Our Friends in South Africa

In late September 1999 I met Deirdre Visser at the Millennium Minds Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

On December 3, 1967 Deirdre's father, Dr. Christiaan Barnard and a team of surgeons, replaced the diseased heart of a dying man with the healthy heart of a young woman who had just been in a car accident. He is known as the heart transplant pioneer.

Christiaan Barnard

Deirdre and her students at Herzlia Weizmann Primary School are writing to Delmar first, second and third grade computer students.

From Dylan:

Dear Mrs. Weeg

I was so excited when I received all the messages. My teacher is Mrs Visser and she met you when she was in CapeTown. Her father is Dr Christiaan Barnard the heart surgeon. She says she is sorry she has not replied to your children but We are now replying together. Mrs Visser types for me as I have Have just started the computer.

From Delmar students in grade 1

November 22, 1999

Dear Dylan and friends,

I am girl. My name is Chelsea. I am 8 years old. When I grow up I want to be a singer. My favorite singers are the Backstreet Boys. Who are your favorite singers?

Your friend,

Dylan replied:

thank you Chelsea for your reply My favourite music is rock and roll. My friend at school is Daniel Lee.

your friend,

Hi Dylan,

My best friend at school is Jessica. We like to read together at my house. My favorite book is "Little Bear." What do you and your friend Daniel like to do together?

Your friend,

November 22, 1999

Dear Dylan and friends,

I am girl. My name is Desirae. I am SIX years old. I want to a factory worker. I want to make food.

Your friend,

November 22, 1999

Dear Dylan WakeField and friends,

I am a girl. My name is Joy. I am 8 year old. I want to be a wrapper when I grow up. A wrapper sings wrap music.

Your friend,

November 22, 1999

Dear Dylan and friends,

I am a boy. My name is Thomas. I am 8 years old. When I grow up I want to be a wrestler. I watch wrestling on TV.

Your friend,

November 22, 1999

Dear Dylan and friends,

I am Boy. My name is De'vaughn. I am six years old. I want to be a doctor when I grow up. When somebody is sick I want to help them.

Your friend,

Peshi in South Africa wrote:

1. Who Am I? peshi weissman- 8 years old-girl - SeaPoint Cape Town South Africa - Herzlia Weizmann

2. What do I want to be when I am grown up? I am not sure yet

3. How do I want the world to be better when I am grown up? help the street people

4. What can I do now to make this happen? kind to people

Stacey at Delmar replied:

Hi Peshi,

My name is Stacey and I am 7 years old. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. We have a big turkey dinner at my Mom-Mom's house. My Pop-Pop, my daddy, my mommy and my 2 sisters and 1 brother will be there.

> I am not sure yet

I want to be a teacher when I grow up. Myabe you want to be a policewoman so you can help the street people?

> help the street people

Are there many street people where you live?

> kind to people

I think it is a good idea to kind to people.

Your friend,

Hi Dylan and Daniel,

You said:

my name is Daniel, I am Dylan's Friend at school and I want to write to all of you as well. I want to be a fireman when I grow up.We like to play Cards together. at school we wear school uniforms.

We don't wear uniforms at our school but at some of our public schools the kids are now wearing them if they want to. Tell us what your uniform looks like. We are not sure we like the idea of wearing a uniform.

School closes tomorrow for our 6 week summer holiday.

Wow! Is it summer in South Africa? Is it almost winter here. It is cold. Do you ever have snow? We do sometimes. We have 2 weeks vacation for Christmas.

Daniel is going to Durban to see his granny. Dylan is going to swim. goodbye DYLAN and DANIEL.

We hope you have fun with your granny and swimming. We will think about you while we are in school. Will you write to us again when you come back to school after vacation? We hope you will.

Your friends at Delmar,
Chelsea, Desirae, Kourtney, Joy , Thomas and De'Vaughn

Delmar third grade students wrote to Mrs. Visser

  1. Ebony - Dear Mrs. Visser, You have a famous father. How did your father find the new heart? Your friend, Ebony

    "Dear Ebony, the new heart my father put in was a heart from a young girl who died in a car accident. Hugs, Mrs Visser

  2. Joshua - Dear Mrs. Visser, Where did your father get the heart? Where does he live now? Do you like being a doctor's duaghter? Will he write to us? Your friend, joshua S.

    Dear Joshua, I told Ebony where the heart came from , ask her to tell her. Yes I do enjoy being a doctors daughter but my dad is not often at home and we miss him. greetings, Mrs Visser

  3. Keith - Dear Mrs. Visser, Where did your father get the heart? How hard do you have to study to be a heart doctor? Your friend, Keith

    Dear Keith, my dad studied many years to become a heart surgeon and he also studied in Minneapolis Minnesota in America. Love, Mrs Visser

  4. Ravon - Dear Mrs. Visser, Where did he get the heat from? How odes it feel to be the daughter of a famous doctor? Did he show you how the heart works? Will he write to us? Your friend, Ravon

  5. Brittani - Dear Mrs. Visser, You have a famous dad. Where does your dad live now? Does he still do heart transplants? How does it feel to have a dad who is so famous? We asked Mrs. Weeg if she can feel it when her pacemaker makes her heart beat. Your friend, Brittani

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Patricia A. Weeg
author: Kids@work: Math in the Cyberzone

page updated January 21, 2000