Tuesday, April 20, 2010

South African Road Trip

March 31 began my 2 and 1/2 week holiday.

As many of ya'll know, Tyler's (my fiance) little brother passed away. He was 18. Ross had been fighting leukemia and passed away in Texas where he went to see Tyler graduate from Air Force boot camp. I find myself asking why this has to happen to me again and it is hard to know that it is part of God's plan. Tyler and I have both lost our younger siblings. Ross was a brother to me and Victoria was a sister to Tyler. I just ask daily for God's strength to get through this rough time and come to acceptance.

I received the phone call about Ross on my way to Cape Town. I tried to change my return flight but there were no flight from Johannesburg to Washington DC for 8 days because of Easter holiday. I ended up having to book another round trip plan ticket that went through Germany. I don't care about how much that one ticket cost me because I wanted to be home with Tyler and his family. Tyler and I have been together for so long that his family is also my family. I flew back to South Africa the following Friday.

I arrived in Johannesburg Sunday afternoon and the people I was traveling with picked me up at the airport. We spent two nights at Kruger National Park. We were very fortunate in that we saw the Big 5... elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. We also saw many monkeys, baboons, vultures, zebras, impalas, kudu, etc...

The next day we went to the Jane Goodall Chimp Eden. I was amazed at how smart the chimps were!

The next day drove the Panorama Route. We went to the Mac Mac Pools which are natural springs. The town we stayed in was having a strike so the water had been shut off. So we had to use the Mac Mac pools as a shower J Next we went to the Mac Mac waterfall. Next we went to God’s Window which is an amazing view of the landscape. We were so high up that we were in a cloud. Unfortunately the cloud blocked the view in our pictures. Next, we went to Blydes River Canyon. It was really fun to hike around the potholes and again there were amazing views.

The next day we went white water rafting and horse back riding. I had never ridden a horse before so it was a lot of fun! We trotted and cantered through orchards and by streams for two hours. Needless to day, my legs were very sore the next day.

On Saturday we went to a Super14 rugby game in Johannesburg. The Joburg Lions were playing the Durban Sharks. The three other people I was with bought a Lions jersey. They didn’t have my size, and since I was wearing a dress that was the color of the Sharks, I was the lone Shark fan. Like all the sporting events I have been to here, it was a blast. I wish I understood the rules of the game better. Fortunately, the people around us were kind to explain some things!

On Sunday, we started the long trek back to Grahamstown (8 hours!). It is nice to be back here and back to routine. Tomorrow only the staff reports to the school for meetings. Tuesday begins my last week of teaching. I cannot believe that my time here is coming to an end.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Life's Precious Resource

Grahamstown has run out of water....

You never realize how fortunate you are to never have to worry about losing something that you depend on and use everyday until it is gone. South Africa has been in a drought for many years. Many rivers are dry and farmers are struggling to keep their crops alive.

You cannot drink out of the tap here. The only water I drink is either from the store or the spring. Diana and I have been saving our water jugs we buy so that we can fill them at the spring. I also save my water bottles and fill them at the school I teach at because they have filtered water. Going to the spring is quite an experience. Since Grahamstown water has been deemed "poisonous" to drink, everyone depends on spring water. Last weekend we waited in line for an hour and a half to fill 3 water jugs.

Yesterday morning, Grahamstown ran out of water. The drain that pumps outside water into the reservoir apparantly broke so no water was going into the reservoir. That means no shower, no washing clothes, no washing dishes, etc...

One of the teachers at my school asked how often this happened back in the U.S. My answer: well never. How fortunate are we to always have fresh clean water? For me, water restrictions means not being able to water your lawn everyday. Here in South Africa it means all water being shut off to your house for days.

So often in life we take for granted the things we have everyday. We don't a "right" to clean water in our homes. We are privileged. We are fortunate. Next time you enjoy safe water from the tap think of those who must walk a mile from the townships just to fetch clean water. Then have to haul it all the way back home. With no car, but maybe a wheelbarrow if you are lucky.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Work hard, play hard


So I have been seriously lacking on my blog posts... life has been super busy. Since half term, which was at the end of February, I have been teaching all three math classes and Food Tech. That is a lot of lesson planning to do EVERYDAY! However, all the hard work has trully paid off. I have reassured myself of the fact that I love mathematics...yes that is the true nerd in me. For every lesson, I try to think of a fun activity to do to enhance the learning. It can be challenging to think of a fun activity on converting mixed numbers to improper fractions. It is a true google hunt to find ideas!


