April 7th – Cotlands/Conquest of Life

If you look up the word apartheid you will most likely read of death and destruction. You will find stories of poverty, sadness, and riots. The history is so awful and appalling.

Dawie, the man who has organized much of our trip and helped us get our interview with Desmond Tutu, lived during the apartheid years. During our bus rides in the day and our dinners at night, we have been able to hear his experience of living in South Africa during apartheid.

After the apartheid museum we were all amazed and moved by what had gone on in those years. Dawie had never been to the Apartheid Museum and was shocked by the images he saw there. As a white South African he said he never saw the images of violence that the rest of the world were shown. He expressed his horror and surprise. He said he had never known the extent of the deaths, apartheid laws, and the brutality of the South African government under apartheid.

We are getting so much more than a tour guide, travel assistant, or friend. He is all of these. He is able to give us his own perspective. We get to hear to hear the life stories of an incredible person.
-Mara Getz

Conquest for Life
Conquest of Life

What a day! We started out a little slow and sick. Unfortunately, Erin and Emily were feeling under the weather. After breakfast Emily felt better and we headed out for Soweto. Once we got there, we sat down with Trevor Tutu and asked him some questions relating to present politics. He doesn’t seem like a guy who wants much attention. He would rather make things happen behind the scenes than be in the limelight.

Today seemed to be a day of passion for a few reasons. First of all, when we talked to Trevor about what his future entails, he mentioned community related work, such as helping people learn to be self sufficient with little resources. His passion was so great for what he was interested in. Not only Trevor, but the kids from Conquest of Life had the same outlook. They all had clear paths and ambitions as well as perseverance to get there.

Overall, today really got me thinking about what it is I am passionate about. Whatever it is, I can’t wait to find it so I can someday be as passionate as the people we met today.
-Amar Nijor


Today we met Trevor Tutu, Desmond Tutu’s son in Soweto. Trevor Tutu work with a non profit organization called The Noble Savage. They work in urban development creating sustainable business for the poor. They set up fish farms which create ongoing income and jobs for many people.

Trevor gave us new insight into the world of South African politics. South Africa has an election approaching quickly. It seems like there is a political poster every 10-20 seconds on the road. The three main parties are the ANC (African National Congress), the DAC (Democratic Alliance) and COPE . The problem they are facing, as we heard it, is that the ANC has been in control for so long they are starting to turn South Africa into a one party country. The ANC’s leader, Zuma, has been accused of

Trevor Tutu
Trevor Tutu

corruption. Recently a man was convicted of bribing Zuma, but Zuma was never prosecuted for accepting the bribes. Also, there is fear that government position are not being given to the most deserving person, but rather to friends and supporters. Trevor Tutu said this is leading to less capable people getting the jobs and becoming rich, while many others remain impoverished.
-Jack Massion

Additional Photos:

Cotlands 2 Conquest for Life 2 Township

7 thoughts on “April 7th – Cotlands/Conquest of Life”

  1. It warms my heart to see you making connections with the children. Keep the photos and the journals coming our way; it makes it real for us.
    Much love, Jivanti

  2. Hi All,
    I LOVE reading your impressions of Africa and your reflections on your experience thus far. It seems you are becoming wiser and more mature by the minute.
    Leah, your excitement is contagious, Erin, sweet Haiku. I’m glad to see spontaneous poetic expression in the group. Jack, nice work synthesizing some of the complex African politics. Haley, I appreciated your insights on the variety of the experience; First world, Third world and Nature describes it absolutely.
    Brittany, I think the Cradle of Humankind is a perfect phrase for how being in Africa FEELS. Amar, I also can’t wait for you to discover your passion!
    Sometimes when you’re traveling, the famous Zen saying applies: “The Obstacle is the Path.”
    Keep your minds open and relax when you feel uncomfortable. Observe your insights and emotions and write them down even if you don’t post them. (Some of you may be accumulating solid college essay material. 🙂 )
    Thanks SN and Lisa and all involved adults who make these remarkable adventures happen. And Schmuel–beautiful work, as always.
    I’m thinking about all of you and I want to hear from ALL of you so don’t forget to write.
    Lots of love.

  3. Great photos! It’s almost like I’m there with you. Thanks for keeping us current. I LOVE the photo of Haley!!!!

  4. The pictures are adorable. I am so jealous. I wish we could be there experiencing this with you guys. Hope your all having an amazing time!

  5. Hi Again- We missed you Easter at Johns. Lots of good food as usual. Heard your story about the elephant from your Mom. Be careful, they are BIG. Ha! Come home soon. We love you, Uncle Pat & Aunt Sharold XXOO

  6. So pleased to watch the videos this morning! This looks like an experience you will never forget and we are eager to hear your reflections when you come home. The photos say a thousand words, so thank you Tom and whoever is on the video/photo crew. We are taking good care of Addie, Lisa.

    much love, Supriya

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