On August 3, as part of my recent tour of southern Africa with Overseas Adventure Travel, our group made a visit to Jabulani village, just outside of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
We were welcomed warmly by the headmistress and founder of the school. Several students came to school on the Saturday of our visit to perform songs and dance for us. Their poise in front of so many strangers was truly impressive. After introductions and the student’s performances, we were asked if we wanted to sing something for the students. We managed to get through one verse of “This Land is Your Land” but I’m afraid our performance didn’t match theirs in quality. There was a bit of eye-rolling on the part of the students as they listened.
Grand Circle Foundation, the non-profit entity of Grand Circle Tours and Overseas Adventure Travel, has recently added the primary and secondary schools at Jabulani to their list of sponsored schools. The list of the school’s needs is great – from basic school supplies to housing for the teachers – and I hope they will be met in the next few years by donations to the school through Grand Circle foundation. Meanwhile, the children are obviously proud of their school and were eager to talk with us, share their educational aspirations, and answer our questions as they took us on a tour.
The school tour was followed by a visit to the village. We were welcomed into one of the traditional houses, listened to a short talk by the village headman, and then invited to visit with the villagers and take photos. Normally I’m not much of a ‘people-photographer” but I was inspired by the warm welcome by the villagers and students to try to capture some portraits from Jabulani.