Miss Drummond went to South Africa last October with a team of four other people to visit the Country and look at schools there. They stayed with families who lived there.
This is a map of where she travelled. The distance was four times the length of Scotland in total. She flew from Port Elizabeth on the coast to Bloemfontain on a very tiny plane. She was very scared. The rest of the time she travelled by car on roads filled with potholes. At the last stop in Durban she went on a cruise on a massive boat.
Grey Primary School
This was a school she visited where parents have to pay to send their children. This school was similar to our school. The children all wore uniform. It was shorts and a shirt in the summer and trousers and blazer in the winter. They had lots of computers and whiteboards like we do. They speak English and Afrikaans and they play loads of sport. Mostly cricket and rugby.
Molehabangwe Junior School
This school was very different. Children here had no computers and hardly any jotters or paper. They have no toys in class or in the playground. Children here come from very poor families who cannot afford a lot of food so they get fed a meal of soup and a slice of bread. Most children could not speak English but they sang Miss Drummond lots of songs and were very happy.
Qaqawuli Godolozi Pre-school
This is a nursery school she visited where children did have quite a lot of toys, but the children were living in very poor conditions, some of the children only get one meal a day and it would be very small. Look at the tyres they play with!
This was a chirty for a township where people live in tin huts with no electricity or running water. Lots of children here have AIDS and will possible die before they are adults. This charity feeds 750 families every day with one meal of soup and bread. Miss Drummond was swamped with children wanting their photos taken as lots of the children had never seen a camera before.
Hope House Orphanage
This was an Orphanage which had 30 children, most of them were toddlers and children under 8. Nearly all of them have a mum or dad but they were brought to the Orphanage because their parents couldn’t afford to look after them.
The bath was just a little shallow dip in the concrete that would not even cover their legs. The children slept on dirt mattresses on the floor. They had no toys or books, just a bare carpet to play on. Their clothes were dirty and too small for them.
The Orphanage does not get much money from the Government. They have to rely on donations from people in the community to stay open.
People want to adopt these children but their parents won’t let that happen. This is because they want the children to earn money for them when they are old enough. It is very sad.
There were lots of wild animals in South Africa. We can only see animals like this in zoos in Britain but here they live in the wild, finding their own food and living free.
There were rhinos, elephants and baboons, who just sat in the middle of the road! Imagine seeing hundreds of these guys on the road when you were walking to school.
The baby lion was only four months old. Miss Drummond was able to pick him up and cuddle him, he was very sleepy.
Visits to a Diamond Mine and a Gold Mine
A visit was made to a Diamond mine in Kimberley. It’s the biggest man made hole in the world and diamonds have been mined here for a very long time.
The man in the picture was a diamond dealer, he can look at diamonds and tell if they are rare or flawed. He has to cut, grind and polish diamonds on a special machine using other diamonds. One little mistake can cost him thousands of pounds.
The ring Miss Drummond is wearing cost £75,000, the price of a small flat in Britain.
They also visited a gold mine and went 2500 metres underground where people were drilling for gold in small tunnels. It was very scary and dark. Water flowed down the tunnels when you were crawling through. The roofs were held up with little piles of brick and wood. She was terrified. Next time you see any gold jewellery, have a think about the job that these mine workers do so that we can have gold. It is a very difficult job.
When Miss Drummond was in Kimberley they had one of their worst storms in 25 years. Look at this lightning strike. The team were out on safari when the storm struck. The medical centre was flooded and lots of damage done to buildings and cars.
Miss Drummond had loads of fun when she was visiting South Africa – the team taught the Afrikaans people how to do country dancing. They had outdoor barbecues almost every night, which they called Braais. A policeman showed them how to shoot pistols, shotguns and rifles safely. She even got to drive fast cars around a racetrack at high speed. She made lots and lots of friends.
South Africa was a wonderful country but it has lots of problems too. Lots of children and adults are living in very poor conditions and we should spare a thought for them when we moan about little things in our lives. Our class, P5/6, has received pen pal letters from South Africa and we have written back to them. We hope to keep in touch with our South African friends.