Thought of the Week

When we were growing up in South Africa we were encouraged during every school holidays to visit our grandparents in the rural parts (ancestral homes) of the country. Our rural homes served as important learning centres outside school. Our grandparents played an important role in teaching us about the history of our family, gallantry of our people, tribal cuisines and many other wonderful things. We were encouraged to perform chores exclusively found in the rural areas i.e. taking care of the livestock, hunting, climbing trees for wild fruits, killing snakes and other troublesome pests.

On our return to the city we would be asked by our school teachers to write essays about our holidays (aka Composition or “Opstel” in Dutch and in Afrikaans). We were expected to detail everything about our holidays in the essay from start to finish. I particularly enjoyed listening to various narrations of what my classmates did during their holidays. Interestingly we often all almost did the same thing with “gogo” or grandmother.

I guess my thought for this week is that holiday making and travelling is supposed to be educational, it must help uplift the social and geographical understanding particularly that of our children. My travelling experiences as a teenager. taught me about cultures, languages and many other things which came very handy in my adulthood. I understand times have changed and our children cannot live without the internet. However parents should insist on other forms of education in between the internet surfing during the holidays or when. travelling with their children. Travelling and holidays must not just be about the destination, airports, hotels and couple of five star malls in between.

Enjoy your weekend.

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