A little bummed Alex and Ndidi weren’t joining me at school today but they had to head back to Cape Town. It wasn’t going to be too bad of a day though because for the most part the students were just preparing for a nationwide test that all six graders take part in. In the morning they were copying antonyms down and before they had time to finish that they were copying gender differences down. This was proving to be a lot of writing and only about half the class was actually doing it. The days before they also were doing a lot of cramming for this upcoming test and I could hardly blame them for avoiding the seemingly endless copying. I had a bag of Reece’ M&M things and any student that actually finished a section, for me to grade, I gave a handful too. Bribing kids with candy will always work.
In the afternoon they started rearranging the classrooms to prepare for this test. I’m not sure what the point was exactly of moving the students from one classroom to another but for some reason that’s what we did. I guess they also wanted to make sure that every student had a place to sit and take the test. The method they used for moving the kids around was very poor and most of the afternoon was just hanging outside of a classroom. I saw some things I didn’t like very much while we were waiting. Besides the normal fighting I saw some kids giving themselves some tattoos. Last week I mentioned about how they did rub-on tattoos using images from a magazine but this week they were carving stuff into their skin using scissors or other sharp objects and then using the ink from a pen or marker to fill it in. Trust me when I say it was as disgusting as it sounds. Don’t worry, I tried to get them to stop when I saw this but often they’d just run around the corner. What bothered me the most was my little guy Mawande was doing it too. When he saw me coming he ran but I knew I’d be seeing him soon enough. When I saw him in class he looked really upset and I told him to come over. He shook his head no and I decided to give him some time. Not long after he came over to me and was just about ready to cry. I asked him why he was doing it and he told me something that I had a hard time understanding. He told me it was something to do with his last name or something but I’m not really sure. He showed me his forearm and there was some word engraved into it but he didn’t know the English translation. I told him it’s not good to be doing that and that it worried me. I don’t know the reasoning behind it but I don’t think he’ll be doing it while I’m around anymore…
Basically as soon as we all made it into the new classroom and had our seats, the day was over. A few students walked home with me but I left them to head into town. When I got back there were 4 kids waiting for me. Three of them aren’t even in my class at school. They had a good time running around wearing my clothes and the jerseys I had brought them. Half hour later 2 more kids showed up to join in and about an hour after that Mawande and his 2 friends came over. I made the bold decision to leave them in my room while I ate dinner again and to my surprise everything was intact when I returned. For the past week Mawande and RiRi have been typing a letter to one of you guys. I’ll be sure to email it to you when they finish… if they finish. It’s really amusing watching them use my laptop.
I took the train back to Cape Town today and I can thankfully say that it was boring and uneventful. I even made it to the post office and the SASTS office afterwards without any problems. When I finally made it to the SASTS hostel I plopped myself down to enjoy some proper internet. Still about half the speed of anything I’ll have back home but so much better than anything out in Kayamandi.
Friday evening Ndidi, Alex, Isaac, and myself all went out for dinner and it was a glorious time. There are few things in life that are funnier than watching the 4 of us interact. Of course it’s probably one of those situations that it’s really only funny for us and probably super annoying for everyone around us but I’m not about to start worrying about that.
After dinner Isaac gave me a ride back to Kayamandi so I could avoid the train the morning with the package. My dad sent me a package consisting of soccer balls, erasers, a few maps, yo yo’s, socks, and a few other things!
Once I got back to Kayamandi I did a bit of writing and headed to bed. The weekend had a lot in store.