On Friday, June 26…

This was quite a smooth and productive week. Last weekend, after meeting with my supervisors, I had an idea to incorporate Xhosa, the children’s first language, into the rule cards I’ve been designing. My supervisors really liked the idea and at our next meeting, we were able to work out how we would get the Xhosa translations. I’ve adjusted the design to accommodate the additions, and once I receive all the translations I will be able to fully finish the cards.

With that project wrapping up, my focus has shifted to preparing the interactive social media posts for the group’s Facebook and Instagram pages. I have designed a few different cover images for the different activities and have been working on finding a good format for the posts. After this initial planning, I met with my supervisor to discuss which format will be most engaging, as well as how we can incentivize participation and spread the content. With this feedback in mind, I will put together some new designs and we should begin posting within the next week or so.

Internship duties aside, this was also another interesting week for learning more about South Africa itself. Our weekly culture workshop was focused on COVID-19’s effect on South Africa, and I was able to further compare these effects with those in America in my Buddy Chat the following day.

After this, we also talked a bit about our experiences with education. I shared that in my experience, African history was rarely highlighted or talked about beyond the context of the slave trade, and I was surprised to hear that she did not learn too much about Africa in school either, despite being born and raised on the continent itself. Her history lessons were more focused on world history (i.e. European/American history) and she did not begin to learn more about her ethnic history and culture until she began to explore it for herself, a sentiment I have also felt in regards to my own public education. Although it is not often focused upon, understanding and feeling connected to one’s own culture and history is just as important as knowing the dates and alliances of the World Wars, maybe even more so. In the United States, this lack of information often causes a disconnect between Black Americans and the country as a whole, and sometimes leads to fractures within the Black community itself. As recent events have highlighted, this division is still glaringly present and will remain so until the history we are taught and the culture we deem acceptable allows for a more inclusive assertion of identity and alliance.