Bella – I thought the hangout was really cool to have. I thought Erik and his friend were really nice and friendly and had through answers to our questions. I thought my classmates did a really good job asking questions. They had great questions that really made me think and I wouldn’t have thought of some of the questions they asked. A couple classmates asked about the government and about the environment there. Erik said that you can do anything there like you can do anything in Chicago and there are a lot of similarities and differences. They listen to some of the same music as us and watch the same movies. Also something that I thought was very interesting was that gay marriage is unacceptable there and here it’s legal and very open. Overall, I thought it was nice for the class to talk to them!
Jack – I’m glad that we all had the opportunity to talk to Erik and Melanie. This was a great opportunity that not a lot of people have. They had some great responses and some students had great questions to. I’m also glad that we got to learn about Swaziland, because I knew nothing about it besides where it was. I liked their response to my question; I asked what’s the general opinion that people in South Africa have of the United States. Erik said that they are very connected to the U.S. through media and products, he said then enjoy our movies and brands. Overall I feel like they said that their opinion is positive of us.
Colin – The conversation we had with Erik and Melanie gave great information and detail about South Africa and Swaziland. I wish we could have more time to talk to them because I learned so much it was nice hearing from someone who was exactly from Swaziland. We all had good questions I think more of us should have more to say but over all we all at least learn one thing new. Everyone was being respectful and gave them our full attention. But overall it was a nice time and I hope we can do this again sometime because personally I learned some good information about South Africa.
Quinn– While I did enjoy the conversation with Erik and Melanie, I oftentimes found it very hard to understand what they were saying. The connection was fuzzy, and that caused not only me, but I think the entire class, to lose some focus. Some of the questions gave us a lot of insight into the way South Africa, and Swaziland works, especially the questions regarding the government and the environment. I wish I had asked a question of my own, though I could not think of one in time. I enjoyed how Melanie and Erik often had different answers, because that allowed us to compare and contrast the difference of the two countries. Overall, I wish we had more time to discuss in the detail more about the culture, and the lives of the people who live there, because I believe that would give us an in depth understanding of how different the countries are from each other, and from the United States.
Luke– I enjoyed the Google hangout but I wish the class, as well as myself, was more engaged and asked thoughtful questions. The questions we did ask were deep and important to understanding the countries of Swaziland and South Africa. I thought it was interesting to have a viewpoint from the African perspective as well as the American perspective because we could get a good idea of how the 2 places compare and contrast. Melanie gave us an interesting perspective because she had lived in the region her entire life and Erik was from the United States but is very well educated on South Africa. The connection wasn’t good for most of the time and I think that this caused the class to become less interested. I would enjoy doing this again and I would prepare more in order to get the most out of it. The topics we talked about were interesting because the issues and society in South Africa are very similar to the United States.
Cameron– I enjoyed the discussion because learning about South Africa is way more interesting when we learn it from someone who lives there. Reading and just watching videos about it isn’t always as fun and cool as someone telling us real things that are happening there. I had some questions to ask but when they started talking about the environment I thought my questions weren’t as important and would seem off topic. The things we talked about are issues around the world and not just things that happen in America. The environmental issues impact the whole world; I didn’t think it was as much of an issue as it was in South Africa.
Olivia – I thought the Google hangout was really fun and interactive and it gave everyone a chance to ask a question or communicate with them if we wanted which most people did and had good questions to ask them and made it interesting because I was curious about those questions too. I think the video should’ve been clearer because it was hard to see them and the lighting was bad which was distracting and lost my attention at times.
Max – Overall, I really did enjoy the conversation we had with Erik and Melanie because I learned a lot about Johannesburg, and Swaziland. Coming into the conversation, I thought that Johannesburg and Chicago were vastly different, but to my surprise, they are quite similar. Also, I was surprised at the fact that Swaziland has a complete monarchy, which is very rare for today. Also, I never would’ve thought that South Africans and us Americans listen to the same music, and watch the same TV stations. What I’m not surprised at, though, is that the people from Swaziland and South Africa generally think that our current president is not a good president and world leader. I liked how our class was respectful, and how we all pretty much paid attention.