While in Cape Town, we visited District 6 an explored the museum of the area. This museum displays the memories, emotions, culture, and history of district 6 before, during, and after apartheid. This museum provides a space to understand, experience, and discuss what happened to the residents of the district during Apartheid, the removal act, and segregation. Similarly to the United States, South Africa’s District 6 residents were removed from their homes and placed into townships segregated by races such as black and colored.
It was very powerful to hear the stories and experiences of our tour guides at the district 6 museum. Both Jo and Ruth lived through Apartheid with their families and took time to describe their experiences. In reflection it was challenging to hear their stories about the hardships they and their entire families faced when they were uprooted from their homes and moved into townships farther away from their friends, families, and jobs. Their struggle about the adjustment, anger, and sadness they felt to be uprooted was very difficult to come to terms with. It was challenging because their experiences reminded me of the experiences faced by my ancestors during slavery in the United States. Even though the last was challenging for the residents pre and post Apartheid, they still persevered and pursued their dreams and aspirations in life. The most powerful message, I heard was from Ruth. During the tour of district 6, Ruth began to tell the group about the strong hatred that resided within her due to the circumstances and life experiences she was dealt. When she realized how her anger and hatred was changing her, she began to work on herself in the form of forgiveness. As stated by Ruth, it is okay to forgive but we must never forget our experience and history. It was powerful to hear about forgiveness from someone who has lost and experienced so much. Harboring hatred, angers and other negative emotions can chain you and cause you not to reach you full potential, but forgiveness can helpmeet you free. It is important for me as a teacher to keep in mind that the children, teachers, and staff work with all have challenges that they have faced but they are working hard continue striving for their goals. In response, I must work hard and be mindful of the circumstances of others and continue to be resilient and diligent working with others. While volunteering and exploring and exploring the townships of South Africa, I will be mindful of the history and hardships the people have been subjected to and work on building a relationship with children and teachers. I am excited to be in the position to provide support to children and teachers in the classrooms . This experience is allowing me to step out of my place of comfort to learn about the lives, history, and culture of others.