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Dear Family and Friends of St. George’s School | Universal Promise 2019 Participants:

We have designed this page to keep you up-to-date on the pre-trip preparation and the in-country events related to the March 2019 trip to South Africa. Included on this page are the following:

Daily blogs as written by pairs of students once in-country - coming in March 2019
The pre-trip meetings and agenda - already uploaded/see below
The South African daily schedule - already uploaded/see below


DAILY BLOGS ONCE IN-COUNTRY
Coming in March 2019


PRE-TRIP MEETINGS & AGENDA

PRE-TRIP MEETING # 1 | January 14
Thanks, Introductions, Questions on Notecards
Social Media Sites: Facebook (Universal Promise), Instagram (universalpromise), Twitter (unipromise)
The Volunteer Handbook – Distribute, Read, Initial
Daily Schedule and Completion of Interest Form
Additional Emphases

Rules
Communicate with family and friends only when back at the lodging.
Use your cell phone and social media only when back at the lodging.
Do not post any photographs, blogs, etc. without permission from Universal Promise.
Do not share personal contact information with those we serve.
Do not give away any personal items or money to those we serve.

Travel
You must lock your checked luggage. You may purchase TSA-approved locks on Amazon or AmazonSmile.
Get your seat assignments now, and pay attention to your luggage allowance.
Consider buying space-savers. Definitely buy an electrical adaptor and compression socks for the long flight.
Exchange currency in advance, as you may not have time to do it in Johannesburg.
You will need money only for personal expenditures, such as laundry, souvenirs, snacks, etc.
All your meals, your lodging, and the safari are covered.

Packing List
It will be summer in South Africa when you’re there. The South African March is similar to the United States July - so pack accordingly. Wear appropriate clothing. Do not bring expensive jewelry. There is laundry service at our lodging, so you may bring less and pay to get your clothes washed. Consider bringing a backpack, a bathing suit, a hat, a rain jacket, sneakers, sunscreen, workout clothes, and a power strip. We are also asking anyone who is willing to help carry over some items Universal Promise has collected to donate.

Answering of Questions on Notecards and Dismissal

PRE-TRIP MEETING # 2 | January 31
Introduction and Questions on Notecards
Distribution of Teaching Pairings, Educator Curricular Requests, and Individual Goals Chart
Each teaching pair will be required to design two lesson plans to carry out at Vusumzi Primary School.
Each pair will design these plans based on the educator requests.
Each pair will present the lesson plans at our next meeting.

We have invited March 2018 Trip alumni to share details about their experiences. Their comments will be guided by the following:
·       I wish I had/hadn’t packed…
·       I was surprised by…
·       I loved…
·       I wish I had known…
·       As you prepare to go on this trip, I suggest that you…

Answering of Questions on Notecards and Dismissal

PRE-TRIP MEETING # 3 | February 14

Introduction and Questions on Notecards
Presentation of Partner Lesson Plans Followed by Feedback from Other Volunteers
Answering of Questions on Notecards and Dismissal
See you in South Africa!


SOUTH AFRICAN DAILY SCHEDULE

Day 1 | March 9                                 
The group departs from the USA to travel to South Africa.

Day 2 | March 10      
The group arrives at Port Elizabeth International Airport in South Africa and is met and transferred by vehicle to Gerald’s Gift.

Day 3 | March 11
After breakfast, the group takes a guided tour of Nomathamsanqa and arrives at Vusumzi Primary School, where it will receive a Xhosa welcome from the students and meet the educators and staff. The group jumps right in and starts to teach art, computers, English, math, robotics, and science. Each day the group will have lunch together, process the day’s events thus far, and discuss the afternoon logistics before heading back to the classroom for final classes. Once classes wrap up for the day, the group will participate in an afternoon activity of their choice, including tutoring, Ilizwe Empowerment Crafting, cultural dance instruction, and reading clubs. Following these sessions, the group will return to Gerald’s Gift where the students will have some free time. During this break, we encourage the students to check in with loved ones. The group will then dine either on-site or at a local restaurant. Before heading to bed, they will discuss the day’s events and plan for the next day’s activities.

Days 4 – 7 | March 12 – 15                
These days will essentially follow the schedule as noted above under Day 3.

Day 8 | March 16                             
After breakfast, the group will head out for a morning safari at the Addo Elephant National Park. After lunch at the park, the group will visit Daniell’s Cheetah Project to see rescued cats, ranging from meerkats to lions! Following this visit, the group will return to Gerald’s Gift where the students will have some free time. During this break, we encourage the students to check in with loved ones. The group will then dine either on-site or at a local restaurant. Before heading to bed, they will discuss the day’s events and plan for the next day’s activities.

Day 9 | March 17                              
After breakfast, the group will spend the morning at a local church service to enhance its understand of the local culture. After church, the group will visit the seaport locale of Port Elizabeth, where they will browse at a local market that sells wares from across the continent, dip a toe in the Indian Ocean, and visit The Boardwalk, a tourism hotspot. Following this visit, the group will return to Gerald’s Gift where the students will have some free time. During this break, we encourage the students to check in with loved ones. The group will then dine either on-site or at a local restaurant. Before heading to bed, they will discuss the day’s events and plan for the next day’s activities.

Days 10 – 11 | March 18 – 19
After breakfast, the group will spend its days at Vusumzi Primary School and will continue to be fully engaged in academic classes. UP has structured “special” educational workshops for primary and secondary school students, including coding, drawing, painting, mathematics instruction, reading clubs, and robotics as well as some athletic activities, including netball and soccer.

Day 12 | March 20
The group will visit Vusumzi Primary School to say its goodbyes before being transferred to Port Elizabeth International Airport, from which they will travel to Johannesburg and then to their ultimate destinations.

Day 13 | March 21                             
The group members will arrive at their final destinations.