Hethersett Old Hall School (HOHS) blog – an independent day and boarding school near Norwich, Norfolk.

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South Africa (2014)

In July 2014 our intrepid senior and Sixth Form girls headed off South Africa to take part in a 16-day volunteering expedition with Mozvolunteers.Mozvolunteers trip leaving2


We’ve arrived!
July 16th 2014

We have all arrived, safe and sound in the mountains… More updates tomorrow, we’re off for dinner and bed!20140716-174804

First day in Underburg
July 17th 2014

After a long lie in (much needed after the long drive yesterday!) we learned about what our project work would be, and were taught some basic Zulu.

We visited the school, which is called Beersheba school, in a village called Mhwaque and met some of the children. 20140717-174351Some of us tried our hands at pumping water from the village well, it was hard work.20140717-174528Later, we walked to a local house, where we tried mat making, which is a traditional skill. In Zulu, this is called making a thansi.20140717-174729Everyone gave the children some small gifts and it was amazing to see how excited and happy they were. We’re waiting for dinner now, it’s called potjie, which is a traditional South African dish.

Speak to tomorrow.20140717-175011


Play hard, work hard
July 18th 2014

We started off the morning with a game that helped us get to know the children a little better and of course, improve our Zulu. It was like a treasure hunt, and we’re now waiting for Alex to tell us the winner so we can claim our prizes!20140718-164342

Some of the children were getting a bit bored, as they had to wait for us to figure out the Zulu words (although many were a great help!) so we followed this with a rather energetic game of “duck, duck, goose” or as the children prefer to call it, “dog,dog, scuse”.20140718-164538
Although some of the little ones preferred cuddles to playing!20140718-164653
After a quick lunch, we started work in the classroom we are going to be renovating. The first job of the day was washing down the whole place, windows, doors, floors, walls, ready for painting. 20140718-164826However, some of us took it in turns to fetch water. I think you will all agree that Dani was best at this task…20140718-164935We finished up a little early so we could walk from the school back to our accommodation, we all managed really well, and it was a lovely walk…

See you tomorrow, for more updates!


Saturday already!
July 19th 2014

This morning we woke up early to prepare for the day. After a breakfast of boiled eggs and ujeque, which is a Zulu bread, we shared some of the gifts we had brought with us with the children from Quathlamba, which is the small village closest to our accommodation.20140719-184417

We gave all the children some clothing each and some toys then played games and let them try out some of the craft items that we brought. The scratch pictures and bracelets were a great success!
We all had lots of fun, the children did too!20140719-184635This afternoon we went to Alex’s house to use the internet, and we had a bonfire and hot dogs for dinner. We’re now all toasting marshmallows round the bonfire before heading back to bed. We’ve been promised the second and last lie in of the trip tomorrow, so we’d better make the most of it!


Painting and more painting!
July 21st 2014

Today we made so much progress and finished painting the white half of the classroom, as well as most of the lower blue part of the wall.20140721-201425Everyone made an effort to help, and we made quick work of the walls. We can’t wait to finish off the first classroom tomorrow!20140721-20153220140721-201600

Seeing progress

July 23rd 2014

So we have nearly finished one classroom – it looks SO much better than before! It’s amazing how much difference can be made in such a small period of time. The teachers are really pleased with the outcome too! We’re sure you’ll agree, it’s looking great!

We have started the second classroom that we are hoping we will be able to complete, and are half way through painting the walls.20140723-084958In the afternoon, we were invited by the headmaster to talk a little bit about ourselves and show the children at the school some of the pictures of things associated with home that we had brought with us. This was great, and the children and staff all thought it was really interesting.

The children sang some songs to us, and a few of us tried to learn some of the words in Zulu too.

