- 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.
Posts tagged ‘peace corps south africa photos’
- 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!
- 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!
Every month, I’ll post a gallery with around 10-20 pictures of things, people and places I’ve seen. Uploading pictures onto this blog takes an hour-two hours and costs lots of imali, so I’ve decided to share pictures only once a month (yes, it takes that long to upload. And no, I don’t get frustrated because my threshold of patience has expanded greatly since I’ve been here).
My first month at site has been a lot of taking trips to town to slowly buy things for my new home and going to school every day (post to come on the dynamics of South African schools soon). Nonetheless, I still caught some neat things on camera! ____________________________________________________________________
My geographic group of PCVs visited Mangeni Falls, a huge waterfall that overlooks a landscape of mountains and clear blue skies. It was a Sunday of exploration of where we’re living these next two years and also a great reunion among all the Americans in the area.
I also got to see so many bright colors and hear rhythmic songs at my school’s celebration of Heritage Day. Heritage Day is a South African national holiday on September 24 that encourages diverse people of the “rainbow nation” to celebrate their heritage by eating traditional food, singing and dancing to traditional songs and wearing traditional clothes. Learners dressed up in traditional Zulu and Sotho clothing to honor their heritage; all the beading and bright clothes are Zulu and the longer and neutral-colored dresses, large head wraps and shoulder blankets are Sotho. Next year on Heritage Day I’ll be rockin’ the Zulu beads and skirts — promise!
Taking pictures and recording video and audio of the songs and dances on Heritage Day made me feel like a student journalist again. I haven’t felt the “reporting rush” in God knows how long and it was exhilarating to get that rush of joy, curiosity, excitement and attentiveness back for an hour. I have no doubt that the more cultural exchanges I witness during my time here will keep that reporting spirit alive! I can’t upload videos on here anymore because my Internet connection is so slow, but I’ll try to publish some audio of Zulu songs on here for ya’ll to listen to.
Attempting to make guacamole and tortillas for my host family to try tonight (that is if the power doesn’t go out again — thunder and rainstorms today),
“Lizzie” “Mpho” Mathebula-Warden