Saturday, July 28, 2012

At last...

I can't even begin to describe my excitement to come to Cape Town.  Although I was eager to get here, I am so happy we saved the best part of the trip for last.  It is breath-taking here.  I thought I had already fell in love with South Africa prior to arriving in Cape Town, but this definitely sealed the deal.  Our hotel is right on the beach with an amazing view of Table Mountain.  We got to see amazing scenery (on top of Table Mountain, Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope, Boulder Beach- Penguin Colony, etc.).  One of the most moving moments of this leg of the trip was our visit to Robben Island. When we were on the ferry boat to the  island, I tried imagining what it must have felt like for all the political prisoners that made this same trip.  Although now the island seems like a place you could vacation, the water is beautiful and the view is out of this world, but all the ghosts of the past still linger on the island's presence.  I couldn't believe that I was walking some of Mandela's foot steps on this island, and seeing his cell where he slept for so many years...there were some intense moments.  We ended our visit with a night out to an authentic African restaurant that was amazing.  Great food and live music (plus I some how got dragged to the front of the restaurant to perform in front of everyone, haha).  This was the perfect ending to our journey here in South Africa!

~Nicole Krause

Friday, July 20, 2012

Yesterday was the last day of the Global Leadership Conference. Check out the university's facebook page to see our final night at the gala!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Today wrapped up my cohort's theme of citizenship in a five minute video about what it means to each of us. I wanted to point out that as inclusive as citizenship can be, it is equally exclusive. Being a citizen does not mean being heard.


Mandela Day!!!

Happy Mandela Day everyone! Mandela day is conveniently on Nelson Mandela's birthday. Today he turns 94 years old. This South African holiday is meant to motivate people around the world to change the world for the better. Mandela was in prison in 27 years and was free for 67 years.  This year the holiday asks for everyone to dedicate 67 minutes of their day to help make the world a better place.

Today we had Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu on campus to help us celebrate. Tutu is very well known in South Africa as a humanitarian.  He has dedicated his life to fighting against AIDS, poverty, racism and was a leader against the apartheid. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.  He is 80 years old but is still as charismatic as ever. Tutu had the whole campus excited for Mandela Day and it was an honor to be in his presence on this special day.

What can be done in this special day?

Seeing such an inspirational person today and being able to listen to his thoughts about South Africa was amazing. I am so excited to see where we end today and tomorrow. I hope everyone has a GREAT DAY on Mandela Day :-). I think we should all do something as a group for this special day, any suggestions? -Emmy


I have had this in writing for several days and wanted to share this with the group... July 12 2012 : Inclusion & Exclusion  As we have had over a week in South Africa, I can start to say that I feel a connection with the people of South Africa. As we began our journey here I have felt much more of a tourist from our accommodations to our tourist travels within the city of Johannesburg and mostly when we went into the community of Tk in Soweto. I have shared this feeling with a few of you, of what was my initial thought when I entered this community. When we entered and we were able to see and share our time with the children I automatically though of all the commercials of hungry children showed on television, as people who are in poverty and in need of our help - the American help, as we are "better" than others. As we have moved from our tourist attractions with TK Tours and into Bloemfontein to the University of the Free State ( U.F.S.) having conversations and interactions not only with faculty members of this institution, other scholars from around the world but also with students from South Africa, has been a wonderful experience thus far.   I am most grateful with not only being able to interact with students from UFS who are from Bloemfontein but also from other parts of South Africa, hearing their perspectives of what it is to be black, colored and white Africans in South Africa. Yesterday, I was able to enjoy some time with a group of white Africans, and it was quite nice and enjoyable. I felt that they included me in their lives, however when they spoke among themselves in Africans I felt the exclusion from them. This though brought me to a comment that a non-white student from South Africa had told me that "the white Africans speak horrible English because they don't try to learn the English," I felt her frustration when she stated this. This comment has bought me to  a question I have bad before and during this trip, why does South Africa continue to let students choose to have courses in Africans rather than English, if it was the language of the oppressor.  Today, I have come to my reason of attending this summit and my interest in research. Professor Pulms opened the discussion to start talking about one of the major themes of this summit -race and how privilege and power work together. I question why we have not been talking about that and why we did not start our summit with her speech and topic of reconciliation and  truth? I want to start having these conversations in order to understand where the people and most importantly the youth of South Africa is and where it's moving towards? Is reconciliation where they are standing or do they need to study their past not only looking at historical information but how it has affected the people of South Africa. Well these are my thoughts for now and I wish that we will addresses some of these issues as the summit continues if not within panel discussions but at least in our small groups.  -Emmy

Monday, July 16, 2012

Transformational Leadership

Coming into the GLS I wanted to challenge myself to become a transformational leader. Since I have been at the University of the Free State, I have realized that my definition of a transformational leader was too restrictive and more traditional. For myself, I have realized that I can be a transformational leader in my own life by just standing up and speaking up. When one thinks of leadership, you think of a leader of a group or a movement. While this is one direction to go, I now realize I can still have the same goals as these kind of momentous leaders by solely maintaining a state of mind. Today we heard from an inspirational comedian, Pieter-Dirk Uys, and he made one statement that truly hit home for me. He said sensorship is not the worst thing, but rather self-censorship. For me, I need to challenge myself to stand up and speak up, and not sensor myself. The final notion that I have learned that has effected my idea of a transformational leader is the notion that one must maintain their identity as a citizen in order to be an effective transformational leader. Citizenship provides content and ethical direction for a leader, and many individuals forget they are a citizen once they become a leader.

~Nicole Krause