hospital located in the town of Makana (formally known as Grahamstown). Prior to my visit, I had done research on the health care system so that I would have a very small idea of how my visit might look like. I say very small idea because although I read about it, nothing compares to having a real life hands on experience.

Right after we arrived to the hospital I went to meet with the Hospital’s manager. She took me down to the theater unit. At first I was confused and did not know the equivalent of what the theater unit was in the United states. All I saw was an empty floor (meaning no patients), and the nursing station. I noticed the signs outside 3 doors that read: Theater 1, Theater 2 and Theater 3 and a sign that said recovery area. It was then when I realized that theater stood for what we know as the “O.R” (operating room). I spoke with a few nurses in the unit because I was shocked to see that there were no patients at 8 a.m.

Bloomfield College student Andrea getting ready to enter the theater unit ( the O.R)

The nursing manager explained that Settler’s  is a very small hospital, and they had only have one doctor for the day. I was shocked. I mean I had read about hospitals being understaffed. If I am not mistaken I did read about just having one doctor. However, this was just hard to believe. There were about five to six nurses and just one doctor for the whole unit! Since there was only one doctor, the cases they received for the day had been scheduled with that doctor. The nurse manager also explained the hospital has a public section and a private section. The patients that were in today were all private meaning the procedure and instruments would be billed for the patient to pay. In the public section, they see people without insurance, meaning they do not get charged for their care.

I was still amazed from all the information and the fact that the unit was so calm and empty. The nurse manager also explained since this is a very small hospital, they only perform certain procedures such as tonsillectomies, colonoscopies, schedule C-section, etc. She mentioned the hospital only counts with 4 units of blood and any major surgeries (such as cardiac surgeries) would be performed in Port Elizabeth (roughly 1.5 hours from Grahamstown). Throughout my day I witness two tonsillectomies and one tympanoplasty. The patients spent no more than 20-30 minutes in the recovery area and then they were transported to another unit (or ward as they call it in here). I had the pleasure to share my day with 2 medical students from the UK and the doctor was nice enough to let us observe all the procedures. I enjoyed my time in the O.R (theater) thanks to the nursing staff kindness and the doctor’s patience. I felt really welcome and overall enjoyed being there.

Bloomfield College student Andrea along with one of the staff nurses at Settler’s Hospital

At 1 pm I headed to the Trauma and Emergency unit. My time in this unit was fairly short because I was getting picked up at 2:30 to head to Inkululeko. In this unit there was only one doctor as well. There were around 5-6 patients inside waiting for the doctor and more people outside waiting to be admitted. I expected this area to be very fast paced, however no major trauma had come in and by the time I got there the patients had already been assessed by the nurse and were just awaiting on the doctor. I was able to shadow a little bit toward the end of my visit. This was not a very fast paced day and with only one doctor there is only so much you could do. Toward the end of my visit I noticed that two more medical students came in the unit and started helping out, which was good. However this is not an every day thing because the students will only be in town for a few weeks. Then it goes back to being one doctor for the whole unit.

I learned a lot and reflected on the things we often take for granted in our daily lives. I really admire all the work the nurses and doctors do here. I can only imagine how frustrating it could be to have such limited staff and resources, and it is even more frustrating from the patient point of view. I definitely would like to come back to South Africa later on in life and just give back to the community. I think that this experience has opened my eyes a little more and made me appreciate everything that I have, I hope that after reading this update you reflect and be thankful for the things you take for granted. I am also grateful because I will have the opportunity to be back to Settler’s to observe and shadow tomorrow for half of the day.

After my day at the hospital I headed to Inkululeko with Jason and I met with Armani and Xolisa there. I was able to help out with the cleaning of their cafe as they get it ready to open next week for the new school term. I also worked with some students on their homework and reminded them about the Friday workshop.

As I mentioned, today was a very busy day but overall I am grateful to Jason and the Graham Hotel for giving me the opportunity to visit the hospital. Although we did not get a chance to continue with the previous health workshop I was just grateful to come back to Inkululeko to work with the students.



67 minutes for Mandela

Today’s update is written by Bloomfield College students Armani Figueroa-Richardson and Andrea Montes

Today we started with isiXhosa lessons from Xolisa and focused on practicing and trying to hold a longer conversation. Armani and Xolisa headed toward the township to take video for Armani’s capstone project, and Andrea and Jason stayed in the town to prepare for today’s workshop with Inkululeko learners.

