October 2, 2017
by Anna Connell ‘18
We began the day with inspiring speakers in the auditorium surrounded by the myriad accents and smiles of the different delegates. Our first speaker, Caleb, was a 22-year old shark attack survivor, who stressed the service, adventure, and leadership in his life that have helped him maintain positivity and tenacity throughout the challenges he’s faced since 2015. He attributed this to his mother, who taught him the acronym IADOY (It All Depends On You). He urged us to create our own stories by having a positive outlook and "making friends with our circumstances" in order to rise above them. Our other speaker, the lead singer in a famous South African band (Fresh Ground) shared stories of her childhood in a township, where she was constantly reminded of the segregation and inequality of apartheid. Despite the oppression of the government, she felt the unity of the black community within her township, as they were united in their suffering. She sang to us and urged us to value and share our own stories. The whole auditorium sang along when she did an acapella version of “Waka Waka,” her band’s best known song.
After the speakers, we split up into our 3 different schools, which for us was St. Crypian's School. There was a great opening ceremony, where many different SCS girls groups performed. Their pride in Africa as a whole became clear throughout the day and spread to us, giving us more excitement as we moved forward.
We had our first South African braai in SCS's open field tucked right under Table Mountain, a truly awe-inspiring setting. We've just moved into our host family's home, so I'm excited for our experience to continue!