I have received some of the best compliments from the teachers. The teacher of one of the math classes I teach told me that it was clear I had a true passion for teaching and knew my mathematics very well. It is compliments like that that keep me working hard. Coming to South Africa has deeply strengthened my confidence in the classroom. If I can walk into a completely foreign enviroment and make it out on top, then I can handle any classroom!


So what have I been up to this past month?

First off, teaching, teaching and more teaching! Since all the COST students and myself have been busy at the schools, we haven't done that much traveling. We also have a lot of university work to complete before we leave. Since I leave for Cape Town in a week, I want to finish all my work so I can enjoy my vacation!

Last weekend was Foundation Weekend at Kingswood. The school had many festivities planned for the students and alumnis. It was also the 17th birthday of my host families' son. On Friday night, we went to a cricket game in Port Elizabeth. It was the final game of the Pro20. The game was packed and tons of fun. The fans here are insane! Everyone was dressed up and dancing. There is like a DJ at the games with people dancing on the stage. There is also a marching band. So you are constantly moving, cheering and dancing the whole game. On Sunday, I went to the grade 6/7 girls first hockey game of the season. And no, not ice hockey either...they play field hockey.


This past week I helped coach hockey. I have never played hockey before, but luckily I was able to catch on quick. I just had to learn a few rules and basics of the game and I hope none of the students picked up on the fact that I was totally clueless :) I will be helping with net ball (which is kind of like basketball) next week.

This weekend, we stayed in Grahamstown again. Diana and I went to a social with the Rhodes squash team. It was fun to meet some Rhodes students and experience how South Africans have a social. The social was similar to a social I would have with my sorority. The theme was "Anything that starts with a S..." This weekened was also the hockey and rugby festival. I spent all Friday afternoon watching hockey. Yesterday, we went and watched out first rugby game. Man, is that sport rough. I always heard rugby was rough but actually watching it in person was something else. I am sure many of those boys are going to be super stiff and sore today!


From Monday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon, I am going to Kwandwe private game reserve. The headmasters' wife's family owns the reserve. They are giving Auburn and I a complimentary night stay at one the luxurious lodges, including four game drives and all meals! I am trully spoiled! This one night trip would probably cost around $1,000!


In the picture above, is Diana, Auburn, Aegean, and I. Aegean is the 17 year old who lives at the house Diana and I stay out. He is quite the basketball star at his school!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My extended vacation is halfway over :(

I cannot believe that I have been here for over 2 months and will be leaving in a little over 6 weeks. I have mixed feelings about leaving. Of course, I cannot wait to see my family and friends. However, on the other side there is still so much for me to do here. Grahamstown has the 2nd largest festival in the world in June. And of course the World Cup is in June/July. Coming to South Africa has given me the traveling bug. I want to see the world that I have seen so little of. I hope Tyler gets an overseas placement!

Last week, Auburn, Diana and I visited a street school in Grahamstown. Visiting that school made me realiza how sheltered I am at Kingswood. I have been blinded to the realities which exist just beyond the railroad tracks. The school is for homeless, poor, straving children. Students come and go as they please to the school. Most come for the food. However, once the students walk into the school, the doors are locked and no one is allowed to leave until 1:00 when school ends. At first, I didn't understand way they locked the children in. The school has 7 grades. The grades are not by age but ability and time in school. For example, in grade 1 there are children ranging from 6 to 16 years old. Many of the children have stunted growth from malnutrition and starvation. Seeing and witnessing this in person has made me so grateful for all that I have. And I have way too much. I have already decided that when I go back to the U.S. I am going to donate most of my clothing.

Last week, a new COST student came to Grahamstown. Sam is working at a public elementary school. She has turned out trio to a quad. I cannot believe that there are only 3 weeks left this term, then I have a two week holiday. After I will return to teach one more week then I go home. It's bitter sweet

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...Port Elizabeth




From Thursday to Sunday, the two other COST students and myself went to Port Elizabeth. We stayed at a backpackers called Jikeliza. It was in the center of Port Elizabeth and close to the beach. Before coming to South Africa, I thought backpackers (aka hostels) were dirty places that I wouldn't want to stay in. However, they are actually very nice. Now you don't get your own room and bathroom like a hotel but you can't beat a 3 night stay $30!


