How to Visit Robben Island: Your Ultimate Guide

To visit Robben Island, you can take a ferry from cape town’s v&a waterfront, where tours are available daily. This historic island is known for its former prison that housed nelson Mandela during the apartheid era.

Robben island offers guided tours, providing visitors with insights into South Africa’s history and the struggle against apartheid. It is a popular tourist attraction that offers a unique and educational experience. The tour includes a visit to the prison cells, the limestone quarry where prisoners worked, and a chance to interact with former political prisoners.

It is advisable to book your tickets in advance as the tours can be quite busy, especially during peak tourist seasons. Remember to bring valid identification and arrive in a timely manner to catch the ferry.

Robben island

Robben Island: An Iconic South African Landmark

Discover the iconic Robben island, a must-visit landmark in South Africa. Experience its rich history on a guided tour and learn about its significance during apartheid. Plan your trip to this historical site for an unforgettable experience.

Robben island holds incredible significance in South Africa’s history. This iconic island, located off the coast of cape town, has a rich cultural and historical heritage that attracts visitors from all over the world. Let’s explore the island’s importance in more detail:

Overview Of Robben Island’S Significance In South Africa’S History

A symbol of resistance: Robben island served as a political prison during apartheid, where many anti-apartheid activists, including nelson mandela, were imprisoned. It stands as a symbol of the struggle against oppression and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Unesco world heritage site: In recognition of its historical importance, robben island was designated as a unesco world heritage site in 1999. Its preservation is essential for educating future generations about the injustices of apartheid and the fight for freedom.

The tale of triumph: Today, Robben island stands as a symbol of triumph over adversity. It is a reminder that through courage and determination, positive change is possible. By visiting this historical landmark, you can immerse yourself in the stories of those who fought for justice and equality.

Exploring The Island’S Cultural And Historical Importance

Prison tour: Embark on a guided tour of the prison complex, led by former political prisoners themselves. Gain insight into their daily lives, the conditions they endured, and their unwavering commitment to the struggle against apartheid.

The mandela gateway: Begin your journey to robben island at the mandela gateway in cape town’s vibrant v&a waterfront. This visitor’s center showcases exhibits that provide a comprehensive overview of the island’s history, setting the stage for an immersive experience ahead.

Natural wonders: Beyond its historical significance, robben island is home to diverse flora and fauna. Take a walk along the island’s scenic trails, spot seabirds, and appreciate the unique ecosystems that thrive in this protected environment.

The robert sobukwe house: Learn about the life and legacy of robert sobukwe, one of south africa’s most prominent anti-apartheid activists. Visit his former residence, which now serves as a museum, and gain insight into his contribution to the struggle for freedom.

Robben island is more than just a tourist attraction; it is a place of reflection and remembrance. By visiting this iconic South African landmark, you can honor the courage and sacrifices of those who fought for justice and equality. Immerse yourself in the historical significance of Robben island, and let its stories inspire and educate you about the enduring power of human spirit.

Getting Ready For Your Visit

Before visiting robben island, make sure to plan ahead, book your tickets online, arrive early for the ferry, and bring essential items like sunscreen and comfortable shoes. Familiarize yourself with the island’s history, and be prepared for a meaningful and educational experience.

Planning your trip to Robben island:

  • Research and familiarize yourself with the history and significance of robben island.
  • Decide on the duration of your visit and whether you’d like to take a guided tour or explore the island independently.
  • Check the availability of ferry tickets and book them in advance to secure your spot.

Booking your ferry tickets in advance:

  • Visit the official robben island museum website to book your ferry tickets.
  • Choose the date and time that suits your schedule and the type of tour you prefer.
  • Ensure you arrive at the v&a waterfront departure point at least 30 minutes before your scheduled departure.

Understanding the weather conditions and best time to visit:

  • Robben island is primarily visited during the summer months of november to february when the weather is most favorable.
  • Be aware that tours to the island are weather-dependent, and adverse weather conditions may result in cancellations or delays.
  • Check the weather forecast and keep an eye on any updates from the robben island museum.

