The 2009 trip was the fifth installment of the Africa study abroad program and the first time it was offered in the full semester. As such, the time traveling and course offerings both expanded. Instead of the usual two classes of winter term, four classes were offered on the semester long trip. They included courses from the departments of English, History, Religion and Sociology. The History course looked at Apartheid and Zulu identity issues. English examined writers from Southern Africa and included two visits with local authors (one in South Africa, one in Namibia) to discuss assigned readings. Religion examined independent African Churchs (especially the Shembe religion) and the role of Hinduism and Islam in the Durban area. Finally, the Sociology class focused on global health issues with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. We met with various politicians, academics, activists and everyday people.
The group participated in classes for two weeks on campus in January before traveling for ten weeks in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. We spend an additional three weeks on campus in classes at the conclusion of the program.
Our three weeks in Namibia returned to Windhoek, the capital city and Swakopmund, a coastal resort area and also ventured north to Khorixas for rural homestays where students stayed with families in this remote northern region. This resulted in two homestays this trip. One urban (in Windhoek) one rural (in Khorixas). We also continued our volunteering with the Megameno Orphanage in Katatura, Windhoek.
The time in South Africa involved three weeks of travel from Capetown up to Durban before venturing off to Pietermaritzburg, Giant's Castle, Ulundi and ending in Johannesburg. This year we expanded the time in Botswana to almost three weeks and increased the academic programming. We began in Ghanzi with an investigation of bushmen culture (including their healing rituals), traveled up to Tsodilo Hills to explore rock art, visited Seronga a remote village across the Okavango delta for a day out on mokoro boats and spent a few days in the national parks (e.g. Moremi and Khama Rhino Sanctuary) doing some animal viewing.