On Thursday, it was raining so we went to the mall. There isn't a mall in Grahamstown so we enjoyed getting to go shopping. That night we went to the Boardwalk for dinner. The Boardwalk had a casino so we went and gambled like 10 rands (about $1.50) just for fun. There is a sports bar connected to the casino that had karaoke. We didn't sing or anything because half the songs were in Afrikaans. Luckily we met some people who were able to translate. One of the girls I went with named Diana is Italian. On our way out she saw a guy with a Roma jersey on. She went up to him to ask if he had ever traveled there before. We ended talking with these guys and it turned out they were professional cricket players, aka the South African version of the MLB. We were planning on going to the Rugby game Friday however they offered free tickets to the cricket game so we couldn't turn that down!


On Friday, we spent the day chilling at the beach and watching people surf. I am determined to learn how to surf while I am here! Friday night we went to the Cricket game with some other people at our backpackers from Europe. Wow, cricket is so much fun to watch! I entered the stadium not knowing how the game worked or if it was going to be any fun. I left a huge cricket fan. They played a version of cricket called 20-20 so that it is a short game. A cricket can last up to 5 days if they don't cap the overs. 6 "pitches" is considered an over. So by capping the number of overs, they are capping the number of pitches. At the game there was a small marching band and a concert band. So there was tons of music and dancing! So enjoyable! After the game, we went out with the team... I felt like a local celebrity with them!


On Saturday, we went on an all-day game drive! We got picked up at 9am and didn't return until 10pm! We went on 3 game drives. The first was a 2 hour game drive at Addo Elephant National Park. There we saw elephants, monkeys, kudu, leopard tortoise, etc... Next, we ate lunch and went on a 3 hour game drive at Schotia private game reserve. Here we saw giraffes, impallas, warthogs, zebras, wildabeasts, and rhinos. Next, we had an excellent dinner and went for a night drive. On the night drive we saw a whole pride of lions. 3 males and 5 females. It was absolutely amazing to be only 5 feet away from the lions and all the other animals we saw. Of course, we were sitting high up on a jeep so we were in no danger. It cost around $150 to go on all 3 game drives, lunch, dinner, tea, and all-you-can-drink! Totally worth every cent!


The only down side of the trip (giving the bad and ugly part of the title of this blog) was I got my wallet and camera stolen :( So here is what happened: Everyone here knows to leave absolutely nothing in your car because people will smash your windows and take it. Well, on Thursday night I accidentally brought out my wallet with me and forgot my purse. So when we got to the boardwalk, I decided to keep my wallet in the glovebox because I didn't want to carry it without my purse. Well when we got back to our backpackers, I forgot to take it out of the car along with my camera. We also didn't know we could, and needed to, take the radio plate out of our rental car. So some time between 3am to 6am someone smashed our windows to steal the radio and while they took that they ramaged through the car and took my wallet and camera. Even worse was that I had taken out my rent money and safari money so I had about $400 in my wallet. So stupid of my to ever carry that much money. LESSON LEARNED! and of course I now don't have a camera and lost all my pictues. Luckily we had already booked our safari but hadn't paid so they let me go complimentary because of what happened.


So despite getting my wallet and camera stolen, I had an excellent trip to Port Elizabeth!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Foofi

New term learned these past few days:
Foofi slide means zipline

This past Monday and Tuesday I went with grade 6 to an overnight camp to the African Imprint. Each grade from 5 to 12 goes on one camp a term (there are 3 terms a school year). The camps last from one night to a week depending on the grade and term. The goal of these camps is to work on teamwork and uniting the grade. Since Kingswood is private boarding/day school, many children attend the school from grade 1 to graduating. There are always a few new students every year too, so the teachers and students work hard to make sure they feel included. On the first day of camp, we went canoeing and did an obstacle course. Before leaving on the camp I promised all the students that I would do all the activities with them. Little did I know that the obstacle course would require army-crawling through a mud pit and trying to jump across a 5 foot pool that everyone fell in. Despite the ruined shirt and shorts, I loved every minute of it. The second day we went foofi sliding aka zip line. The zip line went halfway across the river. A boat would fetch you from the river and then push you into the water. Again, tons of fun. It was my first time zip lining too. Of course, I couldn't show any fear because many of my students were scared so I went first to show them that they would be okay.

Tomorrow is a short day before half term begins. There is a swim gala (meaning swim meet) in the morning from 8 am to 10:30 and half term begins after that. I don't have to return to the school until Tuesday. The two other COST students and myself are going to Port Elizabeth for half term. While there, we are going on a day safari, rugby game and a prickly pear festival. A prickly pear is a fruit the grows on a cactus. I haven't tried one yet...

