- Library renovating and the FINAL PRODUCT! We’re DONE!
- Library opening ceremony at my school to thank all the donors that made our library possible (the David Rattray Foundation for the furniture and some books, Books for Africa for a majority of the books, and the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation in Nigeria for even more of the books!) Department of Education KZN officials attended, whom I partnered with on our second BFA container here in South Africa that was funded through the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation. About ten Peace Corps Volunteers that weren’t part of our first Books for Africa project received books from this project, and then 32 other schools identified by the Dept. received books. My principal was beaming with pride and joy, and I will never forget that day! In total, 71 rural libraries have been established since the start of all our Books for Africa efforts! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO WORKED WITH ME AND MADE THIS POSSIBLE!
- Monica’s farewell function – one of my closest Volunteers geographically and friend in my cohort. She is traveling back to America soon, but I know I will see her! Her school put on an on-time, meaningful and beautiful ceremony for her. It was incredible to see how much her community loved her and the impact she has had.
- Miss Molefe, my counterpart, graduated from University of South Africa with a bachelor’s degree in education in Durban. We traveled there with her family and friends from her house at 4:30 am in the morning to make the 10 a.m. ceremony. I am so happy I got to attend and see her graduate because she is one of my best friends here. I’m happy when others I care about are happy!
- George’s 30th birthday/farewell function. In the course of a weekend, I took six forms of transportation to get to my best friend George’s site in Mpumalanga to celebrate his 30th birthday, attend his farewell, and help him finish his library before he moves to KwaZulu-Natal for his third year. Tiring, but worth it.
Posts from the ‘A Month in Photos’ Category
- Although we just had a week long break from school the first week of April, a bunch of South African holidays collided, so we got another week off! Shawn came down for a visit for and then we spent a few days at Umzinyathi house on Fugitive’s Drift Lodge’s property with Laura, Monica and Katie. (A cute and secluded budget/self-catering house in the Battlefields.) Laura’s mom booked us for a little staycation — thanks Mama Bram!!!
- Happy 37th Birthday Monica! (She thought we forgot. Little did we not…we had been planning some activities for about a month now. Lots of surprises and good food for her!)
- Climbing up Isandlwana mountain, which is close to Katie’s site. (Isandlwana is where the Zulus and British fought in 1879, and the Zulus won.)
- Yes, this month was American-based. No, I’m not done with my library, and thus no new project pictures.
- New donations
- American family visit! My dad and step mom stayed around my area for three days and got to meet my family, staff and learners. My school threw a welcoming ceremony for them!
- Game drive with my family in Phinda, KZN (photo credit to Tom Warden)
- My phone went on a vacation to Cape Town without me (I left it in my dad’s rental car and retrieved it via a Battlefields PCV who was also in Cape Town. ..typical Liz.) So, unfortunately didn’t get any photos from the rest of school vacation on a hike through the bush to the beach up in Manguzi! Bummer.
- Labeling library books and organising
- Paige’s farewell party at her org; she moved from our area to Pretoria for a third year extension
- Library opening #2 (and one more to come after even more renovating — third time is the charm, right? )
- Opening prayer at school; school shuts down for a day so the community priest, learners, teachers and parents can pray for the upcoming school year
- Sports day 2014
- My counterpart’s creative art project with grade fours using some beads my friend Amy left from her visit
- Bruce Springsteen concert in Joburg! This was his first time playing in South Africa. Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera or phone to the concert, but got a few pictures before! The concert was incredible – he played most of my favourite songs while we danced in the rain!
- Traveling around South Africa with two friends from America, Amy and Charlotte. First stop – Hluhluwe Game Reserve in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, my site, Durban and then Little America aka Cape Town! Let’s just say I would rather use public transportation than drive around this country. Not to mention – Cape Town is beautiful, but a little too American for me. Time to head back to the place I know and love – the village!
- Photo credit: Amy Elizabeth Anderson (C)
- Katrina and Michael’s Grassroot Soccer camp in Michael’s village
- Shawn’s site
- Michael’s site (sadly all the gorgeous pictures from Katrina’s site and walking to the Mozambique border were were deleted because of a computer virus)
- Lots of sand and mangoes
Photo credit: Amy Elizabeth Anderson of Half Moon Bay, Calif. (C)
- Walking adventures around the village and bee attacks
- Lots of books
- Some rad sports gear from a South African lotto grant for my school
- More books, books, books
- My first visitor to South Africa – Amy, a best friend from my hometown will be staying with me in my village for a little bit. Very excited!
- Literacy Day Competition in Nquthu; select learners read poetry in Zulu and English, recited motivational speeches and sang gospel and Mariah Carey songs. (“Hero” by Mariah Carey will never be the same again.) We didn’t win any categories, but the learners had fun and tried!
- Yearly field trip to Ncome Museum — a Battlefields history museum at Blood River where the 1838 Boer-Zulu war took place.
- Unveiling ceremony for my sister’s baby girl Noxolo. On August 28th, 2012, my sister Munu had a miscarriage and was about seven months pregnant with Noxolo. The family buried Noxolo at her boyfriend’s property in our village. The “unveiling ceremony” is when everyone gathers, prays and the tombstone is exposed to the public for the first time. This ritual ensures that the deceased is at peace and welcomed by the ancestors. In Zulu culture, a goat is always slaughtered the night before. The day-of entails lots of signing, praying and then individuals say a few words about the person and place money on the tombstone.
- My mama’s traditional Sesotho/Swati wedding on our property! Long story short – my mama’s husband (Victor Mathebula) passed away around two years ago. They had their “white” wedding in 1993. (South Africans call a modern wedding – white dress, tux, church – wedding a “white” wedding.) They planned to do the traditional wedding later during their marriage to honor the ancestors and keep with tradition. Unfortunately, Baba Mathebula passed away before this could happen. However, the two families – Mathebula (Swati) and Skhosana (Sesotho) celebrated together. Victor Mathebula’s brother stood in for him as the groom. My mama first wore traditional Sesotho attire to represent her heritage then switched over to Swati, as she was accepted into the Mathebula clan. South Africa is known as the “rainbow nation” because of the diversity of languages and cultures. This wedding was in a Zulu/Sesotho village and brought Zulu, Sesotho and Swati culture and languages together. How neat, right?! This wedding happened right on our lawn and will be one of those days of my service I’ll never forget. My friends Michael and Shawn attended as well; Michael bonded with my host brother Nduduzo last time he visited with Katrina, so he came back to visit all of us and brought Shawn along.
- Mid-service training at the Peace Corps office in Pretoria and Khayalethu backpackers; first time I’ve seen my cohort in six months. Nice to see everyone. The 26 26s!
- Visiting Siyabonga (Will) in Rorke’s Drift and adventuring around