Grahamstown township

In the township, I (Armani) went to Extension 7 which is a neighborhood in Grahamstown. Xolisa and I begin by walking around Extension 7. We decided to get a snack (candy). When we went inside of the store, a man came in and he started speaking to me in Afrikaans. I wasn’t aware that he was talking to me because he wasn’t looking at me. Xolisa explained to the kind man, I wasn’t from there. I told him where I was from and he said, “no way, you look like you could be from Cape Town” and he called me “colored.” I wasn’t upset. I just didn’t really understand. Xolisa explained to me that colored is basically mixed to them (when a person looks or is black and white). So this thought was based off of my skin tone. Xolisa says they do not consider me black, but I am. This didn’t hurt my feelings. You visit different places in the world to learn and see how they view things and people, learn and somewhat study their culture(s). So I definitely learned something new.

In the township (Extension 7), I noticed some residents were committed to serving their community or households for 67 minutes on what would have been the legendary Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. Some folks were playing loud music and cleaning their homes, others were cleaning the streets. I was able to get some video footage of what the town is like. We stopped by his home and I met his beautiful mother “mama” and sister “sisi” as  he would say, and they allowed me to enter their home. I also met Xolisa’s beautiful baby boy, Akum. As we were walking through Extension 7, I noticed a huge abandoned building. It was getting knocked down. Xolisa explained it was a high school many years ago, but the school was shut down. When he told me that, I decided to do a stand-up and shoot just outside of the building. It took me a lot of tries to finally get the “perfect” video, and even then I felt that I had could’ve done better. This was something I had not planned for and just thought of doing. I didn’t have a script or much knowledge of the place; I was trying to learn as I went around. I learned that there were only two high schools in Extension 7. That school was one of them, and the other remains to this day, which is the school that Inkululeko is inside of, Ntsika Senior Secondary School.

Bloomfield College student Armani along with an Inkululeko student

We later headed up to Ntsika for me to interview the school Principal, Madeleine Schoeman. I am so grateful she took time out of her busy day to sit with me and discuss the education system in South Africa. I wanted to complete this video to use as apart of my senior capstone for Bloomfield College. Principal Madeleine Schoeman was so kind to invite us to a performance held by Ntsika’s students in honor of Nelson Mandela (South Africa’s former president) tomorrow. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what they have put together. Lastly, Xolisa and I went to the classroom where Andrea was giving her workshop that she had worked very hard on.

Jason and I (Andrea) met with Madoda and at 2:45 and we headed to Inkululeko to meet with Armani and Xolisa and the learners. Throughout my morning I had been preparing for today’s workshop, I was still a little nervous. Public speaking can be very intimidating for someone with English as a second language. However, public speaking is something that I have been working on since I started at Bloomfield College. At first, I felt that my accent was really heavy and I used to stutter a lot! However taking a public speaking class, nursing class projects and by just by being involved on campus I started to feel more comfortable. Today I felt a little different because I would be addressing teenagers.


Bloomfield College student Andrea Montes during the health workshop

The topic I chose was for this workshop is HIV/AIDS because after doing some research I found out that this is one of the most pressing health relating topics for South Africans. I believe if you educate someone about a topic you can help them make an informed decision. I also think some parents might not want to discuss this type of information with their kids due to its sensitivity. However, teenagers are really curious and it is important to provide them with resources so that at least they know the pros and the consequences of some of their actions, especially with such a sensitive topic.

In the health care system there are 3 main levels of prevention which are primary, secondary and tertiary. Nurses take on many roles when working with their patients. One of the nursing roles is to be an educator and an advocate for the patient.  By holding workshops nurses help educate the community regarding a disease or illness.

My research started weeks before I traveled. I also made sure that some of the Inkululeko’s staff and some of the learners would review my work so that I knew I was thorough enough and culturally appropriate. I got really good feedback from a few of the learners and staff days prior to the workshop. I made sure to have my materials in different platforms in case I ran into trouble. I originally had a prezi presentation however, I opted to just use the chalkboard that the classroom had.

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HIV/AIDS workshop at Inkululeko

The students were really respectful and they listened. Some even asked questions. I had an activity prepared for them and it was very successful. Most of the students engaged in it and the ones that did not, were respectful enough to observe. I felt really happy and satisfied with the workshop because I had a good turn out (28+ learners) despite being my first time addressing such a young audience.

