I spent this past week at Eduland, a unique learning program and the only one of its kind in South Africa. The campus is located on a lovely, lovely farm nestled in the magnificent Magaliesberg Mountains near Rustenburg. This is the same area of South Africa that we've had several of our training sessions.
Eduland offers a week course specializing in "simulated" working conditions like those encountered in the "real world." For example, at my college we have a hospitality program and an electrical engineering program. At Eduland, they worked for hospitality electrical "companies" for the week and encountered "real life" scenarios. In addition to hospitality and electrical engineering, we had a finance and tourism "company" to make four simulated companies in all.
It was quite a week: at Eduland, our own "country," we experienced (all simulated) a devastating fire, the ups and downs of the stock market, injuries, tours, having businesses closed and businesses experiencing the loss of services for lack of payment, etc.
The easiest way to explain it is: I felt like I was in a living Monopoly game. :-)
We were fed wonderfully all week, soaked up the spendor of the setting (gorgeous, gorgeous), and "worked" long hours, but it was great fun.
As always, I mostly enjoyed exploring and staring at plants and birds. Some members of the staff were quite knowledgeable and shared valuable information on regional flora and fauna--and invited me back to hike and go kloofing! :-)
Kloofing is the South African version of canyoning. I think I'm a bit old (and like my bones) for canyoning, but it sounds like great fun!
I must admit that although I originally applied for this gig (several Peace Corps volunteers jumped at the chance for applying for a special position on a "working farm") it wouldn't have been a good fit for me. Although it's exciting to see the kids acting out life in the business realm, I've personally tried the business realm (in the real world!) and found it a bad fit. I was reminded of this when, after a few days working with the "finance company," I began having nightmares! Years ago, when I left the business world of publishing, I was having nightmares every night!
I had a great time with fellow volunteers Jeff and Anne and wish we had had more time for "playing." The Eduland staff was wonderful too!
For more pics of my time at Eduland, see my Facebook page (you need not be a Facebook member to see the photos): http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=64589&id=1239371142&l=b464f56521