By Bailey Cressman
This week we made our home in Pretoria. We were split up into smaller groups and shipped off to an Afrikaner family. This was our chance to learn as much as we possibly could about the culture from the perspective of Afrikaners. For instance, I learned how to make Biltong (sort of like beef jerky), and we certainly all got our share of meat this week! But for some of us, we got a different perspective of South Africa.
One of our last days in Pretoria, we spent at a civil rights organization called Afriforum. There was a bit of a mix-up when we first came to this place. We had all been told we were going to a farm, so it was a bit of a surprise when we entered a nice air-conditioned building instead of a hot farm area. Whoops!
Afriforum is a non-government funded organization that fights for the rights of all the peoples of South Africa, but with a main emphasis of preserving the Afrikaner culture and language. This was a day where we received a very different perspective of historical and current issues than what we had originally been told. It was a very interesting day, and each of us had something different that we grappled with about our understanding of apartheid and human/civil rights in South Africa on our ride home.
One of the days that we all looked forward to the most, was our trip to the Lion Safari & Park. We entered caged trucks and drove through a lion park. The lions were so close to us! We saw other animals like giraffes, wildebeests, and wild dogs on this safari. Later, we had a chance to play with some of the lion cubs. What a day to check some boxes off my bucket list! I fed a giraffe, pet a cheetah, poked some ostriches, and played with lions cubs! It was a lovely way to end our week. Now we are on our way to the coast, but I know we are all thankful to our new friends who so quickly became family to us.
Our visit to the Union buildings in Pretoria- Nelson Mandela statue!
The Lion park.