What to pack for your visit to the island:

  • Dress comfortably and wear suitable walking shoes as you will be doing a fair amount of walking during your visit.
  • Apply sunscreen and bring sunglasses, a hat, and protective clothing to shield yourself from the sun.
  • Pack a light jacket or sweater, as the weather can change unexpectedly, especially during colder months.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the tour.
  • Don’t forget to take your camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking views and share your experience.

Helpful tips for a comfortable experience:

  • Arrive at the departure point early to allow time for check-in procedures and to avoid any last-minute rush.
  • Bring some snacks or a light meal, as there are no food facilities available on the island.
  • Be respectful of the island’s significance and follow instructions provided by the guides or staff members.
  • Take note of the tour schedule and be punctual when moving from one location to another.
  • Be prepared for the emotional impact of hearing stories of political prisoners and their struggles during the apartheid era.

Remember, getting ready for your visit to robben island requires some planning and preparation. By booking your ferry tickets in advance, understanding the weather conditions, and packing accordingly, you can ensure a comfortable and meaningful experience on this historically significant island.

Arriving At Robben Island

Embark on a captivating journey to robben island and immerse yourself in its powerful history. Discover how to visit this iconic destination and experience the significance of nelson mandela’s imprisonment firsthand.

Boarding The Ferry From Cape Town’s Waterfront

  • The first step in visiting robben island is boarding the ferry from cape town’s waterfront. Here’s what you can expect:
  • Arrive at the designated departure point and check-in for your ferry ride.
  • Join the queue and present your tickets to the friendly staff members.
  • Once onboard, find a comfortable spot to enjoy the scenic views on your journey to robben island.

Taking In The Scenic Views During The Ferry Ride

  • As you set sail towards robben island, make sure to take in the breathtaking views around you:
  • Marvel at the stunning cape town skyline, with table mountain and the iconic v&a waterfront serving as the backdrop.
  • Enjoy the refreshing sea breeze and the sparkling waters of the atlantic ocean.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for local marine life, such as dolphins, seals, and various seabirds that may accompany your journey.

The Importance Of The Robben Island Museum

Exploring Robben island is not only a memorable experience but also an opportunity to learn about its historical significance:

  • The robben island museum plays a crucial role in preserving and sharing the island’s stories.
  • Discover the island’s painful past as a political prison during apartheid and gain insight into south africa’s journey towards democracy.
  • Engage with informative exhibits, captivating displays, and powerful testimonials that highlight the resilience of the human spirit.

Welcoming And Informative Tour Guides On The Island

Upon arrival at Robben island, you will be greeted by knowledgeable and friendly tour guides who will accompany you throughout your visit:

  • These experienced guides will provide detailed explanations, personal accounts, and historical context during the tour.
  • Feel free to ask them any questions or seek further clarification as they are passionate about sharing their in-depth knowledge of the island’s history.
  • Their narratives will shed light on the lives of prisoners, their struggles, and the significance of robben island in the context of south africa’s fight for freedom.

Remember to dress comfortably, wear sunscreen, and carry a hat to protect yourself from the sun during the tour. Keep your camera ready to capture the awe-inspiring scenery and the profound stories that unfold on this significant island. Enjoy your visit to Robben island!

Discovering The History And Heritage

Explore the rich history and cultural heritage of robben island with a visit that engages and educates. Discover firsthand the significance of this iconic landmark and its role in south africa’s past while enjoying a guided tour that brings the stories to life.

Robben island, located off the coast of cape town in south africa, holds significant historical and cultural importance. When visiting this iconic destination, you will have the opportunity to explore its rich history and heritage. Here are some highlights to look forward to:

Exploring The Nelson Mandela Gateway And Prison Precinct

  • Walk through the nelson mandela gateway, the starting point of your robben island journey, and immerse yourself in the stories of courage and resilience that echo throughout.
  • Experience a guided tour through the prison precinct, where you will see the locations that held political prisoners during south africa’s apartheid era.
  • Listen to the knowledgeable guides as they share first-hand accounts and enlightening anecdotes.

Visiting The Maximum Security Prison And Cell 5

  • Enter the maximum security prison, where you will gain a glimpse into the harsh conditions faced by political prisoners.
  • Encounter cell 5, the very cell where nelson mandela spent the majority of his 18-year incarceration. Witness the stark reality and reflect on the strength shown by those who fought for freedom.