At night we met with Madoda for dinner at the Rat and Parrot (who has the best cheese balls in town!). After dinner, on our way back to the hotel Madoda spoke with me about how some of the students were translating some of the words into isiXhosa for those who did not get the meaning a word. I was really happy because this meant that they were actually paying attention and interested in knowing more about the topic. Madoda suggested to continue the conversation for tomorrow and I am very excited about it. I hope that the learners come with more question or at least are more open to talk about it.

A pen and a notebook

Today’s update is written by Bloomfield College students Armani Figueroa-Richardson and Andrea Montes

Our day started with more isiXhosa lessons from Xolisa, an Inkululeko alum who has been working with us for our entire trip. We have been practicing what we have already learn as well as learning a few more words and phrases such as:

“Bekumnandi ukubona” which translates to “it was nice to meet you.”

Some of the words are very hard to pronounce, but we are both practicing, because as we all know, practice makes perfect!

Inkululeko learners in class

With school being back in session, we finally get to meet more of the Inkululeko learners. Right after lunch, we headed to Extension 7 in the township, where Ntsika Secondary School and Inkululeko are located. For those who do not know, Inkululeko is a non-profit organization that helps provide guidance and the necessary skills to youth in Grahamstown for furthering their education.

Upon our arrival we met with Madoda, the Academic and Business Enterprise Coordinator of Inkululeko. He provided us with an overview and more information about the work and the vision he has for Inkululeko. After talking with him, Xolisa took us on a tour of the school in where we met the principal of Ntsika Secondary School as well as some of its students. Everyone was so welcoming and we had the chance to practice some of our isiXhosa.

Bloomfield College student Andrea working with Inkululeko learners on their math homework

Meeting the Inkululeko class (which was roughly about 25 kids from grades 8 – 12), was a very welcoming experience. Since it was their first day back to school we got to hear  how their exams and their break went. We interacted with some of the students by helping them with their homework, although most of them had already finished it.

You could definitely tell they care about their education and in bettering themselves. I (Andrea) had the opportunity to work on some math problems with some of the students. It was a really good review for the learners as well as for me. Even though I am pretty ok with math; I had to think about it for a second just to make sure I had processed the information and at the same time able to explain it to them in an easy way for them to understand and remember it.

Our day ended by having the privilege to meet with Ms. Jane Bradshaw, the founder and former (but now retired) principal of Amasango Career School, for dinner. Amasango works with street children in South Africa to support them. We learned about the history of the school, how Amasango started and the vision behind it. Jane was a very interesting and inspiring person to be around. I loved listening to her anecdotes and how much hard work, dedication and passion she has for education and bettering youth, which is something I share in common with her. I believe that education can take you far in life, if you know how to apply it. The reason why I am very excited to have this opportunity is so that hopefully I can inspire some of the kids to further their education and go to college, so that they can expand their horizons and be the change that the world needs.

Bloomfield College student Armani working with Inkululeko learners on their homework

I (Armani) truly enjoyed the opportunity to meet as well as work with more students from Inkululeko. The students were very welcoming and silly. They started by introducing themselves, describing how their exams went and then described how their winter break was. Some students said their exams were great, others explained how the exams were hard. One student describe his winter break as depressing, I got up and gave him a hug. Sometimes that’s what we need; a hug can go a long way. He later thanked me, and we started talking about why he was depressed. He said he didn’t meet his academic goals. I could tell just by how hard he was on himself that he’s a hard worker and takes his education very seriously (as needed to be). He’s a senior in high school and was concerned about his math exam that university’s review. Andrea later explained to me that “depressed” to many South Africans isn’t what Americans would call depressed. In South Africa, it is used to express being upset, not so much of feeling really down and going through a mental breakdown or anything extreme. Jason later shared that this student is one of the top academic students.

Bloomfield College students Andrea Montes and Armani Figueroa-Richardson along with Jason Torreano and Mama Jane

Today, I felt such a connection between the students and I that I started to question, “What is it that I really want to do?” I’d love to work with students, and young adults to figure things out, and push them. As Andrea stated, we met Ms. Jane Bradshaw (Many South Africans call her Mama Jane). She was just incredible.  Her heart and passion for the youth inspired me. I’ve always thought about starting my very own non-profit organization for young women in Newark, NJ (where I am from), but I’d like to do something with young men as well.

