Reaching Out 2 The World

Kids These Days


So today started out relatively normal. Thanks to Hendri’s ride home last night I actually had a lunch today that I was pretty excited about. I pumped up the soccer balls and basketballs that I had brought with me from home and had them with me at school today. The kids in homeroom saw them and were pretty excited. I figured I’d hand them over during break time. I ended up leaving after their morning prayer though to spend the morning with 6c. On the way to the class the teacher I was with asked me if she could have one of the soccer balls for her son… What was I supposed to say to that? There were four balls in there so I said she could if she wanted to. She then told me that since the balls were so nice (I bought them at the thrift store for about 50 cents apiece) that I should let the head male teacher have them so he can use them for his after school soccer team he has started with some of the students. I didn’t think that was a bad idea but I really just wanted to give these balls straight to the students. When we made it to 6c they were just starting their lesson on how to write an essay. I think I’m starting to understand Xhosa better but I’m not even close to being able to speak it. They actually had a reading test in Xhosa following the lesson on essay writing. I looked over the test a bit but there was no way I was going to be of any assistance and my stomach was so ready for a real lunch that I left for the teachers’ room early. When I got there I snuck two of the balls that I brought back into my book bag. I’ll give them to the students another time without involving the other teachers. It started raining anyways and the students didn’t need any extra reasons to get muddy. Lunch was awesome and one of the children brought a bag full of amagwinyas for us. The direct translation for that is fat cook, and it’s pretty fitting since it’s just flour and sugar deep fried. It tasted like a loaf of funnel cake. After lunch I went to 6e. They are my favorite class so far and today was their wedding. We took a lot of pictures, and I say we because I let them use my camera. I was showing them the pictures on the small screen that the camera had on it and they all crowded around as if they were witnessing the very first child birth. When I got to a video I had recorded of them their jaws hit the floor. I’m not sure if they were more surprised that my camera could take video or that I had recorded them without them knowing. Either way, my camera was in full use after that and my battery ended up dying before the wedding was over. For the rest of the day I hung out with that class and we basically just had a party. It was a good time and very chaotic. I was thinking to myself that today was interesting and educational but nothing had really happened to set it apart from the other days. That all changed as I was leaving the school. Still on school grounds, just outside of a classroom actually there was an epic fight taking place. When I got there the fight was already in full drive; punching, kicking, not holding anything back. As I approached I kind of figured my presence would be enough to stop the fighting but that proved wrong as I got closer. I tried yelling for them to cut it out but everyone was yelling and it’s not like they could understand me anyways. The next step was to physically pull them apart… Have I mentioned yet that these were six year olds? My idea of pulling them apart sounds a little smarter now, I’m sure. But as I moved in closer other students, six year olds, blocked me! They wanted me to let them go! I have no idea what’s normal here but that’s not okay where I come from. I looked around and saw a couple teachers in the distance preoccupied. They had to know this fight was going on but I don’t think they really cared. So I make my way through the kids to the two that are fighting. At this point they are on the ground and the one kid is dominating the other. So I start to pull the kid that’s ‘winning’ off and when I get them separated the kid that was ‘losing’ starts coming after the kid I have. At this point a few of the other students start spraying water onto us. I don’t know where the water came from but it was enough to distract the two kids that were fighting each other. I wasn’t confident that the fighting was over but I was more confident that there wasn’t much more I could do. As I left I couldn’t help thinking that I’ve actually thought of a scenario similar to this. It was more like this though… “If your life depended on it, how many six year olds would it take to take you down? Anything goes.” Fortunately things didn’t excel. I went into Stellenbosch after school and had to jump around internet cafes so I could have the internet long enough to update the blog site and respond to emails. My laptop battery ended up dying so the trip was pretty short lived. I took a nap when I got home and left my door to the outside unlocked. I was woken by Bucha and his slightly older buddy. I didn’t mind the fact that they burst into my room while I was sleeping as much as I minded Bucha’s friend just going through all my stuff as I sat there in bewilderment. This kid not only felt the need to touch everything, but I’m almost positive he felt it was just as much his as it was mine. I had 3 wrapped presents on a desk that I was planning on bringing into school and this little boy just starts opening them like it’s his birthday! After I got him to stop unwrapping the presents he just made his way to something else. They found my stash of food and I let them take some cookies and then kicked them out. Before they left I heard them go into mzemazi’s room. Hopefully they didn’t do anything too bad because I’d feel it was my fault for leaving the front door unlocked. I fell back sleep till dinner time and as I sat down to eat Papa Zulu said something about being able to make it without Bucha. I wasn’t really sure what he was talking about but realized that Bucha hadn’t come home yet and they had to go looking for him. They ended up finding him at a friend’s house down the street and he got a pretty good spanking when they brought him back. I watched some tv after dinner and then headed to bed for the night. The theme of today was child abuse. First there was the fight between the two six year olds, and then a little B&E with Bucha and his pal. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a train back into Cape Town, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again!


3 thoughts on “Kids These Days

  1. You didn’t get much of a honeymoon period during your trip so far did you? Sounds like you will surely be ready anything a US classroom could hand you!

  2. haha not so much. I think I’m doing a Garden Route tour in a couple weeks, And next weekend I’m climbing Table Mountain and repelling down 🙂

  3. Did that experience change your opinion on How many Six year olds you think you can take? I’d say 50 in packs of 5, thats just cause i’m out of shape though back in the day it would be more like 200. Idk why i like leaving you such psycho comments but i do so, peace

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