Monday, April 21, 2008

Overdue Update

I've been back in Grahamstown for awhile now, but have been drowning in a wave of laziness. I don't know why my problem is, but I've been very lazy. It's been nice being back. I've been to the Raphael Centre a few times now and everything is going very well. We're just waiting for the large package of donations from home to arrive. When the package comes I'll finally get to start the photography project which will be exhibited at the National Arts Festival. Finally everything is coming together. We titled the exhibit "Defined by Four Letters," and hope that it will make the impact we want it to.

Also, we finally got back up to Nyaluza and Eluxolweni on Friday. They've been out of school so last week was their first day back. Grace and I headed up to Nyaluza to find out about helping out around school since Jason's gone now. We then were told that we were need to teach English, Life Orientation, and History/Geography. Needless to say we were pretty overwhelmed. I think we'll be starting Friday, we're just waiting for Mr. Mushwana (the principal) to give us the teacher's guides. It's such a surreal idea, me in front of a classroom. I can barely take myself seriously, I don't know how to get them to take me seriously. We were also told that we will need to prepare the kids for their big exams in June. That's pretty nerve wracking.

After we left the school on Friday we met up with some of the students we knew through Jason. We got to walk with them for awhile and catch up. It was nice spending time with them again! Grace and I headed up to the shelter to see the kids. We haven't seen them in forever. Luckily the were all there. It was amazing seeing them again. We spent awhile there listening to music, dancing, talking, cracking jokes. It was great. I really missed those kids. There were a few new kids and a few kids who have left. We got permission to come up every Friday after we're done at Nyaluza. It will be great. We plan to play games and listen to music. It's a lot of fun hanging out with them.

Aside from the volunteering I haven't been doing too much. I'm only taking Art History and my WAC Course now, so I've had a few papers to do, but not much other than that. Weekends are great, I really look forward to them. This past weekend Grace and I randomly met a kid who lived in NJ for awhile working as a camp counselor. It was great talking to him. He's the first person that I've met here so far that doesn't hate NJ. I don't know what the deal is. I certainly didn't think the stereotypes would follow me all the way here! I still get the "armpit of America" stuff here. It was nice to laugh about it with someone though.

Two weeks ago the WAC kids took a trip to Nieu Bethesda. It was fun and relaxing. Nieu Bethesda is an artist community about four hours away from here. It's famous for the Owl House, which was a pretty interesting place ( It was very beautiful, but rather spooky. We also got to see a lot of fossils. The fossils were pre-dinosaurs which was pretty mind blowing. They are unique to the Karoo (where we were) and prove a lot about the history of the world. Also, the farm where we stayed had old bushman cave paintings that dated back over 7000 years. That was incredible. It was amazing to see artwork that old that was just painted on the walls of a cave.

Other than that I haven't been up to too much, but hope to spice things up soon. We have one last WAC trip to Hogsback Mountain, which should be very nice, but cold. We also have a very long (almost week long) weekend coming up in a few weeks. We want to take a trip then to the beach perhaps. Up the coast a bit it's still warm enough to swim. In fact, in Durban, where we might go in June or so, you can swim all year. That's pretty wild. We're also hoping to plan a trip to Kruger Park during the week before exams. That will be our last big adventure before we go home. I don't want to leave South Africa without having seen Kruger.