Learning About The Daily Life Of Political Prisoners

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the daily routines, struggles, and triumphs of political prisoners through the insightful narratives provided by former inmates.
  • Discover how prisoners used their time to educate themselves, engage in clandestine activities, and organize resistance against the oppressive regime.

Understanding The Racial Segregation And Apartheid Era

  • Delve into the dark history of racial segregation under apartheid, allowing yourself to truly comprehend the extent of the injustice faced by non-white south africans.
  • Reflect on the enduring impact of this era and the ongoing efforts made towards reconciliation and equality.

Discovering The Robben Island Museum Exhibitions

  • Engage with the thought-provoking and educational exhibitions at the robben island museum, offering a comprehensive overview of the island’s history.
  • Explore the displays on various aspects, including political struggle, prison life, and the experiences of those who fought to dismantle apartheid.

Your visit to Robben island promises a remarkable journey filled with poignant stories and a deep appreciation for the resiliency of the human spirit. Embark on this historical adventure to honor those who sacrificed so much and continue to inspire generations to come.

Witnessing Nelson Mandela’S Impact

Discover the impact of nelson mandela by visiting robben island, where he was imprisoned for 18 years. Experience his powerful story through guided tours, exploring the prison cells and hearing the inspiring tales of resilience. Plan your visit today and witness history firsthand.

Uncovering Nelson Mandela’S Journey On Robben Island

The journey of nelson Mandela on Robben island holds great historical significance. Here are some key aspects to uncover:

A symbol of resistance and liberation: Robben island served as a prominent symbol of resistance to apartheid and the struggle for freedom in south africa. It was here that nelson mandela and other political prisoners fought against oppression and injustice.

The learning center of leadership: Mandela’s time on robben island was a crucial period in his life, shaping him into an influential leader. The prison became a learning center for him, where he honed his political outlook, developed a vision for a democratic south africa, and fostered unity among fellow prisoners.

Isolation and resilience: Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison on robben island. The conditions were harsh, and inmates faced extreme isolation and physical labor. However, their resilience and determination to fight for justice prevailed, setting an example for future generations.

The Significance Of Mandela’S Prison Cell And His Transformation

Nelson Mandela’s prison cell serves as a tangible symbol of his resilience and transformation. Here’s why it holds immense significance:

The humble space that inspired greatness: Mandela’s prison cell was small and stark, measuring only 2.4 meters by 2.1 meters. Within its confines, mandela spent numerous years, amplifying the significance of the space and its association with his fight against apartheid.

A sanctuary for reflection and renewal: Despite the challenging circumstances, mandela used his cell as a place for reflection, education, and personal growth. He would study, read books smuggled by fellow prisoners, and engage in intellectual discussions, strengthening his resolve and refining his vision for a united south africa.

A testament to Mandela’s transformation: Mandela’s time in prison transformed him from a freedom fighter to a beloved global icon of peace and reconciliation. His ability to overcome adversity, his unwavering commitment to justice, and his forgiveness towards his oppressors are all reflected in the significance of his prison cell.

Reflecting On The Resilience And Courage Of Political Prisoners

The stories of political prisoners on Robben island are testament to their resilience and unwavering courage. Consider the following:

Enduring physical hardships: Political prisoners on robben island endured grueling physical labor under oppressive conditions. They were subjected to harsh elements, meager nutrition, and debilitating work regimes. Yet, they stood firm in their commitment to change.

Battling psychological challenges: Isolation and separation from loved ones took a toll on the mental well-being of political prisoners. The psychological challenges they faced included loneliness, anxiety, and the psychological impact of prolonged confinement. Despite these hardships, they remained steadfast in their pursuit of freedom.

Inspiring acts of resistance: Political prisoners on robben island organized acts of resistance, such as hunger strikes and clandestine education programs. They found ways to assert their humanity and resist the dehumanizing effects of apartheid. These acts serve as powerful examples of the strength of the human spirit.

The journey of nelson Mandela and other political prisoners on Robben island provides a glimpse into their remarkable resilience and unwavering determination. By visiting this historic site, one can witness firsthand the impact of Mandela’s journey, the significance of his prison cell, and reflect on the resilience and courage of those who fought for freedom and justice.