While we are in Port Elizabeth, another COST student is coming to Grahamstown. She will be at a public elementary school until May. I am so excited to meet her! Our trio of Americans will become a quad :)

Something I found to be interesting at camp is people put warm milk in their cereal... maybe it's just me but when I first ate my cereal I thought I had old milk that had been sitting out too long haha Also people but syrup in the cereal...yes like pancake syrup. To me it's weird but to them it's weird that I have never done it before. I have to remember that I am the foreigner :)


Thursday, February 18, 2010

WHAT A WEEK!

What a busy busy week this has been! I am teaching full time now, which means I am teaching Afrikaans (well leading the class with worksheets at least since I can't speak the language), sciene, book education, EMS, maths and swim. By the end of the day my desk is completely covered with papers to grade, hand back, copy, etc... Yet despite all the chaos, I still love it. I love the humor of the students. Here is a priceless quote I received on Monday:
student: "Miss Heil, why do they call them roofies?"
me: "Pardon?"
student: "I think they should be called floories because you are more likely to end up on the floor than on the roof."
me: "Are you quoting The Hangover right now because I do not think that movie is appropiate for 6th grader."

The students also keep me on my toes. Since I am new to South Africa, I do not know what the students have learned in previous grades. It is not like the US where the teachers have an outline on what all they must teach. On Monday, I got observed teaching fractions. My teacher told me to start with the basics for a refresher. Well, I am glad that I made sure to have plenty of things to do in my lesson extender because when I gave a worksheet on matching a fraction with a picture (which I planned for lasting 25 minutes with a discussion), the students told me it was super easy and finished it in 5 minutes tops!

Some of my students have started a list of South African words that I don't know so that when I hear them I understand. Some of the new words they added to the list this week:

kyf means stole "Miss Heil, someone kyfed my pencil"
yebo means hello in Xhosa
skwif means skew "Don't skwif the story"
ayoba means cool

This weekend the other COST students and myself have decided to just chill in Grahamstown. Next week, we have half term from Wednesday to Monday so we only have to go to the school on Monday and Tuesday. I am going on camp with grade 6 to the African Imprint so I basically have the whole week off. Thursday we are leaving to go to Port Elizabeth for 4 days. While we are there we are going to watch a soccer game at the new Nelson Mandela Bay stadium built for the World Cup. We are also going to watch a rugby game. I have been told that people "tailgate" here too. They don't call it tailgating though.

Cheers!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Don't be dodgy

New terms I learned this week:
dodgy meaning creepy/sketchy
sho sho meaning hot
mark meaning grade... I learned this term the funny way. I was collecting an assignment from my 5th grade math class and asked my teacher if he would like me to grade it. He looked at me funny and said, "Grade it?" and I was responded, "Yeah, like check if it's right or wrong." He then laughed and said "oh you mean mark it."

I started my teaching this week and I learned a lot. I taught exponents and rooting to grade 7. I had to refresh my memory of some it and I found that it is hard to explain without using a lot of examples. I taught place value and number value to grade 5. I really liked the lessons I did because they were hands on and interactive. I used money to teach tenths and hundredths. I brought some pennies I still had from the U.S. and let some students keep them. They thought they were sooooo lucky to have American money. I told them unfortunately you can't buy anything with just a penny.

Next week my mentor goes out of town so I have full responsibility for his class! I am really excited to get the full experience! I also get observed by my COST supervisor on Monday. I will teaching a lesson on introducing fractions. I am going to bring in candy to let teh students discover how to explain parts of a whole using candy fractions.

This weekend, my crew (which is how people who know myself and the 2 other COST students refer to us) and I are going to East London. We are staying in a hostel Saturday called the Sugarshack. It only cost $12 per night! East London is known for having teh 2nd best surfing beach and amazing sand dunes. For $10 you can sand board and learn how to surf! I love the exchange rate because it makes things so cheap! From what people have told me, when you sand board you take 15 mintutes to hike up the huge sand dune only to enjoy a 5 second ride down. I am looking forward to a surfing lesson! I have never surfed before so it should be interesting! Of course I will post many pictures to my facebook!

Cheers!



Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kwantu Elephant Sanctuary

Today was an amazing weekend so far!

