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April 24, 2014

Out of Africa, on to college-Mayo teen shares his experience

Mayo — In January, 19-year-old Logan Luse of Mayo joined 79 other Future Farmers of America (FFA) state officers from 23 states around the country for a 10-day trip to South Africa as part of the 2014 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers (ILSSO). The team learned the culture, explored the countryside and gained knowledge of agricultural practices in South Africa. The trip was made possible by corporate sponsors Bunge North America and John Deere.

“With a lot of help from the community, and especially the Rotary Club of Mayo, I was able to go to South Africa,” said Luse, who was clearly humbled by the opportunity extended to him.

Culture

The population in South Africa is over 50 million people, Luse said. In comparison, the population of Florida is between 19-20 million.

“Here in America we have one Capitol building in Washington, D.C.,” Luse said. “In South Africa they have three.”

They are located in Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein, he said. There are also 11 official languages.

Luse said they speak a lot of English in South Africa, especially in the business sector, but other languages include Afrikaans and Zulu.

“Once Nelson Mandela came into office, he didn’t want to make one race better than the other,” Luse explained. “They decided to have 11 official languages to make everyone equal, which is a pretty good thought, but once you get into business or speaking with each other, it gets a little difficult.”

As for travel, they drive on the other side of the road, Luse said.

“Yes, I was able to drive and luckily I knew how to drive a stick shift,” he said. “I was the only one in our group who got to drive. It was pretty cool to scratch it off my bucket list...to drive in another country.”

For fun and entertainment, Luse said the people enjoy dancing, including the children.

“They don't go to the movies and they don't go bowling because they don't have the money,” he said, after which he offered a short video of a tribal dance.

After watching one of the dances, Luse asked a small child if he could take his photograph and the child complied.

“How would you think he would take a picture?” Luse rhetorically asked. “Just like standing there? No, he threw us some deuces! It was really cool to actually see that.”

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