Experiencing The Island’S Natural Beauty

Discover the magnificence of robben island’s natural splendor on a visit that immerses you in its breathtaking beauty. From pristine beaches to awe-inspiring wildlife, this experience promises to be a journey like no other.

Enjoying A Scenic Walk Around The Island

Discover the natural beauty of robben island by taking a leisurely walk around the island. As you explore its rugged terrain and coastal edges, you’ll be captivated by the serene atmosphere and stunning vistas. Here are some highlights to look forward to:

  • Strolling along the historical pathways that were once traversed by political prisoners, including icons like nelson mandela.
  • Marveling at the unspoiled landscapes, such as the wild shoreline and fascinating rock formations.
  • Breathing in the fresh ocean breeze and feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin as you immerse yourself in the tranquility of the island’s surroundings.

Spotting Diverse Bird Species And Wildlife

Robben island is home to a rich diversity of bird species and wildlife, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers alike. As you explore the island, keep an eye out for the following:

  • African penguins (also known as jackass penguins) waddling along the shores and nesting in the rock crevices.
  • Cape fur seals basking on the rocks or gliding through the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island.
  • Various seabirds, including endangered species like the african black oystercatcher, soaring above or nesting in the island’s cliffs.
  • Indigenous plant species, like the robben island daisy, adding vibrant splashes of color to the landscape.

Taking In The Breathtaking Views Of Table Mountain

One of the highlights of visiting robben island is the incredible panoramic view of table mountain that you can enjoy from the island’s shores. This iconic landmark provides a majestic backdrop as it looms over the city of cape town.

Be sure to:

  • Capture stunning photographs of table mountain as it stands tall and proud in the distance.
  • Marvel at the interplay of light and shadow as the sun casts its rays on this natural wonder.
  • Reflect on the symbolic significance of this backdrop, being a testament to the beauty and resilience of south africa.

Exploring The Limestone Quarry And Its Historical Significance

The limestone quarry on robben island holds significant historical value, providing a window into the island’s dark past. Delve into this historical site and discover:

  • The laborious work endured by political prisoners who were forced to quarry limestone under grueling conditions.
  • The rock pile, known as “mandela’s university,” where prisoners gathered to engage in intellectual discussions and gain knowledge.
  • The symbolic importance of the limestone quarry as a site of struggle and resilience during south africa’s apartheid era.

Embark on a journey that goes beyond the traditional tourist experience by exploring the natural beauty of Robben island. Engage with its history, wildlife, and awe-inspiring views for a truly unforgettable visit.

Connecting With The Local Community

Learn how to visit robben island and connect with the local community for a unique experience. Discover the rich history and culture of the island while supporting local businesses and engaging with the community.

Visiting robben island isn’t just about exploring historical sites and landmarks – it also offers a unique opportunity to connect with the local community. By engaging with former political prisoners as tour guides, learning from their personal stories and experiences, and understanding the ongoing challenges and triumphs in south africa’s democracy, you can truly immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the island.

Interacting With Former Political Prisoners As Tour Guides:

  • Engage in conversations with the former political prisoners, who can provide firsthand accounts of their time on the island and the struggle against apartheid.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the historical significance of robben island and its role in shaping south africa’s democracy.
  • Listen to their personal stories and experiences, offering you a unique perspective on the resilience and determination of those who fought for freedom.

Learning From Personal Stories And Experiences:

  • Hear about the hardships, sacrifices, and triumphs of the former political prisoners, allowing you to develop a deeper appreciation for their struggles.
  • Learn about the impact of apartheid and the importance of reconciliation and forgiveness in south african society.
  • Discover how individuals transformed their pain into a catalyst for change, inspiring future generations to uphold the values of equality and justice.

Understanding The Ongoing Challenges And Triumphs In South Africa’S Democracy:

  • Gain insight into the progress that has been made since the end of apartheid, as well as the ongoing challenges faced by the country.
  • Understand the importance of continued efforts to address socio-economic inequalities and build a truly inclusive society.
  • Witness the resilience and determination of the south african people in their pursuit of a better future for all.

Connecting with the local community while visiting Robben island offers a unique opportunity to engage with history on a personal level. By interacting with former political prisoners as tour guides, learning from their personal stories and experiences, and understanding the ongoing challenges and triumphs in South Africa’s democracy, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the island’s significance and the people who have shaped its history.

