As the weeks roll around every year, the Grade 10's waited in anticipation for our Johannesburg trip. With a 04h30 wakeup and a long bus ride ahead of us, the group were both tired and excited. After being sorted into our respective busses, we began the journey to the bustling and busy province of Gauteng, where we would be staying for the next week.
Although we had spent the first half of our day in the bus, we began our tour at the structure that signifies a great historic event that occurred in our beautiful country - The Voortrekker Monument. We enjoyed the marble panels that tell a story and climbed the tall monument to enjoy the views below. It was an interesting place to begin the week, and we spent our time looking at the olden day wagons, muskets, tapestries and much more. We ended our first day relaxing at the Fun Company and enjoyed beating our teachers in bumper cars.
After a much needed rest and shower, we began our second day in a place that was much lower than the Voortrekker Monument. We entered the historic Sterkfontein Caves and went to the Cradle of Humankind to learn about our origins. We looked at fossils, the evolution of our ancestors, the development of technology, and much more. After a quick lunch break, we went to the University of Pretoria to the SCIENZA exhibition, where we learnt about simple machines, physics, went to a Camera Obscura, and got to look around at the educational, yet fun exhibitions. Once again, our evening was spent relaxing and enjoying one another’s company, although it was slightly difficult to relax when we were skating on thin ice… quite literally. The class enjoyed watching one another attempt to ice skate, and another day was spent enjoying the city.
Our third day started at the Union Buildings where we toured the grounds and looked at the different landmarks. We then went to the Pretoria Art Museum where we had to do a task finding different artworks according to different genres. Although many of us did not know what to expect, everyone was surprised and enjoyed Constitutional Hill. We began our tour looking at the different jail cells that prisoners were overcrowded in, the Courtyard, showers, toilets, and what they used to eat. We also visited the Isolation Cells, and NelsonMandela’s prison cell when he was imprisoned there. The entire group was interested in the horrifying history our country was once home to, and the different ways in which the different prisoners were treated. We then enjoyed dinner and a movie at the infamous Monte Casino.
On our last full day, we were able to spend the day with our friends at Gold Reef City. We explored the amusement park the entire day, going on the different rides such as the Anaconda, Raging Rapids, Log Ride, the Miners’ Revenge, and the Tower of Terror, as well playing different fun fair games and enjoying the food. We were all glad to relax and have fun on our last day in the big city. We ended the day with pizza and cool drinks at our hotel and bonded on our last night together.
We then clambered into the bus and made our way home. Tired and weary, but overall content, we were grateful for the week and its activities, as well as the opportunity to bond before some learners would leave or move forward yet another grade. Reflecting back on the week, we are all very grateful for our trip and its outcome.
By: Amber Gallop