Our plan for Thursday was to meet up with Lupho in the morning, talk to his mother about the trip we’d be going on, and then document his trip to school. We wanted to put together a video that would share a day in the life of one of our students (I’ve since completed the video and would be more than willing to share it with additional teacher friends back home!).
Once we got to school we sat down with Lupho to ask him a few questions. Because the end of the term was this week classes were no longer still in session. For most of the day students just ran around like banshees. Even the classrooms were no longer set up to teach. The desks and chairs were piled high and stacked up against the walls. This was probably for cleaning purposes in between the terms. Because of all the chaos it made it a bit difficult to hear everything Lupho was saying but I think the video turned out alright.
We brought a rugby ball with us as well and got the students outside to start running around with it. They knew the game better than I do but for the most part it looked like a huge game of keep away. There were no boundaries, no teams, loads of students, and just one ball. There was an equal amount of chaos as before but at least now it was organized. I had a break up a few fights, and there were a few dog piles which involved 20 plus students but all in all it was a fun time. I didn’t realized how many students were surrounding me till viewing these pictures.
After our game, and before things got too out of hand we went back into one of the classrooms and had a few students join us. We were looking to do more of a group interview for our video. We still ran into the noise problem but we worked through it. Before long we had a pretty full classroom of students both in front of the camera and behind it. Most of the interview questions were just off the top of our heads. We had discussed different questions we wanted to ask but once things got rolling we just improvised. As we were doing this I got an idea that I was sure would work. I knew for a fact that if I asked them to sing their national anthem that they would not only do it, but that we would have no problems hearing them. These guys have so much pride in their anthem and it was a pleasure capturing it on camera. The song is rather long, and builds up to a powerful ending. I guess students outside the classroom could hear what was going on and joined in on the fun. We started the first interview with 6 students in the classroom and finished with closer to 24!
After our interviews Dan and I went back to Mama Zulus for some lunch. Both Mama and Papa Zulu left early Thursday morning for a long trip out East to Port Elizabeth. They were attending a funeral for Papa Zulu’s Uncle. The trip to Port Elizabeth is about 10-12 hours depending on your method of travel, so their plan was to spend the weekend out there and come back late Sunday night. Because they would be gone for the weekend we were in charge of the dinners. Mieke and Hanneke were in charge of Thursday’s dinner. Dan and I would take care of Friday, and Gesa, Clara, and Eric would be making dinner for Saturday. In case you’re not following that means the Dutch girls are making dinner Thursday, the Americans had Friday, and the Germans would be taking care of Saturday.
I was under the impression that we’d each be making a meal from our countries but when we sat down to dinner that night it was right were Mama Zulu had left off; Chicken, potatoes, and veggies. It was great, and tasted just like Mama Zulu’s, but I was hoping for something a bit more Dutch, whatever that means.
That night Dan, Mieke, Hanneke, and I played a game of Catan. Because the girls had ate my leftovers from Ginos the day before they treated me to a frozen pizza before our match. It was actually good and I appreciated the gesture. Our game of Catan was good as usual with Dan capturing his first victory. I think I’ll remember the game as that time a 10 only got rolled once! Brick was difficult to come by.
On Friday, Dan and I went into town for the last day Cinnabon would be opened. For some reason the store wasn’t getting enough business and they were closing permanently. This was detrimental news when we found out and we had to go in on their last day. While in town we also picked up ingredients for our dinner for the evening. Our plan was to make fajitas. Ever since watching, Turbo, I was craving Mexican food and I came to find out that most of the other volunteers had never even eaten a taco. I figured they were easy enough to prepare for a group of people and I was confident we would all love them.
By the time we got home the other volunteers had left on a preplanned wine tour. Dan and I considered going… actually we were supposed to go but kind of bailed last second. I thought the price was too high and talked myself out of going. Sorry friends, there is always a next time.
Another reason I didn’t go was because I was expecting a special visitor today and wanted to be home when they arrived. Avela Lisa was a student of mine 2 years ago and has since moved to the Easter Cape. Dan and I were both disappointed when we arrived and found out that Avela wouldn’t be able to join us on the trip. A few days ago I found a number on my phone that used to be Avelas so I texted him to let him know I was back in SA. I got no response from that text which wasn’t too surprising since most of the numbers I knew had since changed. I think more than half the contacts in my phone are no longer numbers that are in use. Later, I decided to text another number that I thought could be his and this time I got a response! The number turned out to be Avela’s mother and she called me immediately after. We briefly talked about the trip we had planned and she told me that Avela would be there, and that he’d be arriving in Kayamandi on Friday. So after getting back from Stellenbosch with our groceries I was greeted with a very familiar face. Avela was one of the brightest students I worked with at Ikaya and I was glad to hear that he’s studying at a better school. His trip back to Kayamandi took roughly 14 hours via mini bus!
The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up Avela on the trip we’d be going on and hearing all about what he’s been up to. The other guys from Kayamandi have also not seen Avela in a while and were super excited to see their old friend.
Just after 5 I started preparation of the fajitas and with the help of Eric we put together a delicious array of fillings for our soft shells. I think everyone really loved it, but I in the future I’ll have to cook more because we ate everything!
That evening I sat down with Ski and together we did a South African bracelet. He worked on the right side while I took the left. He actually did a pretty great job considering it was his first attempt at making one. I rewarded him with a chocolate muffin I had been saving for a special occasion. Hey, if you can sit patiently enough to create one of these SA bracelets you absolutely deserve a treat!