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Westville Boys’ High School, Westville, South Africa

03 - 24 Feb 2019

3E Julius Ho

“Africa – a vibrant place of wilderness and culture.”

My trip to Westville Boys’ High School (WBHS) as an exchange student has dramatically changed my perceptions of Africa.  It is true that certain parts of Africa are places of impoverishment and underdevelopment, but undoubtedly, South Africa is a place with vibrant culture where mother nature flourishes in its own way.

WBHS is located in Durban, the 3rd largest city in South Africa.  It is a school which puts great emphasis on sports and they excel in different sports such as rugby and cricket.  WBHS sports teams often win in matches against other high schools, just as our glorious music teams here in SPCC.  Besides, WBHS students are very friendly.  I engaged in conversations with them quickly on my first day at WBHS and I brimmed with enthusiasm for the enjoyable days ahead.

South Africa is lucky to have fabulous wildlife and I have visited the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal, and the scene was picturesque!  You can see elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, giraffes – you name it! Wild animals roam freely in the park.  The trip offered me a pleasant break from the chaotic schedule at school, while the beautiful sunset scenery offered me a keepsake for this memorable journey.

Fact time - South Africa actually has the largest Indian population (outside of India).  One of the most memorable parts of my trip was a visit to a local Indian community organized by WBHS.  Houses are primitive and their living environment is very different from that of the middle-class families.  I think there are still many racial and ethnic nuances, but all South Africans are fed by the sun and their smiles are as broad as the sky – at least this was how I felt when I was there.

Despite the fact that there is a huge wealth gap between the rich and the poor in South Africa, the country is the largest diamond exporter in the whole world!  Even though I didn’t buy any diamond, I had an interesting and extremely fruitful trip in South Africa.  I would encourage you to go to South Africa and experience their vibrant culture by yourself.

Last but not least, I would like to express the most sincere gratitude to my host parents and buddy, Mr and Mrs Simpkins and Oliver.  They have made my trip a safe, enjoyable and rewarding one.  I am sure the beautiful memories will always be cherished by me.