here are the kids from yesterdays class!
i thought i would start with the uplifting stuff because it's kind of downhill from here....
today was VERY frustrating. i woke up and got dressed and went to eat breakfast. i usually eat in my PJs then get dressed but i was so ready to get to school i thought if i got dressed first time would go faster.
we stopped by the Rape Crisis Center on the way to school to pick up a million pamphlets to hand out to the class today. i brought one of those inflatable globes to pass around during the question and answer time. i was planning on showing them Norfolk on the globe.
we got to school with all of our materials and headed for the workroom. we sat down and started planning for the workshop we're going to do next wednesday after school. it's basically going to be like the Life Orientation class but it's totally open to whoever wants to attend and we're going to have an open forum for questions. we decided to pass out index cards and pens (for them to keep) to write down their questions if they don't want to stand up.
*thanks to everyone who donated so many wonderful materials! we have some awesome ideas as to how we will distribute them :)
we got our plan together and went to the principals room. he was about to meet with two men but we insisted it would only take 2 minutes. we even told the men they could time us. we walked in his office and quickly told him our idea and he was so happy with it and totally supported it. he gave us the name of the woman we would need to talk to in order to have an announcement made and to get help with the logistics; venue, time, day, etc. as of now, it is set for next wednesday. KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED!
that's one thing i think i have failed to mention about this entire process. south africa is so different from america because they are not on a structured time schedule. they call it "africa time". you take your time, you might not call someone back, plans fall through, contacts fall through and it's pretty much a go-with-the-flow kind of place. this is very frustrating to us because 1) we've been raised on a schedule all of our lives. even the most laid back person knows it's important to meet with someone when you say you're going to meet with them at a certain time. 2) we are only here for another week and a half. we don't have time to "talk about it tomorrow" or "we'll figure it out later". i've come to learn that this service work experience has a lot to do with playing a waiting game. one day we sit around for 3 hours but then end up having a private concert with the choir boys and the next day we teach a class. anything can happen at any moment and you have to be ready for it.
i guess that is a good introduction to what happened today. we waited all morning to teach the class at 1235. stacy and ashley (the girls working for Rape Crisis) managed to get away from work to bring more literature and rulers to pass out to the kids and talk to them about the crisis center. we were all SO ready to go in there and give those kids the best advice and guidance we could muster. (that's a weird word but it fits right now haha)
we walk to the class room and knock on the door. we were 5 minutes early and hoped we could just hangout with the kids before class starts. the teacher opened the door and said something like they had to do some work today and we would have to do it tomorrow or next week. my heart sank. i was so mad. i've been flexible this whole time and i've been grinning and baring it but this was the straw that broke MY back. i felt defeated. the teacher had a meeting right before this class and found out they had something they had to do (i really don't know what it was, a test or something) so i know it's not her fault but i'm still upset.
the crappy thing is that tomorrow its a different class. it's not the same class as yesterday and they aren't on the Rape unit yet. we will be giving the sex talk again. which is fine and i'm looking forward to that of course, but we spent so much time preparing for todays lesson and had some really great things to talk about. we'll just have to do it next week...sigh.
Swallows was not in school today. the lab was locked so i couldn't get in there. i'm planning on starting to build the website at one of the cafes just to have it done and when i can get on their computers i'll just link it as their homepage and then show them how to use it/edit it. .....that's the goal/dream/hope/please god i want this to work/idea/plan.
Alex told me she was in the lab earlier and students were on YouTube. DAMN IT. i blocked it friday and the block was working fine. i'm assuming when the internet was down yesterday and they were running new cables to fix it, it must have reset it....sigh again.
so today has been tough. really tough. you can definitely feel the spirit of the group dropping and i am refusing to let that happen. yeah this sucks not being able to come in and do everything we want to do but that's the process. the sucky process and i refuse to give up.
we did get to see the library, FINALLY. there is a big hole in the ceiling and a few broken chairs and some ovens in the corner (not working, just there for storage). lots of boxes and there are actually shelves on the walls with books! tons of encyclipedias. why is this room locked up?! the group decided we would be taking this project home with us. the plan is to get the appropriate contacts and write grants when we get home. Liz and i really want to come back in december (winter break, their summer break) to help paint and put things in action. we'll be looking for sponsors and donations. as soon as we have a proposal i will let everyone know how they can help if they want to. you guys are great, have i mentioned that?
it's time to head back and make some posters for the workshop and start drawing up plans for this library and the book club. i have no idea where my USB chord is for my camera....
i just need to go back to bed and start over in the morning....nah.
i love you!