South Africa – Trip 2 – Week 4
When I got to the ‘office’ on Monday morning, there was a big tent set up in the Children’s Embassy courtyard… I have to say I didn’t know that an event was planned so it was a bit of a surprise 🙂 The event was the start of a week of self-defence awareness sessions and classes aimed at children and young women around the community. The aim: make them aware of potential ‘dangers’ and telling them that it’s ok to say ‘no’ if you are asked to do something you don’t want to do! [And we’re not talking about washing up or doing your homework here!]
Monday was also the day where I started working on the exam questionnaire for part II – such a struggle to come up with decent questions that make sense but aren’t too easy or too difficult… I thought I’d just look at the modules and be inspired… and I was… for about 5 questions… out of 20!!!
On Tuesday, we started packing the ‘party packs’ for the Tshepo festival… Large quantities of crisps, biscuits, sweets, sherbet (the kind that makes your tongue blue… or red…), lollypops and guava drink appeared around the office… The challenge, pack as many party packs as we could ahead of the event on Friday. Ladies from the community came to help and the office became a production line… each person had a specific task in an attempt to be as efficient as possible [I wonder who suggested that… Henry Ford I think!!!]… I must have been the best paid manual labour in South Africa on that day… but it was fun… if a little repetitive 😉 I have no idea how many party packs we packed but it certainly felt like many!!!
I was supposed to go out for dinner with Leandri, Marlize and Zeldi, the receptionists from the Rabbit Hole, for a catch up over pizza but it did not happen due to a ‘family emergency’ [nothing too serious thankfully]. Let’s hope we manage to catch-up next week… as it will be my last week!!!! Arghhhhh!
On Wednesday, I met Mrs Zili, another local businesswoman that we’d like to get support from for the Young Entrepreneur Curriculum. We did have quite a long chat about the curriculum [and many other things 🙂 ] and she seemed very keen to help us – She is already doing some work in Munsieville so it would make sense… Yay!!! Result! Whilst we were chatting, she said that if you wanted to get people’s attention here, bringing a ‘white person’ along would always help you… I can understand why… to an extent… but it still doesn’t make sense to me… what has the colour of your skin got to do with skills or ability or anything really?!?! [But I’m glad I can be of help… 😉 ]
I also moved to the Rabbit Hole, where I stayed in August, because the Guest House was fully booked for the weekend… I have to say that packing my suitcase after nearly 4 weeks was a bit of a challenge, but good training for next week [I am flying to Cape Town for 5 days on the 5th of December… going to see Suzy, the sea and a few other things hopefully!!!!] It was lovely being back the Rabbit Hole, everyone is sooo nice… and Miu Miu, Freddy and Fennel (the hotel’s kitty cats…) were very nice to me too 🙂
Also happening Wednesday… picture of the No Child Left Behind… and me… as Stella pointed out… I should really be in some of those pics… Thank you Stella 🙂 for taking the picture…
I finally managed to get some time with some ‘young adults’ at the Children’s Embassy to review the curriculum materials on Thursday. Yay! Most of them were above the ‘target age group’ of 14-18 years old but some students are better than no students!!! Right?! There were 4 of them and whilst I initially thought that this wasn’t many, it turned out to be perfect to get the conversation going and try to get some ‘real’ feedback on the materials. They did ask some questions [without too much prompting 🙂 ] and seemed quite interested in the style preference concept and how it could be used… Ahhhh I feel better now the module I thought would be the most challenging is out of the way!
Oh and we also added a small gift to our party packs… a little soft toy 🙂 Cute… A shame that only some of the toys were there when we initially started the whole packing operation… we had to take everything out of the boxes, add the ‘missing’ toy to the party packs and box it all up again…. Still, we were outside and it was sunny…. 😉
I shall write a separate post about the Tshepo festival and the unveiling of the ‘new look’ Children’s Embassy… plenty of pics to share 😉
I woke up to an area-wide power cut on Saturday morning… No 8am spin class for me!!! [I was kind of up for it but I wasn’t too distraught to find out it wasn’t happening…. spinning without music… I don’t think so!!!] So instead we went for a wander around the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens with Raymond. Nature needs no electricity and the weather was lovely, already quite warm at 8am! I clearly wasn’t the only one who thought it was a good idea to get out and make the most of the beautiful scenery and nice weather.
After that, I spent some time perfecting my loop-making skills by completing a 30 tiles red loop with colour-matching connecting lines [I hope you’re impressed!!! 😉 ] in the pool area! The various weather apps all got it wrong and it did not rain… [I was already convinced but the best weather app really is to look outside and see for yourself!!!!] A lovely, sunny day! Yay!
I did feel guilty enough to get up early on Sunday and go to another 8am spin class… I felt very virtuous after that… 🙂 There was talk of another power cut on the local news channel but it didn’t happen… so no excuse this time! I had to check out of the Rabbit Hole by 11am and check back into to the Guesthouse… so packing was on the Sunday menu. It was nice to be back in ‘my’ room… funny how you get used to it!
After a late ish lunch, the rain made an unwelcome appearance and I went back to my beloved puzzles…. I got quite frustrated with the next challenge: making a red line with a pyramid shaped arrangement of 15 tiles… Making the red line wasn’t the issue… it was matching the colour of the connecting lines…[as you can see, I’m quite some way from achieving the ‘desired outcome’… frustrating!] I still haven’t solved this one… boo hoo!!!
Oh and randomly, I saw the smallest pot of Nutella I’ve ever seen… [Except for the little thingies you get in hotels at breakfast….] 180g…. Yes, this is something you didn’t know about me… My name is Julie and I’m a Nutella addict…. but I’m on the mend 😉
So this is the end of week 4 in Munsieville… It’s really weird how time ‘feels’… From the UK I thought 5 weeks would be a long time, and I’d have plenty of time to get everything done… and I now have just one week left and still plenty to do! I definitely will have to come back!!!