by Katherine Richardson
Chadwick welcomed a few new faces to campus during the week of Apr. 24.
A group of 18 girls from Cape Town, South Africa will be visiting and touring Los Angeles for eight days, during their two-week excursion of America.
The girls come from St. Cyprians, an all-girls independent school in Cape Town. One of the founding Round Square Schools, it prides itself in its association with the organization, sending students all around the world on exchange and trips.
The visit was made possible through the efforts of teacher Siri Fiske, along with a few other teachers and administrators. Two years ago, Fiske and a group of students visited India for a Round Square Conference. They met a group from St. Cyrpians in Cape Town and made plans to exchange students between the schools.
Fiske said, “I brought 16 Chadwick middle schoolers and some parents to Cape Town for three weeks. We went on safari tours, worked in an orphanage, cleared non-native vegetation, visited Nelson Mandela’s jail cell and spent time at St. Cyprian’s School. This year they are coming to visit us.”
Before arriving at Chadwick, the group visited different sites and landmarks throughout the United States. First, they flew from Cape Town to Las Vegas. Casey Rautenbach, a student that will be on the trip, said, “It was a long journey, some 32 hours from when we left Cape Town airport until we got to Las Vegas, but worth it no doubt.”
After their long travel hours, they will visit multiple attractions and landmarks around Las Vegas and Los Angeles including the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, and Joshua Tree. They will also visit a Navajo Reserve and get a tour from a Navajo elder.
While in Los Angeles, the eighteen girls, between seventh and ninth grades, will be hosted by different families from Chadwick. The Kathuria, Williams, Sim, Moskowitz, George, McEvilly, Richardson, Davis, and Bair families will be hosting two students each.
During their time with the Chadwick community, they will be visiting Universal Studios, Disneyland, downtown Los Angeles, and will also take a kayak tour with Marine Biology teacher Amy Hill.
The girls will also attend classes at Chadwick for a few days to see what Chadwick life is like. Fiske said, “While here they will get a glimpse of the life of a Chadwick student and visit some of our famous sites. My hope is that we are setting up a relationship with this particular school that we can cultivate and perhaps invent a new model of exchange trips for the Round Square organization.”
The students are looking forward to the rest of their trip. Rautenbach said, “I have dreamt of seeing LA and Hollywood all my life [because] I love acting, and Disneyland is a close second.”
Cassandra Grimbly, another girl on the trip, said, “I am most excited about experiencing another school and I can’t wait to meet [everyone].”