Last night, we picked up the rental car. It was quite entertaining to drive on the left side of the road. Auburn is the only one who can drive a manual, so Diana and I help make sure she stays on the left side.

We left at 8am to drive to the Kwanta Elephant Sanctuary. It opened only 7 months ago so they are still building parts of it. They have four female elephants that they rescued from being killed. Diana, Auburn and I got to ride the elephants for 30 minutes around the reserve. We rode with a guide that we held on very tight to! After we rode the elephants, we got to feed and interact with them. Of course the elephants know how to kick a soccer ball! We took TONS of pictures!

After we left the reserve around noon, we drove to the Kenton on the Sea. We got lunch then laid by the ocean. It is still surreal to think that we are swimming in the Indian Ocean!

In two weekends we are going to Port Elizabeth for 5 days. While we are there we are going to meet up with some other COST students living there!

Next week I start teaching so I have A LOT of work to do tomorrow!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

ONE MONTH ALREADY!

I cannot believe that I have been in South Africa for one month already! I started my 4th week at the schools and next week I start teaching! Teaching here is going to be more difficult because I teach a different grade each class. For example, all grade 6 students have math from 9 to 10 am. There are 3 math teachers that teach the different levels the 6 grade math students are at. I teach grade 5, 6, and 7 grade maths so that means four different lesson plans a day! CRAZY! Next week, I am teaching place value and number value to grade 5, fractions to grade 6, and expontents and square roots to grade 7.

It is amazing how time flies by here. I cannot believe that tomorrow is already Friday. My friends and I have booked our first trip for this weekend. We are renting a car (or should I say "hire a car" as they say here) and driving to Kwantu elephant game reserve to ride elephants! They also have lions there and we get to hold the cubs! I am already charging my battery for Saturday. Later in the day we are going to the beach.

Next weekend, we are going to meet up with the other COST students in Port Elizabeth. There we will be doing a lot of sight-seeing and shopping.

Cheers!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Week 3...already??

Wow... time has FLOWN by!! I cannot believe I have been in Grahamstown for 3 weeks already! I am still soaking soooo much in! I have taught for 3 out of the 4 days this week so that makes the day pass by very quickly. Tomorrow after school, I am helping with the swim meet. The local private schools in Grahamstown are all competing so it should be a lot of fun. The girl I live, Diana, is student teaching at the Diosean School for Girls, which will also be at the meet so we will cheering for opposing teams :) Next week, grade 5 is going on an overnight outing to Boknes, which I am not sure what exactly that place is... but hopefully I get to go. Sometimes I feel like I am cheating with my student teaching by going on all the awesome field trips, but I actually work with the students so much that I am gaining more experiences on these trips. I wish schools back at home went on more trips. The philosophy at Kingswood is that these overnight trips are meant to unite the grade and build relationships to promote teamwork and leadership.

The local university starts next week so Grahamstown is getting busy. On my walk today I saw many students moving into houses. The weekend is called "The Big O" meaning orientation. As the South Africans would say, "This weekend is going to be hectic" meaning this weekend is going to be awesome!

Things I learned this week:
1) The southern accent does not pronounce their vowels well... I have the hardest time saying African names!
2) In the US, we have a phrase called PEMDAS to remember the order of operation. Here it is BODMAS meaning Brackets, Of, Divide, Multiply, Add and Subtract. Needless to say, my grade 6 class taught my what "of" meant
3) Instead of saying zero in math, students say "nought"... I am finding this difficult to remember when I am teaching
4) People here write decimals as commas... so for example 10,000 is not ten thousand but 10.000

I wish I wrote down all the new things I learn everyday... I just have to laugh it off and remember when I am back at home that foreigners are not always going to understand me

Monday, January 25, 2010

Indian Ocean

This past Sunday, Auburn, Diani and I went to Port Alfred with the family Auburn lives with, Jill and Earnest Rotham. They have a house in Port Alfred. On our way to Port Alfred, we stopped in this little town named Bathhurst. It had really neat and historic shops. When we arrived in Port Alfred, we put on our swim suits (or costumes as they call them here) and went to the beach. It was so exciting to touch the Indian Ocean! Unfortunately it was overcast, so we didn't swim much because it was cold. Something interesting about the Indian Ocean is that the algae is red. When I first saw it I thought a bunch of fish had been massacred haha Oh the many things I learn everyday here!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I am amazed at how respected teachers are at Kingswood. Whenever a teacher walks into the classroom, all students must stand and greet the teacher. When I am walking to and from school, all the students greet me with a "Hello Mam." If the boys are wearing hats, they take them off to say hello in my presence. It is amazing at how mannered these children are. Teachers are often not respected the way they ought to be so it feels good to be greeted and treated with great respect.

