“In South Africa,…?”<br />Greenwood 4th-Grade Students Ask Some Questions<br />
Dear Students,<br />It is very interesting to read the questions that you have about South Africa.<br />We would love to a...
Do the toilets actually flush the opposite way in South Africa? <br />Yes . . . and no! How can this be? We have yet to fi...
Water down the drain. The drains in the bathtubs go clockwise!<br />Straight down flush<br />Swirling to the right<br />
What types of technology do South Africans use? Do only the &quot;rich&quot; have it?<br />Technology is everywhere! <br /...
What type of government does South Africa have?<br />South Africa, just like our country, is a democracy with an elected p...
Jacob Zuma is the newly elected president of South Africa.<br />
What type of government does South Africa have?<br />South Africa has 9 Provinces (sort of like our 50 states) with electe...
Northern Cape<br />Capital is Kimberly; the Premier is Hazel Jenkins <br />Western Cape<br />Capital is Cape Town; the Pre...
Are some houses made out of clay?<br />Most houses are constructed very similar to ours. They also use a lot of bricks and...
Houses of Clay<br />
Houses constructed of “found” materials.<br />
Houses constructed of “found” materials.<br />
Do any of the kids have &quot;Webkinz”? <br />Yes, Webkinz are available at Hallmark stores. But, because a majority of th...
Do only the rich go to school? Do some kids have to stay home to help with the land, homemaking, etc? <br />All children a...
Education in South Africa<br />Not all schools are created equal! In fact, they are quite different from one another. <br ...
Education in South Africa<br />Private schools have smaller classes, better educated teachers and many more learning oppor...
What kinds of supplies do they have in school?<br />About 60-70% of the population can only afford a pencil or two and may...
What subjects do kids learn in 4th grade?<br />All the subjects you study!<br />Math<br />Reading <br />Writing<br />Geogr...
Are white people richer than black people (on average)? <br />YES.<br />The majority of the high paying jobs are held by w...
Are white people richer than black people (on average)? <br />Personal story: When we were looking for a place to stay her...
Do they have Smartboards? <br />No.<br />I have yet to see a school that even has one! We are privileged to have that type...
Do they receive Feed My Starving Children food? <br />Feed My Starving Children does not deliver food to this country. How...
200 Food Parcels<br />
How common are cell phones? <br />Cell phones, cell phones, everywhere! <br />I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t have...
Have you seen any Wii&apos;s? <br />YES!<br />The Wii is a very popular game system. The price is very similar to those in...
How long is their school year?<br />The students in Cape Town go to school year round. They do not get a large break for t...
Typical School Calendar:<br />Middle of January through Middle of March (with a one-week break in March)<br />End of March...
Thank You!<br />These questions were fantastic and fun to answer. Please feel free to continue to ask questions as you hav...
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4th Grade Questions

