Thursday, August 6, 2009

My little angel

The last few days have been stressful. Monday I was getting a bit paranoid because someone at Stellenbosch University died of swine flu. His is the first death in South Africa due to swine flu, and although Stellenbosch isn’t close, it is like an hour away and Robbie goes there and he came to UWC yesterday for our core class. Yeah, I realize I haven’t talked about him much, it’s just he’s the only here for the core class and then goes back to Stellenbosch. It was interesting though the first time I met him. He has a weird accent that made me doubt that he was American but who am I judge? Yesterday I had little kids laughing hysterically at me because of my accent (I don’t consider myself as having one)

Tuesday was my first time volunteering at Hillcrest Primary School. I decided to volunteer there three times a week just because 1) I love kids with cute accents and 2) its literally two houses down from our house so it’s super convenient. I met the principal and she took me to a fourth grade teacher. I will be helping some of her students out on Friday because school ends at two here and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I can’t get there until around 2:30.

So after being introduced to the fourth grade teacher (her name escapes me), I was taken to the aftercare room and meet the cutest little kids. The primary school ranges from grade 1 to grade 7. 8th graders go to high school, which is different from back home. Like I mentioned before I got laughed at a lot because of my accent and of course asked all sorts of question: like how old are you? Are you popular? (why I do not know) and then of course I was bombarded with questions in regards to my ring.

Loren gave me a ring way back when I visited him in Nashville. I can tell you that I was completely shocked because I’ve never gotten a ring before. It’s a promise ring and no, it’s not a promise ring like we’re going to get married after we graduate or something. It’s more like he promises to wait for me while I’m on this crazy journey so yeah, it’s cool. I love it because I always wear it so I’m constantly reminded of him.

But I digress, they asked if I was married and when I said no, they asked if I was engaged and they couldn’t understand why I would have a ring and be neither. It was quite amusing and Loren enjoyed hearing about that thouroughly.

I really didn’t do much that day. I got read to which was fun. I absolutely love their accents. Their sort of British but not quite like my favourite little one (his name is Liam…pronounced Lee-am) is Indian and I love listening to him talk. Today I helped him with his spelling. They all have to do homework before they can go play and he was last one working on it. He gets distracted pretty easily, which is understandable since there are kids running around all over the place, shouting and stuff. I’m pretty sure he’s like me and needs peace and quiet to get his work done. Anyways, I helped him and some of the other kids with spelling because each day they have to write “news” basically what they did that day or yesterday. It was amusing. Like Chloe (whose a boy…) was trying to spell yesterday and for some reason wanted to spell it with an “s” and he argued with me about it.

Today I mostly helped Liam because they were learning words that start with “dr” and had to memorize 20 and then write them out. Watching him do it, I realized that I probably couldn’t even do it on my own. I mean, once I got into it. It wasn’t too hard but still. So Liam ran into a bunch of trouble when he got about half way through so I helped him by giving him hints about the words. Like one of the words was “drink” so I picked up a bottle and was like “what am I doing if I do this?” It was fun and he was super cute because sometimes he would explain to me what a word meant like “drift” and start going on and on about cars drifting and racing. So cute. I was able to help with most of the list but for the life of me I couldn’t get him to guess the word “drank.” He said my hints were too hard but I even told him the word was similar to “drink” and “drunk” and that it had an “a” in it and he still didn’t get it which was weird because I got him to guess “draft” when I told him it was similar to “drift.” I forgot what grade he’s in but I mentioned vowels a lot and he didn’t seem to know what I meant.

Other adorable thing was if I was helping him spell things like the word “could.” I would sound it out and he’d copy me and “ooo” “ooo.” It’s weird but even when I’m trying to spell the simplest words like “could” I second guess myself because “could” doesn’t sound like it has an “l” in it. what’s up with that?

Today like Tuesday I also talked to Teacher Esta who I will be referring to as “Mama Esta.” She’s wonderful. She made me rooibos tea. It’s a South African tea and its delicious. Plus she gives me biscuits (aka our cookies) to eat them with. Yum!! She even offered me food and said that next Tuesday she’d make some authetic South African food for me. I’m excited.

Today I only had one class which was nice and after it, I had a continuation of our orientation with UWC. It was basically a small get-together with some students talking about adjusting to the culture. I mentioned not feeling included in the community and also having trouble finding a computer in the library and I learned that they are supposivley 80 computer labs on campus. Where they are hiding them is the question. But it was nice to at least talk a little bit about our frustrations with the campus and have people listening openly about it.

Yesterday was long. I had class from 1-4 and then class from 5 until 8ish. The first three classes were the normal tuts and sociology of health class. But the class at 5 was the core class. We listened to a political science teacher lecture us on issues in South Africa. It was interesting but way too much to take in on an empty stomach. It lasted way longer than I was expecting which was not cool. I got home and by the time I had dinner, it was already nine. So I really didn’t do much after that. The night was gone before I knew.

Monday seems like so long ago. I’m done with my school week already. Basically it was just class and I believe I went swimming. I went swimming both on Monday and Wednesday. Good times. I used my goggles and swim cap and I believed I’ve improved. I should have ran or something today but after helping the kids out, I’m exhausted and don’t feel like doing it. I should probably do it anyway. Ok that’s all for now. Peace

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