- 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.
Posts tagged ‘peace corps photos’
- 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!
- Thank you card making for my friends and family who donated to our library project! (We raised $12,000 dollar and the books will be shipped within the next week!)
- Katrina and Michael visit the Battlefields
- Constantine’s goodbye party/braii
- Matric Farewell 2013 (South African version of prom)
- First grade 7 pen pal letter exchange with my friend Josh’s City Year students from Stevenson Middle School in East Los Angeles. Pretty much one of my favorite days in the classroom so far — none of the kids could pronounce Los Angeles or Spanish last names, but were beyond excited to have a new American friend. It was really neat to be able to tell them kids all over the world learn English as a second language just like them. Such a simple, yet powerful project. Can’t wait to keep the exchange going!
- My 24th birthday
- KwaZulu-Natal PCV Provincial Conference in Durban — a weekend conference to get to know other PCVs from other Volunteer classes, discuss projects and what not
- My counterpart’s gogo’s 89th birthday
- Cultural competition photos — my learners performed the traditional Zulu dance Indlamu and won 1st place and won 2nd place for a traditional wedding song
My school counterpart is the most creative South African I’ve met during my time here. To fundraise for our Books for Africa project, she decided to start “funny day” at our school. She described “funny day” as a day where learners pay 1 Rand to dress up “funny” — meaning cross-dressing, dressing up as adults, wearing clothes too big for them, wigs, etc.
I thought the beauty pageant we hosted for fundraising last month was ridiculously hilarious, but then this day happened. Enjoy the photos — I hope you laugh as much as I did!
- Beauty pageant time — my school has been working very hard to fundraise 2,000R to contribute to our book project to receive new books for the library. My school’s go-to fundraising technique is to host a beauty pageant. Four kids from each grade participate (two boys, two girls) and then the learners and educators pay to watch the pageant. These learners are beyond brave to strut their stuff in front of the whole school to, of course, some old school Celine Dion (South Africans love old school American music) and bouncin’ South African house music. This may have been one of my funniest and ridiculous cultural experiences yet. The kids and educators took it so seriously, while I couldn’t help but just sit in the back and giggle to myself the whole time.
- Some randoms: my visit to neighboring PCV Monica’s library to see it in action before I open my library and Monica’s birthday celebration at her site!
- Camping at St. Lucia, one of South Africa’s vacation destinations with three of my PCV friends Katrina, Michael and Shawn. We got to see hippos, kayak in the estuary and stroll along a gorgeous beach! A much needed weekend to celebrate the end of our first term of teaching. Did you know hippos are the most dangerous animal in Africa?
- Our second Girls on the Rise club – this time we focused on self-esteem. All the girls had to trace their hands, cut out their hand and paste their hands on their backs. Then, the girls went around and wrote positive things about each other on the hands, as if everyone was getting a “pat on the back”.
- Other random pictures: I have completed labeling all my school’s library books by reading level and subject, so now onto my favourite part in my library secondary project: DECORATING! And, as always, some pictures coming from the Battlefields PCVs and my site.
- The first meeting of Girls on the Rise — a girl’s club that my counterpart Yama and I started at the high school in my village. The club is open to anyone and will run until November. We will teach about health issues, self-esteem, love problems (that one is on Yama), sex, really anything else a high school girl would want to talk about. With 38 teenage pregnancies last year at the high school, we can only hope this club will help girls make the right decisions for their futures. My counterpart rocks and organized all the girls. We will meet twice a month. During our first meeting we had the girls draw and discuss their “self-image”, how they see themselves, which I think they enjoyed! (more to come on Girls on the Rise as it takes off!)
- Pen pal project with my City Year school Markham Middle School in Watts and also Stevenson Middle School in Boyle Heights of Los Angeles. My former roommates Marissa and Josh are team leaders this year at each school! Hopefully I can send the letters this week, but there’s a post office strike (Africa always wins).
- Learners helping me label library books, which of course got out of hand
- Other randoms from February
Yours in service,
- First weeks of teaching
- Sesotho “coming of age” traditional ceremony for women
- Sports “interhouses” (intramurals) at school and learners running barefoot along the gravel road in the summer African sun
- Purchasing mobility (bikes) and attempting to bike back from Dundee to Rorke’s Drift (47 kms) with PCV friend Will, but failing. Pathetic on my part.
- Reunited with some Americans in Richard’s Bay, South Africa for In-Service Training (IST)/my first time at the Indian Ocean!
- Grade 7 career dress-up day–grade 7s dressed up as what career they want to pursue and acted out “dramas” in front of the whole school
- Paige’s (fellow Battlefield PCV) birthday celebration
- A glimpse into my shopping town, Nquthu
Happy Holidays! Christmas season has begun, even though it is summer here!