The children relished the chance to get out the classroom and visit a nearby river. Although close to the catchment, this river was already severely impacted by both people and their cattle. In this area, like many parts of South Africa, cattle is a sign of wealth. The more cattle you have, the wealthier you are assumed to be. Status ranks high in this part of the world, particulary if you are trying to fetch yourself a wife.
Even though many people in the areas have come to appreciate what a erosive affect the cattle are having in this area, culture and tradition has resisted change. After looking at how the river health affects the people and their environment, the children were more open to discussing new ideas to try and limit the pressure on the environment.
One boy even caught a crab, and although he was initially frighten, he carefully released the crab back into the river to be with his wife and little crab babies. It is so rewarding to see how perceptions can change whe children are alowed to express themselves and their opinions in a non-threatening open discussion.