SDJA students discuss their South African connections

By Dalia Benson ’19

At the tip of the African continent lies the beautiful Republic of South Africa. After World War II, many South Africans left home and ventured to San Diego and several of them are students at San Diego Jewish Academy. South African student Kelsey Grollman (‘21) states, “most of my memories are of my house, my family, my friends, and my school.” Despite South Africa’s beautiful landscape and culture, there are some flaws to the nation. Grollman provides an example, stating, “I enjoy living in San Diego because it is much safer. I like feeling safe and secure going to bed at night. I also like being able to go out with friends, without my parents by my side.” Despite the fact that there are many South African students at SDJA, most students know little to nothing about this beautiful country.

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 3.08.07 PMViews from the Peak of Table Mountain. Photo: Dalia Benson (‘19)

When asked about South Africa, juniors Alan Esses (‘19) and Joshua Barforough (‘19), say that the country makes them think of poverty, a corrupt government, and the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Alan continues, stating “I think that South Africa has beautiful landscapes and amazing Safari.”

Junior Moriah Seymann (‘19) says, “A few years ago I did not know much about South Africa, I just associated the African continent with poverty. I thought of starving kids. I now know more people from South Africa, I also have seen pictures of the streets and homes and it does not look the way I imagined.” she continues, “I also know that at traffic lights people wash your car windows for money, it seems to be a place filled with a unique, rare culture.”

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 3.08.26 PMThe Beauty of Blyde River Canyon. Photo: Dalia Benson (‘19)

Maya Sharf (‘19) thinks “people live in huts and that there are really cool animals [in South Africa.]” she continues adding, “I am also sure that there is great nature and wildlife to see over there.” Josh Nachassi (‘19) says, “South Africans are genuinely nice people, they also have really awesome accents.”

Do you have a pet lion? Did you live in a house? Why are you white? Do you speak the click language? These are the questions several South Africa students were asked when they first moved to San Diego. “They are just asked out of curiosity, it is actually kind of funny and fun to answer them,” states freshman Geena Benson (‘21).

Despite some of the stereotypical images SDJA students associate with South Africa, what they don’t see are the beautiful mountain ranges, the great Indian and Atlantic coast line that stretches for 1,600 miles, and the amazing culture and tradition.

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