Fish Food! Shark Diving in South Africa

May 24th, 2009
Shark Video

TnCIS students Erin and Jasmin shark Diving in South Africa
TnCIS students Erin and Jasmin shark diving in South Africa
Shark Diving off the coast of Africa

Shark Diving off the coast of Africa


Some of our students chose to spend their free day in the waters, in search of Great White Sharks.  They spent the day shark diving with trained professionals in the ocean. Over the course of the day, students got up close and personal with many great white sharks. They even witnessed a seal being eaten by a shark 100 meters away! The boat ride concluded with a stop by seal island. On the way home, we stopped to view the sunset. WOW!

It Takes a Community To Raise a Child

May 25th, 2009
TnCIS students speaking at Langa Secondary School

TnCIS students speaking at Langa Secondary School

Today’s excursion started with a visit to  Crystal High School outside of Langa Township.  Three TnCIS students were invited to speak at the school’s assembly.   Each of our students discussed why our group was in South Africa, in addition to the importance of education and lifelong learning.   After the assembly, we were able to spend 1st period in classrooms with both teachers and high school students. Once we left Crystal High School we went to Langa Township and took a walking tour.  Our guide, Siviwe, told us about Langa’s history and showed us the variable kinds of living  accomodations in the community.  We were invited into the home of several families and were able to see the way in which many people live on a daily basis.

Where the Wild Things Are…..

May 23rd, 2009
TnCIS students on safari in South Africa

TnCIS students on safari in South Africa

Today’s excursion included a 1-day safari to the Fairy Glenn Nature Reserve, located north of Cape Town. During the safari, students saw lions, buffalo, gazelle, elephants, rhinos, zebras among many other wild animals. After a delicious lunch, students hiked a nearby mountain and had a great view of the Fairy Glenn Dam and Reservoir. We then climbed down the opposite side of the dam and back to our jeeps. If that was  not enough wild life for one day, we had to stop our bus on the way home to allow a troop of baboons to cross the highway. The Anthropology students were beside themselves to see primates in the wild! T. Bradley

East Meets West: Cape Point, South Africa

May 21st, 2009

TnCIS students were treated to a tour of the cape peninsula today. Cape Point, South Africa is the southern most point of Africa. The Indian and the Atlantic Oceans meet at this point and is one of the most breathtaking lanscapes in the world. A few brave students took a swim in the Indian ocean, while the rest of us just got our feet wet. We stopped by a local fish market and saw a few friendly seals.  We also went to the Boulders and saw a colony of African penguins in their natural habitat. Then, on the way home, we saw a troop of baboons!  Overall,  it was a spectacular day of South African scenery!

Cape Point, South Africa - Indian Ocean is on the right; Atlantic Ocean is on the left

Cape Point, South Africa - Indian Ocean is on the right; Atlantic Ocean is on the left

Footprints of Apartheid

May 20th, 2009
Informal Settlement - Cape Town, South Africa

Informal Settlement - Cape Town, South Africa

Today was a long day, but very eye opening. The day started out with a visit to the largest township in Cape Town, Khayelitsha. This is an informal settlement, with over one million people who do not have running water or sewage utilities. Our first stop was to Philani Nutrition and Self Help Center. Since one in ten children are underweight in this township, Philani works with local community members to combat this issue. Next, we were welcomed at Soshumelela Creche, where a group of pre-primary students sang to us.  Later in the day, we took the ferry to Robben Island and had a personal tour by former political prisoners. We were able to see Nelson Mandela’s  cell (#7) where he was incarcerated for eighteen years. The day ended with a  fabulous crimson sunset over the Cape!  T. Bradley

AIDS in South Africa

May 19th, 2009
Student Video

Nomfundo Eland from TAC South Africa national office speaking to TnCIS study abroad students 2009
Nomfundo Eland from TAC South Africa national office speaking to TnCIS study abroad students 2009
Today students had a opportunity to learn more about the AIDS epidemic in South Africa.  This morning, Namfundo Eland from TAC (Treatment Action Council) spoke to our students. TAC is an advocacy non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring all HIV positive South Africans can access treatment. Currently, only half of those with AIDS is receiving treatment.  We also learned that just a few years ago, President Obama visited their clinics here in Cape Town.  Later, we visited Nazareth House, which is one of several orphanages here in Cape Town.  Nazareth House also serves as a hospice for older AIDS patients.  TnCIS students were very happy to donate clothing, toiletries, diapers and infant formula to Nazareth House.

