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A question for members in South Africa, or those experienced in travel there.

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Scuba_Dog:
I hope this is the right place to ask this.

Some close family members are taking a three week long trip to South Africa.  They will be visiting all sorts of places and the trip itself sounds amazing!

One thing they were told is that it's considered nice to bring candy for the children they will encounter on their travels. 

I wondered what the locals think of this and if it's truly an appreciated gesture or if it just causes issues after they leave?  Another suggestion was pencils, notepads or toothbrushes....  What about that?

iradney:
While candy is nice, it doesn't leave the same lasting impression as a toothbrush, hairbrush, or cuddly toy would. Which particular areas will they be travelling in?

Scuba_Dog:
It seems they will be all over.  Their itinerary is 13 pages long and they will be spending a little over three weeks.

We were just discussing whether or not bringing things like that is really appreciated, or if it can do more harm than good.

T'Mar of Vulcan:
I'm just not sure who they're expecting to give the sweets to? Children of host families where they'll be staying? Random children they come across in the street? If it's children of people they know it's fine. If it's street children they'd be better off giving money to an organization that helps street children.

Unless they have TV cameras following them they probably aren't going to be mobbed by kids. Most kids are in school until at least 1.30 p.m. If they go to rural areas kids might come up to them out of curiosity. But I doubt it.

Scuba_Dog:

--- Quote from: T'Mar of Vulcan on October 06, 2011, 09:53:48 AM ---I'm just not sure who they're expecting to give the sweets to? Children of host families where they'll be staying? Random children they come across in the street? If it's children of people they know it's fine. If it's street children they'd be better off giving money to an organization that helps street children.

Unless they have TV cameras following them they probably aren't going to be mobbed by kids. Most kids are in school until at least 1.30 p.m. If they go to rural areas kids might come up to them out of curiosity. But I doubt it.

--- End quote ---

I think that is what they wondered a bit also.  The notion to bring candy, etc. was given to them by the agency that puts together the trip. 

I think they will likely not do it.  Honestly, the suggestion felt odd to all of us, but I thought I would ask here and get some thoughts.

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