Last weekend we had a fundraiser at one of the local hostels. It was Halloween and we dressed up and had a ton of games that I and the other American volunteer put together. I had the kids created the decorations such as bats and paper mache pumpkins. I also helped the children of my class bake cookies and muffins.
The games that we generated were “Bobbing for Apples”, “Mummy Wrap”, a guessing game of which we had the British volunteer where a large pumpkin, a “3 Legged Monster Race” and a “Pool Tournament of Doom”. These games along with the bake sale helped generate over R600!!! Thank you to all that participated in some sort of way.
The “Sisonke Stars of the Week” will kick off next week. This is the positive reinforcement program that the teachers agreed to try out. I am looking forward to seeing how this will go.
I have also proposed that we have a reading peer program. Not sure what we will call it but basically the Grade 4/5 children will go into Grade 1 and read to the children. The goal is to give the older kids a sense of responsibility and a sense of leadership. They will have the option of reading in Xhosa or in English and they get to pick the book that they read to the students. This will start next week.
For my own class, I we have set aside to work with the students that are struggling. This will give them some one on one time with me and the Grade 1 teacher that is training right now.
Also, I am doing some remedial work three days a week. That part is very rewarding.
The mother of one of the teachers here, whom of which is Xhosa, passed away yesterday. Prior to her passing, I offered the teacher help with anything that she needed. She told me “I would like for you to meet my mother.” I was extremely shocked and much honored. Unfortunately, her mother did not make it but, the teacher asked me to come to the wake. She wanted me to see a Xhosa wake. ..I was told that this is a very deep honor to be invited to a wake, especially since I am white. I accepted and I will be attending the wake this Saturday.
I am enjoying my time off of work. I have been in the jungle, swung in the trees, jumped off a cliff by a waterfall and got to see a river crab!
My heart is warm for this place and I look forward to going home and sharing that warmth with my children, my family and my friends. The best thing you can bring home from a lengthy absence is a smile and warm heart to share.