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.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! This all sounds like a blast. I have to agree with you about the American reputation. Since Dutch people are known to be blunt, they asked why Americans were fat. The students all welcomed me by saying curse words in English, but they were hesitant to speak to me in English. It was a very interesting experience for me.

    The students all had negative assumptions about the US, which is really disheartening.

    I'm jealous that you have hot weather. It's freezing here, and teachers here don't have dress code either. Like you, I'm overly dressed as well. As for the pub, exciting! My school serves alcohol too during receptions and such at the school -- teachers go to this pub like five minutes away from the school.

    You're meeting people your age. That's great. Me...not so much. We're just surrounded by teachers...we would have to make our own friends.

    Anyways, I'm glad you're having a blast! I can't wait for the pictures!