The students are so polished at the school too. All students wear uniforms. Girls must have their hair pulled up and can wear only black, white or red headbands. Boys were socks up their calves and collared shirts. It is so British!

My next goal is to get a picture with the class so you can see how cute they look in their uniforms!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ooops here is the link....

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/album.php?aid=2654563&id=4944810&ref=mf

Getting Acquainted

There are so many new terms to learn in a foreign country
For example:
now now means later
just now means much later
keen means okay
hectic means cool
college means elementary, middle and high school
varisty means university

Today started week two at Kingswood College
The staff and stooges had a relay race. I got signed up while away at camp with grade 7 so luckily I went to church and saw some of the teachers who told me to bring a swim suit (which they call costume). But I did pretty well so it's all good. This week I mainly observe the classes and get my schedule of teaching figured out!
I posted picutes on facebook so here is the link




Saturday, January 16, 2010

My first week!

Molweni! (That is how they say hello all in the Xhosa language which is the "clicking language")

I cannot believe that today is one week that I have been in Grahamstown! Monday, I went to the school to meet the teachers and staff. School started Tuesday. Since the seasons are opposite here, Tuesday was the start of the new school year. All the students wear uniforms. It is so surreal! The school has English style architecture. There is no air conditioning so all windows and doors are left open during the day. It is absolutely beautiful. My next goal is to take pictures of the school.

On Wednesday, I went on the 3-day camp with the 7 grade. Usually stooges (university students who live at the school for free by doing duties) go on field trips, but I get to go on all of them as well with any grade! On the first day I led a group of students on a 14K hike through some rough terrain. I was amazed that every student finished. And it was soooo hot! When the hike started it was chilly so I wore shorts and jacket....and no sunscreen. However, halfway through the hike the sun came out and so I burnt. So now I have a lovely farmers tan :) Thursday was group tasks. I led a task called spiders web where the group has to get all team members through various sized and height holes without touching the ropes. It was very entertaining. Friday the students went on a treasure hunt. It was so much fun.

The other best part of the camp was that I got to meet people my age...the stooges. We played lots of cards and I answered many questions. Apparently, there is a movie in South Africa about how 9/11 was a conspiracy so it was interesting to hear about that. Sadly, the USA does not have the best reputation. One of my students asked me if most Americans were fat... I laughed and said we have fast food that is bad for you. The people here eat very fresh and light. There is only one big meal a day and the other two are small meals. The typical small meal is a sandwich with cheese and tomato.

Friday night I went out for the first time in Grahamstown. Grahamstown is a college town much like Athens. At one of the pubs, every song they played was an American song. It was funny!

Next week is my first official week in the classroom since I was on a field trip most of last week. The atmosphere is very relaxed. In Athens, I had to were nice dress clothes to the schools. But here I am very over dressed. Due to the hot weather, tank tops are allowed and shorts! And there is a pub at the school!! That was a shocker. Wednesday there was a staff cocktail party but I missed it due to the field trip. Oh and apparently I got signed up to participate in the staff pool relay race... someone signed me up while I was gone haha I am actually looking forward to because swimming is one of the few sports I know here. Crickett, Rugby, Sqaush and Net Ball are all sports that I will be learning these next few weeks!

My goal tomorrow is to post pictures from the field trip.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Arrived in Johannesburg

Well, after an 18 hour flight I finally made it to Africa. I couldn't sleep on the plane at all and the food was not so good. It is nice to be in a hotel with a shower and bathroom! I leave in the morning for Port Elizabeth. I have to pay for internet which is about to run out so tomorrow I will post the funny story about thinking someone was trying to kidnap me and blowing up my hair dryer. Luckily no one got hurt haha

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

24 hours till departure

I cannot believe the time is already here for me to leave! I have spent the past two days packing and weighing my luggage religiously :) How does a girl back for 4 months? My plane departs at 1 pm tomorrow but I have to be at the airport no later than 9:30 to get through customs, security and exhange some money. I fly from Atlanta to D.C. Next I have a 19 hour flight from D.C. to Johannesburg. Finally I fly a short flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizbeth. That's a whopping 23 hours in a plane! Wish me luck!

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