On the 7th of November of this year, we sent a representative of our group to participate in the Techonomy14 conference held at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in California. This is what she had to say about the trip:
"I was very honoured when I recieved news that I had been invited to participate in Techonomy's annual conference in California earlier this year. Apart from school, my group and I put many hours into ensuring that we had enough material to present at the conference, such as workshops, fundraisers and events, and with everyone scrambling about at school, my parents had their hands full with Visa applications and interviews, medical ensurance, media training, etc.
During the preparation period, we noticed that the trip was scheduled at the same time as my year end examinations, so the teachers put in much effort to recompile new exam papers, as well as tweak the timetable, so that I would be able to write the papers that I missed once I had returned. After much preparation from our end, I was all set, and departed from Cape Town International Airport of Friday 7th.
I finally arrived in San Franciso on November 9th, after 26 hours of flight time and a 7 hour stop in Dubai. With a little bit of trouble from authorities due to the fact that I was a minor traveling solo, I safely made it into the country.
Listening to the panels at the conference was very informative, and I felt very overwhelmed yet grateful to be sitting amongst such important people. On the 10th, I formed part of a panel, along with Leroy Mwasaru, David Sangeh, as well as our moderator, Kate Krontiris, called Rethinking International Development, where I shared my knowledge and experiences of Spirulina. After my panel, my work was done, and all that was left was to listen to the rest of the panels and enjoy what was left of an amazing trip.
After stuffing my face with cookie dough ice cream, deep fried Oreos and French fries, I had concluded that I'd had my fair share of the US, and bid the beautiful country farewell.
I had an amazing time in the States, met a lot of amazing people and learnt a lot from them. Firstly, I'd like to thank Global Minimum, as well as Innovate South Africa for selecting me for this trip and making this all possible. I'd also like to thank everyone who helped in the preparation for this trip, be it from South Africa or the US, as well as Techonomy for inviting me and allowing me to take part of their conference. Secondly, I'd like to thank our Principal, Gregory van Schalkwyk, for granting me permission to up and leave in the middle of exams, as well as for creating international connections, such as the one with the students from Israel who taught us about Spirulina, as without him, we wouldn't have had such an amazing project. Lastly, but most importantly, I'd like to thank Ijaaz Sayed and Zené Merton, who entered the InnovateSA competition with me and helped to make our project as brilliant as it is, as well as everyone else in our Spirulina group in both Cape Town and Israel."
On behalf of our group, we would like to thank each and every single person who assisted in making this trip possible. As much as we enjoyed watching Bonolo share her knowledge with everyone at the conference, we are glad that she is back to help us make our project even better than it already is, because as they say, the more the merrier. You too, can join in, in efforts to alleviate malnutrition worldwide, using Spirulina, to not only feed our children, but to feed our future.