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The intrepid Nebbeling family from The Netherlands spent a year in Hoedspruit a few years ago. Parents, Rob and Yolanda, took a year off so that their children Nick and Kayleigh could experience life in Africa and a unique school like Southern Cross. Their year in Hoedspruit provided many unforgettable memories.
Once back in The Netherlands, Rob floated the idea of an exchange between Southern Cross Schools (SCS) and a school called Lyceum De Oude Hoven (LDOH) in the Netherlands with their respective heads.
“It would be wonderful for other children from the Netherlands to get a little taste of what my own children experienced at Southern Cross and in Hoedspruit,” said Rob Nebbeling.
Both schools liked the idea and decided to give it trial run. The first two Dutch exchange students came to SCS from LDOH in 2012 accompanied by Rob and Yolanda. The Dutch visit to SCS was a great success but unfortunately the return exchange of SCS learners to The Netherlands never took place for a variety of reasons. Despite this little setback it was agreed to continue with the exchange programme in 2013.
A group of five learners and one teacher have made the trip to Hoedspruit this year. These learners have been hosted by SCS families and have attended school with the children of their host families. All their board and lodging costs have been covered by the host families. In return it is envisaged that the host learners of the SCS host families will travel to the Netherlands where they will attend school and be hosted by the LDOH host families later this year.
“It is hoped that by offering such exchanges, learners will get a taste of what it is like to live in the host country. They will get an idea of the culture of their hosts and hopefully also share some of their own culture with their hosts and host school,” said Ant de Boer, Headmaster of SCS of the programme.
The five Dutch learners who visited SCS from Friday 26 April 2013 to Thursday 9 May 2013 are: Ms Wendy Peursem, Ms Mariska de Ruiter, Ms Janneke van der Weerd, Mr Thomas Peters and Mr Daan Verburg and their teacher, Mrs Joke Vessies. The learners have been hosted by the Cowden, Razak and du Randt SCS families while Mrs Vessies has been hosted by Ant and Sue de Boer. Ryan Strong, an SCS boarder, has also been involved in the exchange and will be part of the group of SCS learners who visit LDOH later this year.
A very full programme was set up by our SCS host families, under the direction of Sharifa Razak, for the Dutch exchange students. This programme has included the panorama tour of the northern escarpment; visits to private reserves like Balule, Kapama and Ingwe Lala; a visit to Jessica the hippo; guided game walks; a visit to the Shangaan cultural village and a snake demonstration. All of this in addition to spending time in class with their hosts at SCS.
“It certainly has been a great pleasure having these young people from the Netherlands at SCS. We believe that the experience will enrich the learners’ understanding of the world and broaden their knowledge of others cultures,” commented Ant de Boer.
It is envisaged that the return exchange of SCS learners going to LDOH in The Netherlands will take place between 21 September and 6 October 2013. This is during the SCS holiday at the end of the third term.
A special word of thanks is extended to all our host families for making the exchange possible and to the Haussmann family for their hospitality and generosity while hosting the group at their lodge in Balule Private Reserve.
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