November 17

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South Africa – Trip 2 – Week 1&2

The pool at No8 Guesthouse

The pool at No8 Guesthouse

I can’t believe this is already my second week in Munsieville… when I booked my flights I thought that 5 weeks was a long time but it isn’t really… not when you’re doing something like this! It was weird landing in OR Tambo last week and driving over to Krugersdorp… When I got there I was surprised for it to ‘feel like home’. People are so friendly, always helpful and genuinely interested in hearing about what I’m up to on my assignment.

This time I’m not staying at the Rabbit Hole, because they have no self catering units and eating out every night for 5 weeks did not appeal… 🙂 [but I would happily have stayed there again… it’s lovely!] I’m staying at No 8 Guesthouse, which is managed by Eksteen, the son of Esma who owns the Rabbit Hole… A family connection! 😉 The guesthouse is lovely, I have the best room [apparently…] and whilst it is self catering, you get breakfast [and a good one at that!] and laundry included. Not having to do your washing is great… I hope I remember how to use my washing machine and my iron when I get back!!! 🙂

Despite not staying there this time, I have been back to the Rabbit Hole to say hi to Marlize, Leandri and Zeldi [although I haven’t seen Zeldi yet…] and I’m hoping to get them out for dinner at some point in the next 3 weeks to catch-up. I’ve also had a slice of their amazing chocolate cake… and we’re going there for dinner tomorrow night [that’s Friday… Yay!]!!! I say ‘we’ because sociable me has been chatting to my neighbours at the Guesthouse. I know… what a surprise! We have been having dinner together and even went to the cinema last week… 🙂

I have also joined the local Virgin Active gym [for 1 month only!], as I am a bit of a fitness fanatic [I might have said it before but really, there are worse addictions!!!] and wouldn’t want to forget how to spin, step or ruin my alignment by having a too long pilates break!!! [‘The habit of a lifetime’…. yes Dawn, I remember!!!] So far so good, I have been nearly every day! It helps me unwind and it feels good (well good might not be the best word… my legs certainly don’t think so!). Yeeee ha!

I couldn’t wait to see the Thoughtful Path Munsieville (TPM) team again and when I got to the Children’s Embassy it was as if I’d never left… Soooo nice to see them all! I was sad to learn that one of Stella’s relatives had died of meningitis at the age of 11. As a show of support for Stella, I decided to attend the church service for the funeral [with her blessing]. It was heartbreaking to see her sadness [and even harder to witness the mother’s sadness]. I have never met this bright young girl, Lesedi Keabetswe Kekake, but I could hardly hold back the tears at the church service. I couldn’t understand a word of what they were saying but the emotions didn’t require any translation. It doesn’t feel right that parents should bury their children!

Tshepo festival logo

Tshepo festival logo

On a more cheerful note, the entire team is busy organising the 5th Tshepo (tshepo = hope) festival which will take place on the 28th of November 🙂 The Tshepo festival is basically a gianormous Christmas party for the children of Munsieville… Only two weeks left to organise everything!!! A very fashionable theme song of Happy by Pharrell [I might have suggested it…. because it is catchy and happy and I like it – and so did everyone…] will be sung by the Early Childhood Development (ECD) children… This is going to be so cute… I might also have committed myself to ‘teaching’ the Macarena choreography to the team and the ‘crowd’ as a fun thing to do… why oh why??? [I bet you can’t wait to see the video… 😉 ] There will be bouncy castles, sports activity, a bit of singing, a bit of dancing…. Fun fun fun!!! I can’t wait to witness this ‘organised chaos’ as Anette, Ellie & Paul put is so eloquently [nice word… I like it]

I have also managed, with the help of the team and the Thuto Lefa high school, to get some time with the target public (grade 10/11) of the Young Entrepreneur Curriculum (YEC). I have presented an overview of the curriculum to approximately 20-25 students and I am getting some of their time to give me some feedback on the YEC materials. I must say that I’m glad to be done with the ‘coming up with the materials’ phase… the ‘testing the materials’ phase will hopefully be more fun! 🙂
What’s in it for me? An opportunity to check that the materials are relevant, interactive enough and engaging and also, on a more basic level, that the level of English (the actual words…) is appropriate. Not forgetting a chance to interact with the ‘next generation’ of Munsieville!
What’s in it for them? Well I’d love to say that the satisfaction and pride of having helped with the development of the Young Entrepreneur Curriculum would be enough… 😉 but just like in the UK (or anywhere else…), the offer of some refreshments is probably what will help me securing their attention!

Sorry again for posting this late… today is the start of my third week in Munsieville… more to tell about last friday [14 Nov] and my weekend in Pilanesberg….

To be continued […]