Ms Zou Hongmin, the Chinese Studies 2 lecturer, had the privilege of joining the French 3 Class on their annual excursion. As part of their Tourism module, this excursion gives the class the opportunity to explore a different side of the Eastern Cape and incorporate this into their studies by producing tourism materials. This year the class explored Port Alfred, namely the Halyards Hotel at the Royal Marina, and Mansfield Private Game Reserve. Ms Zou Hongmin stated that she had been to Port Alfred at the beginning of this year already but was so excited to see what more the small town had to offer. Since Ms Zou will be leaving Rhodes University at the end of this year, she embraced the opportunity to explore more of this beautiful country.
The first stop was at the Big Pineapple in Bathust, which is about 15 minutes drive from Port Alfred. This tourist attraction is the largest artificial pineapple in the world. Ms Zou shared an interesting fact about the Xuwen County in Guangdong Province in China and said that they also produce a large number of pineapples, and one can explore these fields. Seeing such an abundance of pineapples was an interesting experience for her! The next stop for the class trip was at the Halyards Hotel where the group boarded a small boat for a one-hour cruise on the Kowie River. This was Zou's first time on a boat and she really enjoyed this experience! Back home she had never gotten the opportunity to go on a boat cruise, so this part was definitely her favourite part of the trip; "it was so relaxing, she said, and I could see how beautiful the town was! I liked it a lot!”
Another exciting part of this excursion was the time spent at the game reserve. The group was welcomed with a delicious lunch prepared by Mansfield staff. The meal consisted of braai food and potato casseroles, and milk tart for dessert. These were all South African delicacies and Ms Zou stated that she enjoyed the food and has grown to enjoy different South African dishes. When Ms Zou first arrived in South Africa, she was homesick quite often, but as time passed and she got used to the people around her, this small corner of the world has really grown on her! The game reserve was beautiful, Ms Zou admired many animals on the game drive, and this was very enjoyable for all!
Ms Zou says that she can only speak kind words about her time in Makhanda; "I will miss it very much because it is such a beautiful environment, and the people were so friendly!"
Ms Zou will return to China at the end of this year to teach Chinese at either middle school, or high school level! This will also be a different experience for her, but she looks forward to the task! When asked about the possibility of visiting South Africa again, she laughed and said, "If the opportunity comes, I will definitely love to visit this special place again; it has definitely been a good time for me."
Source: By Espérance Mwepu