Started this before we took off for our trip – no good way to send from there. More to follow this soon. (July 10)
June 24, 2012
Wow! Lots has happened since I last posted to the blog. We’ve just finished Term 2 of the school year. We are on the 2nd day of a nice long (3 week) break between terms.
Since last time we have gone from fall to winter. Once in a while I actually feel cold and have to put on another layer. No one has central heat in the village and some houses in “white” neighborhoods have no heating system either. We have a space heater that we used a couple of times last winter and haven’t yet had to break out this year. High 50’s/low 60’s at night – mid 70’s during the day. Glad for a blanket at night but often in a T-shirt by the afternoon.
Richard’s snap peas came up well and are flowering. He planted both American and South African “snap pea” seeds. It will be interesting to see and taste any differences. To Richard’s surprise, after reading the seed packets, the S. Africans bloomed 1st.
The regional (Limpopo Province) Peace Corps gathering I mentioned last time was a success. The new Country Director agreed to pay for the conference space and came up from Pretoria to be a part of the program. It’s nice to have supportive competent staff in our SA Peace Corps office. Our session on gardening was well attended and became a sharing of best practices session.
My daughter, Megan, had a great visit. She stayed in the village for over a week!. She visited Kgopong and got to see where I am working and meet some of my learners and co-workers. She brought 4 gross of pencils for me to give to learners. She also got to Dipone, the high school, and helped Richard with his large Grade 9 & 10 Maths classes.
While Megan was here I had my sixty-first birthday. She wanted me to have a birthday party while she was here. I invited Didi & Kobus and the young cousin I help with school work. It was nice to have people from different parts of my life together. Sophy created a real South African feast for us all to share.
The last weekend Megan was here we took a day trip to Kruger. Richard and I have been to Kruger 4 times now and each time there seems to be one animal that stands out. The first one (with the school) was a bit different because everything we saw was new. We even got excited about seeing impalas. The second trip, with Sarah, was the giraffe trip – we saw more giraffes up close and got to see one run. They are so graceful! With Adam the elephants were most spectacular – especially the big bull elephant that stared us down! With Megan it was Zebra day.
Megan left May 28th and the last 4 weeks of Term 2 flew by. School felt a little too much like a regular job – teaching 5 different grades – lots of lesson planning and time in the classroom. Sometimes I feel I am doing the fishing instead of teaching the educators how to fish but at least the educators are in the room with me most of the time and can pick up some new ways of doing things. I was glad for the semester break to start on June 22nd!
July 10, 2012
Richard’s oldest, Hannah, arrived in country June 26th. We rented a car (something Peace Corps only allows when we are on “annual leave”) and picked her up at the airport, took her to meet our friends, Didi & Kobus, and have a hot shower after 2 days of traveling before going to the village. Then she spent a few days in the village meeting our host family, having an African feast, Seeing where her dad lives and works and meeting some of the learners at Dipone. On June 29th we left our house at 4:30 am for a day in Kruger with Hannah. That day was rhino day! We saw lots of the animals that live in Kruger from the small “dwarf” mongoose
to the very large rhino. We had two great rhino sightings. The first was 2 rhinos sleeping in the road where we could drive slowly right past them!
The next day we got on a plane to Livingston, Zimbzbwe.
I’m going to post this part now and post the rest of our vacation the next time.