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4th Grade Questions

  1. 1. “In South Africa,…?”<br />Greenwood 4th-Grade Students Ask Some Questions<br />
  2. 2. Dear Students,<br />It is very interesting to read the questions that you have about South Africa.<br />We would love to answer your great questions! <br />So read on!<br />—Mr. Vrudny<br />
  3. 3. Do the toilets actually flush the opposite way in South Africa? <br />Yes . . . and no! How can this be? We have yet to find a toilet that flushes like those at home in Minnesota. Most toilets here flush straight down, or do not flush at all! They have installed non-water using toilets that are clean and efficient. There is a tremendous shortage of water in this part of the world and they are trying to find ways to conserve.<br />
  4. 4. Water down the drain. The drains in the bathtubs go clockwise!<br />Straight down flush<br />Swirling to the right<br />
  5. 5. What types of technology do South Africans use? Do only the &quot;rich&quot; have it?<br />Technology is everywhere! <br />You can get cable or satellite TV (this is the most popular).<br />Internet is available in homes and in internet cafés.<br />Computer, TV, DVD, and music stores are abundant.<br />Basically, any technology you want is available.<br />However, a large majority of the population cannot afford these luxuries.<br />
  6. 6. What type of government does South Africa have?<br />South Africa, just like our country, is a democracy with an elected president. <br />
  7. 7. Jacob Zuma is the newly elected president of South Africa.<br />
  8. 8. What type of government does South Africa have?<br />South Africa has 9 Provinces (sort of like our 50 states) with elected Premiers (similar to our governors).<br />On October 2, 2009, we met with the Deputy Director-General of the Western Cape (Mr. Linda Grootboom) as well as some of his staff. He works directly under Helen Zille, the Premier of the Western Cape. We toured the Department of the Western Cape where her office is located (capital building). A good friend of ours (who is Mr. Linda Grootboom’s personal assistant) had arranged this meeting. We told them about our projects.<br />
  9. 9. Northern Cape<br />Capital is Kimberly; the Premier is Hazel Jenkins <br />Western Cape<br />Capital is Cape Town; the Premier is Helen Zille<br />Eastern Cape<br />Capital is Bisho; the Premier is NoxoloKiviet<br />Orange Free State<br />Capital is Bloemfontein; the Premier is Ace Magashule<br />Kwazulu-Natal<br />Capital is Ladysmith; the Premier is ZweliMkhize<br />Eastern Transvaal<br />Capital is Nelspruit; the Premier is David Mabuza<br />North West<br />Capital is Mmabatho; the Premier is Maureen Modiselle<br />Northern Transvaal<br />Capital is Pietersburg; the Premier is Cassel Mathale<br />Gauteng<br />Capital is Johannesburg; the Premier is NomvulaMokonyane<br />Provincial Government<br />
  10. 10. Are some houses made out of clay?<br />Most houses are constructed very similar to ours. They also use a lot of bricks and stone. Most houses have siding made of a stucco material called adobe (looks like clay).<br />In the poorer areas of South Africa, they use whatever they can find to make their homes. And yes, there are some homes that are made of clay, but those are mostly in rural areas.<br />
  11. 11. Houses of Clay<br />
  12. 12. Houses constructed of “found” materials.<br />
  13. 13. Houses constructed of “found” materials.<br />
  14. 14. Do any of the kids have &quot;Webkinz”? <br />Yes, Webkinz are available at Hallmark stores. But, because a majority of the people do not have internet access due to lack of money, the demand for them is not high.<br />They do sell a lot of stuffed toys, especially the “Big Five” (based on safari hunts of old): elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions and rhinos are the most popular, along with sea creatures and hippos, of course.<br />
  15. 15. Do only the rich go to school? Do some kids have to stay home to help with the land, homemaking, etc? <br />All children are required to go to school until the age of 16. However, it is not a well-enforced law. In order to attend school, shoes are required, but not all families can afford shoes. Because there are very few jobs available to even the well educated (South Africa nationwide is experiencing unemployment rates of 40%; black communities often experience unemployment rates of 70-90%), many children in the poorer areas stay home, or sell items on the street to make enough money to eat. Others do stay home to take care of very young children.<br />
  16. 16. Education in South Africa<br />Not all schools are created equal! In fact, they are quite different from one another. <br />Township schools and government schools require no tuition. You go to them for free (just like Greenwood). Many of these are located in the shantytowns, and are very poor. There are 40-45 students per class, with only enough desks for 20. Very few books are available and students have no supplies. Libraries and computer labs do not exist in these schools.<br />
  17. 17. Education in South Africa<br />Private schools have smaller classes, better educated teachers and many more learning opportunities. But they are expensive, according to South Africa standards. What does expensive mean? Tuition at a good school might run 800 Rand ($100) up to 5000 Rand ($625) per year. Keep in mind that the average family of 4 in South Africa makes about 1000 Rand ($125) per month! That must cover: housing, food, clothing, transportation, everything they need every day. So you see that very few can afford to go to even the most inexpensive private schools. <br />
  18. 18. What kinds of supplies do they have in school?<br />About 60-70% of the population can only afford a pencil or two and maybe one notebook for the year. There are many organizations that help to supply the schools with the necessary materials for the classrooms. In fact, many schools in the states collect basic school supplies for the schools in South Africa.<br />In the private schools, the students need supplies just like you do, but most students bring them back and forth to school each day. They seldom leave them in the classroom.<br />
  19. 19. What subjects do kids learn in 4th grade?<br />All the subjects you study!<br />Math<br />Reading <br />Writing<br />Geography<br />History<br />Health<br />Physical fitness<br />Language (There are eleven national languages in South Africa. In Cape Town, you would hear English, Afrikaans or Xhosa in the schools.)<br />
  20. 20. Are white people richer than black people (on average)? <br />YES.<br />The majority of the high paying jobs are held by whites. It is very difficult for a person of color to be hired into a high paying position. Even though everyone is supposed to have the same opportunities, it is still not happening in this country.<br />
  21. 21. Are white people richer than black people (on average)? <br />Personal story: When we were looking for a place to stay here, we would visit potential locations with a family friend who is black. If he was renting the apartment, they would charge him half of what they would charge us, simply because we are white. They assume we could pay a lot more money for the same place because of the color of our skin—and because they knew we were American by our accent.<br />
  22. 22. Do they have Smartboards? <br />No.<br />I have yet to see a school that even has one! We are privileged to have that type of technology available to us! In fact, very few schools in the state of Minnesota have Smartboards available in every room. (Even few universities have them!)<br />
  23. 23. Do they receive Feed My Starving Children food? <br />Feed My Starving Children does not deliver food to this country. However, Open Arms of Minnesota (located in St. Paul) helps purchase food parcels for those affected by terrible diseases, like HIV/AIDS.<br />In January, we will assemble the food parcels and will deliver them to the homes of those who need them. The parcels come in a 5 gallon bucket, and supply enough food for a family of four for a month. Then the bucket can be used to transport water to the home. Plastic buckets are needed. There is usually one water tap for about every 10 houses in the townships. My wife, Kim, is one of the coordinators for this program in conjunction with the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.<br />
  24. 24. 200 Food Parcels<br />
  25. 25. How common are cell phones? <br />Cell phones, cell phones, everywhere! <br />I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t have one! Don’t tell your parents, but even in the primary grades (as low as 2nd grade) kids are carrying phones. The most common reason is safety. Even in the townships (the poorest sections of the city), people have cell phones. It is a necessity.<br />What they don’t have are landline phones, meaning phones hardwired into their homes. That is why almost all internet is wireless. Internet cafés are extremely popular! <br />
  26. 26. Have you seen any Wii&apos;s? <br />YES!<br />The Wii is a very popular game system. The price is very similar to those in the states. They have all the current additions to the system as well as the games.<br />
  27. 27. How long is their school year?<br />The students in Cape Town go to school year round. They do not get a large break for the summer. However, the school year is broken up with a number of 1 and 2 week vacations with a longer one (about 5 weeks) in the summer. <br />
  28. 28. Typical School Calendar:<br />Middle of January through Middle of March (with a one-week break in March)<br />End of March – Middle of June (with a one-week break in June)<br />July through September (with a two-week break at the end of September for Spring Break)<br />Early October – Early December (with a five-week break from the middle of December through middle of January for a longer Summer break)<br />
  29. 29. Thank You!<br />These questions were fantastic and fun to answer. Please feel free to continue to ask questions as you have them. We will do the best to answer them. If we do not know the answer, we will find someone who does!<br />

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