A group of school children from Okkie Smuts primary school in Stanford were fortunate enough to spend Friday and Saterday at Fynbos Retreat. Dibanisa is an environmental education program jointly run by the Grootbos Foundation and Football foundation of South Africa.
The weekend at Fynbos Retreat was used to tie together the many lessons that the children have learnt with the Dibanisa team throughout the programme. The children were entertained by the Football Foundation coaches and volunteers, by playing a variety of games. Just before supper, we had a few special visitors chong qi you yong chi!
Christoff Longland, who is a guide at Grootbos, joined the children to talk to have an interactive discussion about snakes. He discussed the different kind of snakes found in the area and touched on other animals such as the honey badger and mongoose. Christoff also showed the children a mole snake, much to their delight and horror! They had the opportunity to have a closer look at, as well as to touch, the snake!water slides
After supper, the children participated in a solitaire activity. The children were taken to an open field and placed a couple of meters apart. The object of the activity was so that each child could consider what they had learnt and look at the stars. The children who wanted to, were given the opportunity to join Susan and Rozier for a night walk. The Okkie Smuts kids concluded the evening with a few songs. There weren’t many dry eyes amongst the adults!
After breakfast and games of soccer and volleyball, everyone went for a short hike. Before we set off, Rozier discussed the principles of hiking with the children. Rozier showed the children the spring which feeds the dam. We had a look at three different ecosystems: wetland, Milkwood Forest and mountain fynbos.
Unfortunately, we had to pack up and go home! We would all have loved to stay and spend some more time together!
We would like to thank Susan Lochner from Green Futures, Annamarie Steensma from the school, Natasha Bredekamp from the Football Foundation and her volunteers Amy, Britta, Tilman and Edith. A big ‘thank you’ goes to Rozier for his hospitality!
And last but not least, we would like to thank the Okkie Smuts kids for their participation and help! You guys were awesome and we hope to see you again!