An Orientation to Joburg

March 27, 2023

The day after I’d had the opportunity to observe all the classrooms - however briefly, I was given a royal welcome with presentations from each class of children. From songs, poetry, recitations and amazing authentic African dances, it was spectacular. Then my host took me for lunch at the Mall of Africa.

Saturday I had an outing with five lovely ladies who are Montessori teachers and enthusiast. We talked and laughed for hours. 

On Sunday we went to drive through a large nearby township, where I was able to see the deep poverty many find themselves in. This was beyond the poverty I have seen before in the US and elsewhere. 

From there we went to see a beautiful mosque where they have several excellent middle eastern restaurants, then we proceeded to the wealthy part of Johannesburg and visited Nelson Mandela Square. 

It was quite an interesting and intense day. You know, one of the human tendencies Montessori identified is orientation - and while the compound where I live is spacious and lovely, I am very grateful to have had a quite an extensive orientation to what the locals call Joburg.

It is now Monday and I’m preparing to begin my cycle of teaching. I will have about 30 teachers from all levels of the school. 

More soon, 

Mary Ellen

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