Souvenirs And Support

Discover how to visit robben island and learn about its history as a political prison, housing nelson mandela. Find souvenirs and support this iconic site while immersing yourself in an unforgettable journey through south africa’s past.

Robben island is a historically significant location that offers visitors a chance to learn about south africa’s past and the struggle for freedom. While exploring this iconic island, there are various ways you can show your support and bring home meaningful souvenirs.

Whether it’s supporting the local community, purchasing unique memorabilia from the gift shop, or donating to the preservation efforts of the robben island museum, you have the opportunity to make a difference.

Supporting The Local Community By Purchasing Handmade Crafts:

  • Handmade crafts not only make for unique souvenirs but also provide much-needed support to the local community. By purchasing these crafts, you contribute to the livelihoods of the talented artisans who create them.
  • When you buy handmade crafts, you are investing in traditional skills and helping to preserve cultural heritage. The craftsmanship and attention to detail found in these items are a testament to the rich culture of south africa.
  • These crafts often reflect the vibrant colors, patterns, and designs unique to the local culture. From intricately woven baskets and hand-carved wooden sculptures to colorful beadwork and traditional clothing, there are countless options to choose from.
  • By buying handmade crafts, you not only bring home a piece of robben island’s heritage but also support sustainable tourism and empower local communities.

Exploring The Robben Island Gift Shop For Unique Memorabilia:

  • The robben island gift shop is a treasure trove of memorabilia, offering a wide range of items to commemorate your visit. From t-shirts and keychains to books and artwork, there is something for everyone.
  • The gift shop showcases a curated collection of items that reflect the island’s history and significance. You can find books written by former political prisoners, showcasing personal accounts and stories of resilience, as well as artwork that captures the spirit of the struggle.
  • Consider purchasing a t-shirt or cap emblazoned with the iconic robben island logo to proudly wear as a symbol of your visit. These items not only serve as a reminder of your experience but also help raise awareness of the island’s historical importance.
  • Explore the selection of locally produced crafts, including pottery, jewelry, and textiles, which make for unique and meaningful souvenirs. These items often incorporate symbolic elements and motifs that hold special significance to the island’s history.

Donating To The Robben Island Museum’S Preservation Efforts:

  • The robben island museum plays a vital role in preserving the history and heritage of the island. By donating to their preservation efforts, you directly contribute to the ongoing maintenance and conservation of this significant site.
  • Donations help ensure that future generations can continue to learn from the island’s history and the stories of those who were imprisoned here. Your contribution helps support educational programs, exhibitions, and the overall preservation of the island’s structures and artifacts.
  • Through your donation, you become part of the collective effort to keep the memory of robben island alive. The funds received enable the museum to carry out necessary repairs, conduct research, and provide a comprehensive visitor experience.
  • Whether you choose to donate a small amount or make a more significant contribution, your support plays a crucial role in the continued success and sustainability of the robben island museum.

Visiting robben island is not just about experiencing the history and significance of the place, but also about making a difference. Whether it’s supporting local artisans, finding unique memorabilia in the gift shop, or making a donation, your actions contribute to the preservation of this important landmark and the empowerment of the local community.

By bringing home a meaningful souvenir and supporting the ongoing efforts of the robben island museum, you become a part of the legacy of this remarkable place.

Enhancing Your Robben Island Experience

Enhance your robben island experience with our helpful tips on how to visit this historical site. Discover the best time to go, book your tickets in advance, and make the most of your visit with our expert recommendations.

Robben island is a historically significant landmark that attracts visitors from around the world. To make the most of your visit, consider the following tips and options:

Participating In A Guided Tour Vs. Self-Guided Exploration

Guided tour:

  • Joining a guided tour is highly recommended for a comprehensive and informative experience.
  • Knowledgeable guides will narrate the island’s history, providing valuable insights into the struggles faced by political prisoners.
  • Guides often share personal anecdotes, creating a more immersive experience.
  • Safety is ensured as you’ll be accompanied by trained staff throughout the tour.

