Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cultural Exchange

We have been back at school for a week or two now. As always, things have been busy and the kids have had a few extra projects on the go.....
The Cultural Exchange by Little Red Farm, being one that has been plenty of fun and taken plenty of time!
The exchange aims to share information with a group of other families around the world  about the country in which we live. They get a feel for our country and culture, and we get a feel for theirs....
A different way of learning about other places and the added anticipation of receiving a package from another country makes it really exciting!

So here is what we are sending out to USA, UK, Spain and Canada.....

During read aloud time, K has been busy making these cute, colourful felt elephants to put into each pack. I love her creativity and choice of colours. When putting the packs together, she chose which elephant was going to which country.

My sweet sister suggested adding a recipe from SA, so we chose Bobotie, a good old South African traditional recipe. This afternoon K helped me to make up the spice packs to go with the recipes; one for the mince mixture and one for the yellow rice with raisins that is usually eaten with Bobotie.

We included a number of pamphlets about Cape Town in the packages so that the recipients would get a good idea of what is on offer in our beautiful city. Some of the pamphlets had colourful maps of the Western Cape and some had maps of South Africa.There were plenty of pictures of the Big 5 too. 
For the little kids, we added colouring pages of the Big 5, the Guinea Fowl (along with some feathers), a porcupine (with a quill) and lastly the Blue Crane, our national bird. I was thrilled to find some Jelly tots in the shape of  the Big 5, so each pack received one of those too.

We found enough Tiger's Eye stones amongst our collection to send each family a stone along with the following information: Southern Africa is often considered the “gemstone capital of the world” as almost half of the world’s gemstones are found in this part of the world. Tiger’s Eye is a variant of quartz. This gemstone can be found mainly in South Africa; however, Tiger’s Eye is also known to form in smaller quantities in Canada, China, Brazil, the USA, India and Burma.

Each family will be receiving a few rooibos tea bags along with the following info:
 Rooibos is Afrikaans for “red bush” and is a member of South Africa’s Fynbos “fine bush”.  Rooibos is grown only in a small area in the region of the Western Cape province of South Africa. In South Africa it is common to prepare rooibos tea in the same manner as black tea, and add milk and sugar to taste. Other methods include a slice of lemon and using honey instead of sugar to sweeten. We love our Rooibos Tea!

We added some copper coins with a blurb on our currency as well as some beautiful
 Zulu bead work with added info...
The KwaZulu/Natal province of South Africa is internationally renowned for its colourful Zulu bead work. Traditional color combinations and patterns can still be found, but modern Zulu bead work is evolving towards more contemporary styles. More than simply decorative weavings of intricate bead patterns, the bead work has often been used as a means of communication between genders, conveying messages of both courtship and warnings.
The visual art of this feminine craft relates directly in one way or another to attracting a mate and marriage. Males are the traditional clients and purchasers and receivers of these bead-works, and they wear them to show involvement with women whom they are courting.
The geometric figures incorporate color-coded symbols which portray certain values. The three ways of determining a design are through the combination and arrangement of colors, the use and nature of an object, and the deliberate breaking of rules which guide these factors. The Zulu bead work serves as both a social function, and also has political connotations, proudly displaying certain regional colours.

We sent information on the South African Flag and a sand art SA flag for some creative fun, as well as a little history on the Cape and a sea creature of their own to grow.

The 2 younger children each wrote a little note about themselves to add to the pack and then the work began...thankfully many hands make light work and we got the packages all ready for send off tomorrow. We know that one of our packages has already been mailed to us...we wait in anticipation and will be sure to let you know when it arrives!

Culture Swapper


  1. What a great package:) We are going to be visiting Africa this fall and we can't wait:)

  2. what a wonderful project, and you sure created a very varied package. I love those little elephants.

  3. How exciting. I am sure the recipients will be thrilled. I adore the elephants. You have really made an afford to make your packs special.

  4. Dear Wendy
    Thank you for posting this, please do tell how we can also get involved. My children love the nations! And this is a wonderful way to be more "in touch" with those countries they dream about.
    How do we get involved?
    You can mail me on

  5. Those elephants are just incredible!

    Celeste, you can sign up here:

  6. If anyone wants to sign up go here;
    It has been fun!


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