The 8,080 Mile Journey


Jared Bowman, Staff Writer

Teshi Moeng is currently a student at State High who recently moved here from South Africa.


Q: What was the hardest part about leaving South Africa to come to America?


A: Of course leaving a life I had built in South Africa. I was leaving my family behind and friends which I had grown up with. I was also leaving my home. Where I felt most comfortable.


Q: Were you excited to come to America?


A: I was. It was my choice to come here. It would be a new experience, a new adventure.


Q: Did you leave behind any traditions in Africa?


A: Well, in South Africa we have a concept called Ubuntu. Which basically means you are because of another, it’s a moral code most South Africans live by. I could sit at a bus stop and talk to anybody and it would seem as if we’ve known each other forever. Black South Africans don’t believe in small events, funerals or weddings could have hundreds of people in attendance. Siblings, doctors, shopkeepers, former employers or employees could pay respects or congratulate newlyweds. Not much of that here in America.


Q: How does State College Area School District compare to your old school district?


A: There’s no uniforms for one thing. Its easier to get an education here. In South Africa there are strict school rules on hair length, uniform, hair colour, piercings, tattoos, facial hair and makeup. Back home even if you’re attending a public school you have to pay tuition fees and taxes. My tuition for the year would be around $3000 excluding transportation to school, sporting kits, field trips, lunches, stationery, textbooks and certain events such as balls or talent shows this bump up the price to around $4000-$5000.


Q: Do you enjoy going downtown with your friends?


A: Yes I do, although the downtown I’m used to is enormous in size compared downtown state college as I had previously lived in Johannesburg.


Q: What’s the biggest difference between America and South Africa?


A: Africans are a lot more friendly. And when I refer to Africans I mean anybody born in Africa regardless of race, nationality, religion or heritage. South Africa is one of the colder African countries but it is boiling hot in comparison to Pennsylvania.


Q: Did you play any sports in South Africa, and if so will you continue with them here?


A: I was a part of the school’s rugby team and an independant club rugby team. I am currently involved in state high’s boys rugby team.