Teachable Moments

May 16th, 2009

I am so impressed with our students…..they are really making the most of every moment. Instead of sleeping on the bus, they requested extra lectures. Jon Bethard, was more than happy to accommodate.  The ‘Cape Doctor’ is in Cape Town, which means lots of wind and rain today. This did not slow our students down, many headed out the door with raincoats in hand…..On Monday we will be going to Robbin Island. This is the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for eighteen years.  This will be a powerful experience for all. Jon Teaching on the Bus  T. Bradley

More student comments from Cape Town

May 15th, 2009

South Africa is so beautiful and the people are so nice. It has been less than a week and I saw world famous fossils and Nelson Mandella meusum and also saw the very beautiful lil’ Kim.  Ronald Harness  Pellissippi State

This has been such an experience.  I can not believe the things that we are seeing, and people we are meeting.  You can only get this in depth education by fully immersing yourself. There is only a select few people in the world that can say the saw Little Foot. That is a mind blowing experience. We are fortunate enough to have faculty that is full of information and knowledge that makes this experience amazing. I can’t wait for the next two weeks. – Kayla Bowker Pellissippi

Student comments – 1st night in Cape Town

May 15th, 2009  Tagged

TnCIS Students in South AfricaThe following is a collection of South Africa Study Abroad comments:

“This has been the biggest growing experience of my life! This trip has taken me out of my comfort zone and made me realize that I like it there! I have learned so much this last week, more than just sociology and anthropology, I have learned life lessons, about the culture here and the people that live in this beautiful country. I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks holds for us!” – Erin Chambers –Tennessee Tech University

“Before I came here, I already had a heart for Africa.  This trip has further confirmed what the African people can impart upon us.  An interview with a local South African on Thursday night in Hanover was the most fascinating experience yet.  He had so much to teach us about how far this country has come in bridging racial gaps.  I am so grateful for this experience. My eyes have already been opened to so many things- things that post cards and news articles can’t accurately portray.  Thank You TNCIS!” -Kelsey Young–Middle Tennessee State University

“WOW!! Is all that I can say.  Words cannot express the experience that I have just begun to embark on.  Through the adversities, I have become more appreciative of things that seemed so minimal at one point in time.  I have gained an enormous amount of knowledge not only historical wise but culture wise also.  I have been granted the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people in the world.  If I had to use one word to describe South Africa  thus far I would have to say PHENOMENAL. Thanks TNCIS!” -Camille Brunson- Tennessee State University

“The landscape is incredibly dramatic here, and seeing the on-going excavation of the first complete australopithecine skeleton was rediculously awesome.  This is a beautiful country with over threee billion years of history and spending three weeks here could barely scratch the surface.”  – Will Plank – Pellissippi

“This trip so far has been awesome! I cannot believe how different everything here is. I loved walking through the cave, its very exciting to learn about them. We have not even been here long and I have learned so much. I am so happy to have this experience.” -Megan Singleton – Pellissippi

“This experience has be a total blessing for me! I have learned so much in this short period of time. I have especially loved taking pictures of the beautiful landscape. The stars were amazing! I also enjoyed going to the Apartheid Museum. This trip so far has such a wonderful artistic and personal inspiration. I hope to be more carful not to take what I have for granted.” -Amanda Downs – Pellissippi 

As you can see, the students have had a GREAT time so far and are looking forward to venturing around Cape Town the next 16 days before our long journey home!  Please comment on this post or any other that you see on this site…we would love to hear your input!!  ~ Sharon Hayes

Mr. or Mrs. Ples…you decide

May 15th, 2009

Student Video

Dr. Clarke speaking to studentsOn Wednesday we had the opportunity to visit two important anthropological sites.  First, we visited the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria where Stephany Potze, Curator of Paleontology, showed our group the world famous fossil specimen Mrs. Ples as well as a few other cool fossils.  Later that afternoon, Dr. Ron Clarke, a professor of Anthropology from Wits University, personally gave our group a tour of Sterkfontein Caves.  Dr. Clarke also showed a select group of students the on-going excavation of “Little Foot.” The entire group really enjoyed the tour of the caves and meeting Dr. Clarke!

Jonathan Bethard