I feel like a lot of the young women and men where I am from lack guidance. They are so intelligent and can do really anything, but because they have no guidance or no one to really look out for them; when they leave their classrooms and go home, they go on the streets.

I want to start an after school enrichment/development program, this way they have something to do, they’re getting work done and most of all they will feel motivated to do more and see more in life.

I’ve experienced so much in my life so far because of the type of parents I have. My mom and dad are my number one supporters, and they encourage me to see the world, work hard and I’ll be successful.

As my dad would say, “Hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, somebody is watching.” I decided to step out of my comfort zone and come here to South Africa. I’ve studied in London for a semester. Studying there I was able to go to Paris, Egypt and Barcelona.

I want to inspire young women and men from Newark, NJ and towns like it such as Paterson, Irvington, Camden, Elizabeth, etc. that you can do and be what you want in life.





Out of your Comfort Zone

Today’s update is written by Bloomfield College student Andrea Montes and translated by Khusta Cekiso. 

Today is our fourth day in South Africa.  As part of the tour of Grahamstown we visited the township. Jason, the Executive Director of Inkululeko, had made it a point that what we were about to experience was completely different from what we had already seen in the town.

Umzantsi Africa njenga nxanyo yoluhambo lwase Makhanda siye sabuthela elokishini, uJason umphathi we inkululeko wenza ngokokuba into esizayibona kolu hambo yahlukile kwinto besizibonile ngaphambili edolophini. indlela ebheka elokishini ibibuhlungu ngoba isikhumbuza ezinye indawo zase Ecuador.yandenza lonto ndaziva ingathi kufuneke ndilapha ndizo qonda eyona nto endenze ndakhetwa ukuya kolu hambo

Grahamstown Township ( photo by: Andrea Montes)

For me, the ride to the township was very emotional because it reminded me of some parts of Ecuador. I felt I was meant to be here as I finally understood the higher purpose as to why I was chosen to go on this trip. I felt a tremendous peace and a sense of belonging. The land and the way the streets were set up was not so much of a shocking experience for me or for Armani as it could have been to others that have visited this side of Grahamstown. However, the conditions that the people of Grahamstown experience are far more extreme compare to the level of poverty that one experiences in the United States. Throughout the rest of the car ride I felt reminded how lucky I have been for having this opportunity and for all the things I have in life.

Grahamstown Township – photo by: Andrea Montes

As the hours went by, we walked to visit different parts of the township. We met some the learners in the local indoors sports center and made our way into the town. A lot of the people in here tend to walk and it is pretty common to find animals on the street. However these are not your regular dogs or cats you would find in Jersey. We saw cows, donkeys, goats and some dogs walking around the streets. We asked if they belong to someone or how can someone identify their cows. Zanele and Siya explained that people know their animals and the animals know their way back home.

Local arts and craft shop

We also visited a local arts and craft shop where the locals made everything by hand. From the preparation of the clay to the actual art piece which can take up to two weeks to finalize a piece. We kept on walking further into the town where we stopped at a local corner store where we bought some of their most popular candy (gummy snakes and a lollipop). As we, walked Khusta, Zanele and Siya explained more about how the township is divided into extensions which for us would be like neighborhoods. We noticed a good amount of churches and Zanele explained that Grahamstown is also known as the City of Saints because there are so many churches. Our next stop was the library. There,  we saw some of the students preparing themselves for their first day back to school after this break. We then headed to a local youth center to wait for our ride back to the town. Khusta explained that this local youth center helps to keep kids out of the streets.


BLK power Station- from left to right: Armani, Bliss and Andrea

After having lunch at Roman’s Pizzeria (which I thought had the best pizza in town), we met with Xolile and Bliss (two community leaders) at the Rhodes UniversityTheater. We headed towards the BLK Power Station in the Industrial Area of Grahamstown. Xolile and Bliss have been working on this project to create a “chill” place for local artists and people who want to escape the world while enjoying some art, live music or a nice book. We finally met with Zuko an Inkululeko worker for dinner and we touched on some of the social issues they are facing here in South Africa and how they are very similar, in a sense, to those that we experience in the United States.

