Grade 10 outing

BY Hasti Pansuriya

While the rest of the learners of Riebeek College were in their classrooms, the Grade 10s had a blast on their outing. On the 13 March, the Grade 10s went on an outing to Port Elizabeth to visit the beach and the Donkin Reserve.
The girls started the day with writing ten compliments on a page about someone in their grade in an anonymous manner. The outing ended with these letters being handed out to make each Grade 10 realise how valued each Grade 10 is. The aim of this task was to learn things about that specific person whom they usually never interact with, and this was exactly what happened!
Two school busses and a municipal bus whisked away from school on our mini vacation.
Luckily, it was a beautiful day with warm weather and a cool breeze.
After arriving at the beach, the girls did a fun segment of finding sea organisms and habitats in rock pools and near the shore. This was an enjoyable activity as everyone was inquisitively trying to tick off the findings on the list. Miss Mxoli and Mrs Gerber then took the girls on a journey of practicing mindfulness and seeing the power of it. Miss Mxoli then challenged our writing with thought provoking writing tasks.The students were given time to interact with their senses, souls and hearts as they set their minds to writing descriptions about their surrounding on to paper. Erinn Kettledas said, “It was a wonderful activity as I got a chance to escape from the noise of life and interact with myself.”
Upon arriving at the Donkin Reserve, the girls had a delightful picnic with a profusion of laughter and joy. They were taught about the heritage and history of Port Elizabeth, which left many girls astounded. A true love story unfolded and an appreciation of our diverse history and inclusive heritage. The outing ended with exploring the different artistic works, monuments and other landmarks linking the many cultures and heritages of South Africa. Othandwayo Gaba said, “I loved learning about the history of Port Elizabeth as well as the reason for the items at the site and the names given to different places.” The culmination was the amazing poem by Miss Mxoli – we were moved and spellbound.
The outing was a memorable event for the learners due to the memories they made as a grade. A massive thank you goes to Mr de Beer and Miss S du Preez for driving the girls, Miss du Preez and Miss de Beer for the logistical work of money and circulars, Mr Weideman for taking photographs and accompanying us, and to Mrs Gerber and Miss Mxoli for assisting and taking out the time to be with the learners.
Grade 10s will edit their writing and submit to Miss Mxoli for consideration for the website and school magazine.

Miss Mxoli presented this poem at the Grade 10 outing and has kindly allowed us to share her poem.
Nelson Mandela Bay
Port Elizabeth, they call her the windy city
the friendly with her hip line of harbour 
and beach sand 
She started her life as a love letter to a ghost
and still her pyramid stands, 
her lighthouse beacons ships to safety.
“Central”, my aunt says, “is an ugly and dangerous woman.
Too many have been lost to the cackle in her laugh.
She swallows people and never spits them out”
But that cannot be true.
When I walk her streets, I am greeted by the oldest theatre in Africa.
I hear every dialect of the continent reach out to me
in song and conversation.
New Brighton is a mother with a crowded house
but always has room for one more.
A woman who walks on blistered feet 
but you would swear they are not sore.
Every weekend her streets fill and throb with people
shedding their work clothes for the weekend.
Uitenhage is a tiny grandmother with a large photo album.
She does not care who she was named after.
When you enter her house, it is to the gleam of VW
but she will not let you forget her Apartheid resistance
she still mourns the children of the funeral massacre.
She will proudly tell you that the song you mumble at soccer matches and rugby matches
was penned by her son Enoch
whose name we still whisper reverently as grandfather.
Despatch is the young woman who grew between the greats
she opened herself to her sisters’ overflow
she started her life despatching bricks and still old buildings
stand on the lumbers of her spine.
Now it her Concorde Bakery that sings of her sweet to tooth
in a clashing din of Afrikaans.
You withstand the crush because you know
she has the best baked whatever it is you wish.
These women who have withstood the twists and turns of history
These women who have risen from the ashes
who have risen from the dust
are Nelson Mandela Bay.
This is Nelson Mandela Bay.

 March 27, 2019
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