Trip to South Africa – by Megan & Rosy

Megan and Rosy from Stonelaw High school received a fieldwork grant from SAGT this year, below is the report they have provided about their experiences.

(function(jQuery) { function init() { wSlideshow.render({elementID:”682255796929657660″,nav:”thumbnails”,navLocation:”right”,captionLocation:”bottom”,transition:”fade”,autoplay:”0″,speed:”5″,aspectRatio:”auto”,showControls:”true”,randomStart:”false”,images:[{“url”:”2/2/1/2/22125478/2696271.png”,”width”:”400″,”height”:”300″},{“url”:”2/2/1/2/22125478/3063411.png”,”width”:”400″,”height”:”293″},{“url”:”2/2/1/2/22125478/6437622.png”,”width”:”400″,”height”:”303″},{“url”:”2/2/1/2/22125478/2335232.png”,”width”:”400″,”height”:”294″}]}) } jQuery ? jQuery(init) : document.observe(‘dom:loaded’, init) })(window._W && _W.jQuery)

Dear SAGT,

Thank you very much for your grant to Megan and I. We are very grateful for it and we have learned so much over such a short period of time which has added to our understanding of Higher Geography. We had an unforgettable two weeks! It was an amazing trip to Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa and being able to go to school in a completely different culture and climate was such a great experience.

During the two weeks in Ikusasalethu High School we got to spend a few periods with Mrs Bryson teaching Higher Geography. One topic was global warming: how can we be “greener”? It was really interesting for us because of the issues and effects of global warming differing between our two countries and also because of our different cultures and carbon footprints.

Whilst there we saw many geographical features that we had learned about within the Higher Geography course, such as sand dune plant succession and the build-up of  sand dunes at Jabula Beach  (which in Zulu translates to Happy Beach); a lagoon at St Lucia estuary created by longshore drift; coastal erosion at Mission Beach rocks through hydraulic action and solution . Whilst there we also visited Cape Vidal within the Ismangaliso Wetland  which is a World Heritage Site and got a chance to see dunes up to 150m high as well as being tossed about in the swash and backwash of the Indian Ocean! We also discovered that one of the main conflicts here was litter being left on Jabula beach, which had to be overcome by the council clearing it up after busy weekends. During the fortnight we got the chance to go on a Safari which really allowed us to see  South Africa’s natural beauty, including many different plants, birds and wild animals which were completely different to our own, as well as mountains and rivers.  This type of landscape provides tourism opportunities for example Umfolozi Game Reserve, which also creates job opportunities and foreign currency earnings. This reserve is the oldest game reserve in South Africa and was once King Shaka Zulu’s hunting ground.

We were aware of the differences in development, both within SA and between Scotland and there, on our journey to school each morning, differences such as housing types, roads and signs of poverty.  We were also aware of factors affecting development concerning problems such as working in a second language, girls not getting the same life chances as boys and the long journeys to school resulting in children being tired so not always able to learn. In school we were privileged to work with pupils on the Inspire Aspire programme and took part in lessons and a debate on gender equality. This gave us a lot of food for thought and we were so impressed with the maturity of the learners.

Aids and HIV campaign posters were very visible there even in the primary school we visited also as it so important to improve people’s health and increase life expectancy.

Once again thank you so much, we’ve learned so much and have had an amazing time in Kwa Zulu Natal and we’re so grateful for your help in making it possible.
For more detail about our trip please visit our blog:

Yours sincerely,
Rosy and Megan