Tomorrow we are going to hike through the national park to see some pools, caves and bushman paintings, and stock up on snacks too!20140723-085307

Into the heart of the Drakensberg Mountains
July 24th 2014

Today we had a rest from painting the classrooms and playing with the children and set off into the Drakensberg Mountains to hike to see some bushman paintings and the amazing scenery.20140724-084535After a quick stop at Spar to stock up on some snacks we headed into the mountains and began our climb.20140724-084627We stopped for lunch by some natural springs and pools, and refilled our water bottles.20140724-084727 20140724-08481420140724-084848What a great day, with great views. Now off to bed!20140724-084931


Finishing off and mural painting
July 25th 2014

Today flew past! We finished off the second classroom and neatened up the edges in the first classroom and they are looking great!20140725-073148Libby and Shannon started off the work on the mural, which is the school’s logo, this will be finished off tomorrow, but is looking great already.20140725-073412The day was finished off with a meal at a local homestead, where we were invited to enjoy traditional food and had the opportunity to ask any questions about Zulu culture.20140725-073644

Last day at school and all goodbyes
July 26th 2014

Today was our last day with the children helping at Beersheba school. We completed the school mural on the wall, which you can now see for miles around – it looks amazing! 20140726-093911We also gave the children the opportunity to create some artwork using all kinds of inks and crayons and glitter that we brought with us from England, they had such a great time and Erica was fabulous at showing them what to do.20140726-09394920140726-094014We said goodbye to the children and the school, and took some last pictures of the work that we have achieved over the last 10 days.20140726-094112The finished classrooms look great too!20140726-09415420140726-094220We finished off the day with a traditional South African braai, as a celebration for Christmas in July.

We’re now looking forward to visiting the children at the Clouds of Hope Orphanage, tomorrow and an early dinner at a restaurant in Underberg village, before we head up the coast for our game drive and other, animal-spotting activities!

We’ll keep you posted!


Goodbye Underberg, hello St Lucia
July 27th 2014

Yesterday we visited the Clouds of Hope Orphanage, and had some time to spend playing with the children. Some of us managed to find pen pals and are looking forward to keeping in touch with the children.

Unfortunately we can’t put photographs of the children on social media sites, due to child protection regulations, but here’s a lovely one of the colourful sign wall.20140727-163439We spent the rest of the day looking round Underberg and enjoying pizza at The Grind Cafe, a local Italian restaurant.This morning we left early and we have now arrived safely at St Lucia. This evening we are going hippo and crocodile spotting on the lake and for a night time safari. We’ll update you more tomorrow!!


St Lucia adventures
July 29th 2014

Since arriving in St Lucia, we have had our fill of animal adventures. When we arrived, we went on a two hour sunset boat cruise, and saw many beautiful birds, hippos and crocodiles.

It was all go, as later that evening we also went on a night safari to see the nocturnal animals. 20140729-073024We returned back to town late, around 11 pm, and then had a short night’s sleep before heading out for our full day safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi park, where we saw a proportion of the Big 5.20140729-07313020140729-073149We had a delicious dinner at Ocean Basket, and are now excited for our morning of shopping and sunbathing tomorrow before we head to Durban for the last leg of our trip.


July 30th 2014

So we arrived safely in Durban and enjoyed an African themed dinner at Moyo restaurant that was right on the pier, adjacent to the beach. Today, we have been looking round that uShaka marine world, which is Southern Africa’s largest aquarium, and learned about the underwater world of the Indian Ocean.

We’re looking forward to eating bunny chow for dinner tonight, which is a Durban curry, served in a portion of a loaf of bread yum.20140731-081256


Last day in South Africa
July 31st 2014

Today is our last day in South Africa, and we are going to be enjoying Durban, and making the most of our final day. We have had great fun in Durban, which is the largest Indian community outside of India, and have enjoyed being lovely and warm by the Indian Ocean.

Here are some pictures of our time here in the city.20140731-08151220140731-081539 20140731-08150420140731-081532 20140731-08152520140731-08152020140731-081552




One thought on “South Africa (2014)

  1. I have just been looking at Erica’s photos, just amazing! She hasn’t stopped talking yet.
    A huge thank you to Miss Mann, Mrs Coghlan & Natasha.

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