Self-guided exploration:

  • For those who prefer a more independent approach, self-guided exploration is available.
  • This option allows you to explore the island at your own pace, stopping at points of interest that capture your attention.
  • You’ll receive a map of the island, enabling you to navigate its various landmarks and historical sites.
  • Self-guided exploration offers a sense of freedom and flexibility, perfect for those who enjoy discovering on their own.

Attending Special Events Or Exhibitions On The Island

  • Special events:
  • Keep an eye out for special events hosted on robben island, such as concerts, art exhibitions, or cultural celebrations.
  • These events provide a unique opportunity to engage with the local community and experience the island in a different light.
  • Check the robben island museum’s official website or social media channels for upcoming events and ticket information.
  • Attending these events can enhance your visit by adding an extra layer of entertainment and cultural enrichment.


  • Robben island also houses several exhibitions that showcase different aspects of south africa’s history and heritage.
  • The acclaimed nelson mandela gateway museum offers a permanent exhibition, providing an in-depth understanding of mandela’s life.
  • Other exhibitions touch on themes like the apartheid era and the triumph of democracy in south africa.
  • Exploring these exhibitions allows you to delve deeper into the island’s significance and gain a broader perspective on its historical importance.

Exploring Additional Attractions Near Robben Island

Victoria & alfred waterfront:

  • Located near the departure point for robben island, the victoria & alfred waterfront is a vibrant hub of activity.
  • Enjoy a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options overlooking the scenic harbor.
  • Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade or visit the two oceans aquarium for a glimpse into the marine world.
  • The Victoria & Alfred waterfront offers a perfect blend of shopping, dining, and leisure activities, making it an ideal addition to your itinerary.

Table mountain aerial cableway:

  • Just a short distance from Robben island lies the iconic table mountain.
  • Catch a cable car up to the mountain’s summit for breathtaking panoramic views of cape town and its glorious surroundings.
  • Explore the various walking trails or simply enjoy the tranquility and natural beauty that table mountain has to offer.
  • Including a trip to table mountain in your itinerary will elevate your overall cape town experience.

By choosing to participate in a guided tour or embarking on self-guided exploration, attending special events or exhibitions, and exploring additional attractions near Robben island, you can enrich your visit and create lasting memories. Make the most of your time to fully appreciate the historical and cultural significance of this remarkable destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Would A Tourist Get To Robben Island?

To get to robben island, tourists can take a ferry from the v&a waterfront in cape town. The ferry ride lasts around 30 minutes. Once on the island, visitors can join guided tours to explore its historical landmarks, including the prison where nelson mandela was imprisoned.

It is advisable to book ferry tickets in advance, as they can be in high demand, especially during peak tourist seasons. The ferry ride offers scenic views of cape town and table mountain, adding to the overall experience. Tourists should plan their visit accordingly, allowing for ample time to explore the island and take the return ferry back to the v&a waterfront.

How Much Does It Cost To Visit Robben Island?

A visit to robben island costs around r380 for adults and r200 for children.

Can You Go To Robben Island?

Yes, you can visit robben island. Robben island is a popular tourist attraction in south africa. It is located about 7 kilometers from cape town and can be accessed by ferry. Once on the island, visitors can take guided tours of the former prison, where nelson mandela was famously held for 18 years.

The tours provide a unique opportunity to learn about the history of the island and the struggle against apartheid. To ensure a smooth visit, it is recommended to book your ferry ticket and tour in advance, especially during peak tourist season.

Remember to check the weather conditions before you go, as ferry services may be suspended in case of rough seas.

How Long Do You Need To Visit Robben Island?

A visit to robben island typically lasts around 3 to 4 hours.


Visiting robben island is a truly enlightening and worthwhile experience. The island’s historical significance as a political prison during apartheid cannot be understated. The tour provides a valuable opportunity to gain insight into the struggles endured and the triumphs achieved by those who fought for freedom and equality.

The knowledgeable guides bring the stories to life, creating a deeply emotional and educational journey. The breathtaking beauty of the island further enhances the visit, with stunning views and diverse wildlife to admire. The strict conservation efforts ensure that the island remains an untouched haven for future generations to appreciate.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a meaningful and eye-opening experience, Robben island is a must-visit destination. Plan your trip, immerse yourself in its rich heritage, and be forever changed by the powerful lessons it imparts.