January 24, 2016 - Michael Salinger

American International School of Johannesburg


You get to Africa through Jo-berg.

It seems almost no matter where one goes on the great continent of Africa one must do so by passing through Johannesburg South Africa. This is Sara and my third trip here and we have probably been through the Jo-berg airport a half dozen times but until now we have never entered the country or city.

This time through we decided to rectify that situation – especially since two of our favorite people/educators are now residents – Geoff Smith and Rhona Polonsky. We met these two years ago in Indonesia, then again in Ghana and since we are pushy poets but not complete boors we decided to crash their house (but warned them beforehand.)

Geoff is the principal and Rhona is the Middle School librarian at the American International School of Johannesburg so they were not going to let us get away with just exploiting their hospitality without paying a visit to the school. (We still got the best end of the deal.)


So after a few days of visiting museums and bike riding we spent two working with the students and teachers of AISJ.

We worked on writing refrains, extended metaphor, public speaking and getting a sturdy handle on the difference between subjective and objective statements in our writing – throw in an assembly where Sara and I performed our own work an we had jam packed two days!


We definitely made the right decision when we decided to see more than the inside of the South African Air lounge this time around and we can’t wait to come back!

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