E-mail Exchanges


Read two of the e-mails that students from Jersey City, NJ received from some fellow student participants in South Africa.
"When my students knew that they'd be sending e-mail to students in South Africa, Japan and England as part of the Global Water Sample Project at P.S. 22, I had a problem I've never encountered before - they were writing too much!  They felt that people from other countries would be reading their words and they wanted to communicate extensively with them.  They were also much more careful about grammar and spelling, since many of our partners were not native English speakers."  Connie Rogers
Organization: Pinelands High School, Cape Town 
To: Jbaron@Interport.Net 
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 09:48:33 GMT+0200 
Subject: South African Culture 

Hi, my name is Shanco Wilson, I attend Pinelands High School in Cape Town, South Africa the southern most point of Africa. 

Many people think that we are still living in the stone age but they are wrong because if we were I would not be writing to you. We are quite modern and we live in normal houses and do normal things just like the rest of the world not like the broad picture of Africa that many people see. I think that we in South Africa are more modern than the other countries. There is still a bit of violence in South Africa as we have just come from our first democratic election. There are tribes who are holding onto their culture and such as the Zulu and the Xhosa. 

All the grade 8 students have just finished a computer/history and library project. We could choose different topics such as snakes, animals, medicine and more. In this project we had to use many books and we really had to work on it because our teacher (Ms.P.Miller) wanted it to look good and to be flawless. My topic was on snakes and I really enjoyed it because I found out many things about snake which I never knew before.
Organization: The Wykeham Collegiate 
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 08:38:44 GMT+0200 
Subject: Sawubona from South Africa 

Dear Joshua Baron 

We are two black students from South Africa who would like to tell you about the Zulu culture.Our names are Zanele and Mbali We live in the province of Kwa- Zulu Natal in the city of Pietermaritzburg. We go to school at The Wykeham Collegiate and we are in std 4 (grade 6). We go to an English school but at home we speak zulu. 

The first thing in the zulu custom is the clothing. Men, women and children normally wear traditional clothes. The men's traditional clothes are a bheshu made out of cow's skin with sandles which are called imbadada. The bheshu goes around the waist of the man. Now we come to the womans 
clothing.  Woman who are not married go topless but woman who are married have to wear a top to show they are married. Women also wear a long dress and a hat. Too the children it depends weather they are a boy or a girl. Girls wear short skirts and no tops but boys wear bhesus. 

At home the woman and the children have to respect the man of the house (father). The man has many honours but also has to be responsible. In the zulu custom the man has to feed the family. 

On a special occasion woman are hard at work in the kitchen. girls over the age of thirteen are reffered to as woman so they also have help in the kitchen. Woman cook papa, salads and zulu beer. While the men braai meat outside. Younger kids under the age of 13 play outside. Usaully a lot of guests come and they are entertained by a litle music. When the meal is ready the woman dish up a lots of plates of food and then they are served. After that men drink zulu beer. Special occasions are like weddings, Christmas, birthdays, braais and Easter. 

Well these are our customs and we are proud of them. 

From Mbali and Zanele 

Copyright   2000 Stevens Institute of Technology Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education, All Rights Reserved