Book Corner at the BLK power station- from left to right: Armani, Xolile, Bliss, Jason and Andrea


Today’s update is written by Bloomfield College student Armani Figueroa-Richardson and translated by Zanele Magopeni and Xolisa Jodwana. 

With so many things in Grahamstown we haven’t yet seen or done, we are excited to experience the new beginnings in our lives as we take on a journey we will remember for a lifetime.

Today was our second day in South Africa. We started the day learning more of the Xhosa language with our amazing teachers, Inkululeko’s very own students. Andrea and I learned how to say “I am hungry, I am thirsty, where we are from, and where are we going.” Learning day by day, little by little, within just two weeks we hope to learn how to hold at least a five minute conversation in Xhosa, which I think is pretty possible because each day we learn something new.

Kuzo zonke izinto esingekaziboni okanye esingekazenzi apha eRhini,sonwabile uqala izinto ezintsha ebomini bethu njengoba sithathe uhambo esizolikhumbula unobomi.Namhlanje bilusuku lwethu lwesibini apha eMzantsi Afrika.Siluqale olusuku ngokufunda ngokubanzi ngolwimi lwesiXhosa kunye notitshala abancomekayo, abafundi beInkululeko.uAndrea nam sifunde ukuthi ndilambile kwaye ndinxaniwe nokuba sisuka phi nokuba siyaphi.Ukufunda umhla nomhla kancinci kancinci kwiveki ezimbini sinqwenela ukufunda ukubamba incoko yemizuzu emihlanu(5) ngesiXhosa.Ndiyifumanisa njengento enokwenzeka ngoba ngasuku nganye sifunda into entsha.

Bloomfield College student Armani Figueroa-Richardson at Settlers Monuments View of Grahamstown, South Africa 

After learning Xhosa, we decided to take a hike to see the beautiful town. We walked through St. Andrews College and later, the mountains to visit the very famous monuments of Grahamstown, and got a perfect view of the city. It was definitely new beginnings for Andrea and I as we were a bit confused when we walked all the way up the street just to come back down.


I asked Khusta, “Why didn’t we cross the street?” He explained to me in South Africa you must cross the street within the crosswalk. That was something I learned because in America, we look both ways at anytime and if a car isn’t coming we simply go. It isn’t so simple here in South Africa.

Emveni kokuba sifunde isiXhosa siye sagqiba ekubeni sithathe uhambo sikwazi ubona ubuhle bedolophu yase Rhini. Sihambe sabona iSt Andrews College saya nase Monument yase Rhini sakwazi ubona ubuhle base Rhini. Ibilu qalo olutsha kum no Andrea njengokuba besibideka ngexesha besihamba ezitalatweni sibuyela apho sihlalakhona. ndibuze u Khusta kutheni sungqumlezanga indlela? undicacisele ukuba apha eMzantsi africa kufuneke uhambe phezu kwemigca ewelisa abantu ezindleleni.  Lonto ibiyinto endiyifundileyo ngoba Emelika sijonga kumacala omabini phambi kokuba siwele endleleni nangawuphina umzuzu ukuba akukho moto izayo siyakwazi uhamba . Akuhko njalo apha eMzantsi Africa.

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After a hike of seeing the city of Grahamstown, Rhodes University- From left to right: Andrea, Siya, Armani, Khusta, Xolisa, and Zanele

Finally, we decided to grab a bite to eat with Inkululeko Executive Director Jason Torreano. We decided to go for a traditional South African dish. We headed up to Cindy’s. It was really good. It reminded me of a piece of home (when my Aunt cooks curry chicken), but it was something new for both Andrea and I as we tried the vetkoeks, which was chicken liver wrapped inside of a fried breaded ball (which tasted like funnel cake from back home). It was very good.

Ekugqibeleni,sigqibe ba masiyotya nompathi weInkululeko uJason Torreano.Siye sotya ukutya kwesintu kwase Mzantsi Afrika kwa Cindy.Ukutya bekumnandi kwade kundikhumbuze kancinci ekhaya apho uAunty wam apheka iCurry rice kodwa biyinto entsha for umna no Andrea siye ke satya amagwinya ane sbhindi.Belimnandi kakhulu

Today was just a start of something new. We are definitely getting used to this.

Namhlanje biluqalo lwento entsha.Kwaye sizakuyiqhela lonto.