Wednesday, May 21, 2008


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!


mom said...

hi punkin. sorry you had a not so great day...reality sucks it did today. i am proud of you for not giving up or giving in. tomorrow will be a better day. will you at least be able to find the young girl who talked to you yesterday and give her the information? i hope so. whatever help you guys need to get books and supplies, i have a group of hard working people ready to help in any way we can. together, we can make it happen! dont get discouraged...tomorrow will be better...its sad to see that even far away as s. africa is they, too, have stupid tests to do that gets in the way of real teaching and learning.....hang in there sweeite. i love you so much!

mom said...

hi baby girl..i am so mad at myself. i thought i had the cell phone in my pocket this afternoon anxiously waiting for your call..when i checked my pocket, it wasnt there..i had left it in your room by the computer..when i checked it i saw where you had called 2 times...i was afraid to call back because i didnt want to wake was about midnight, your hoping you call one more time before you go to bed....i am clutching it as i type! i hate not talking to you everyday...:0( i hope you get a good night's sleep and have a great day tomorrow. i love you.oxox
you look great in the pictures with your peeps!

Beth said...

Hi Katie! It's Mrs. B.
I'm enjoying reading about your daily adventures. What a wonderful experience. I would be happy to help get books and supplies to your school. I'll check w/ your mom and start putting things together. Take good care and keep posting your daily activities! Love you!

Luis said...

so i can see that you like it there and those guys sound real good. so people have africa time, wooooooow that must suck. so are you going to start that website cause i think it would be a great idea. i saw that video of the beach it was beautiful i would love to see that. something about a beach at sunset with a cold beverage and a cool person you know well keep on keeping on, LIFE IS A GARDEN, DIG IT!

mom said...

hi baby girl! i saw you with your sign!!! you go girl! march on sista! you rock! i found your shirt at was the very last one!! and it was on sale for $12.99! how cool is that! im thinkin dad went waaay overboard with the minutes on your phone card, so as the days run out, let the homesick girls call home! have fun surfing this weekend...please be careful!!!! laying on the board instead of standing up counts as surfing too!!! have a great weekend!!! make sure you get souviners for yourself...that so cool that that lady reminded you of know your nanny is right there with you and so very proud of you and the work you are are my hero! i love you up to the sky and back!oxoxoxox

dad said...

hey the last post you made....on wednesday....its saturday now...I must be missing something....everytime i sign in here it seems to log me as kelder one time and dad the next...maybe its going to try to go back to the original email mom sent me and see what happens...I bookmarked this...If you want, I think I can find you some resources for library grants...I saw plenty when I was looking into that for Madison...dont know how theyll relate to something international though....I said iternational....I dont see the pictures of the cut and pasted them into MSWord so she could print them for jay and nellie....I dont know what happened to them....they shuldnt have been cut completely....the image box says theyve been moved or deleted....I hope not....maybe its just a mix up that is easily fixed....I woke up at five-thirty, and the first thing I thought of was....Katie might be surfing right now....well...I thought that after wondering what jackson was barking at....looked out the window and walked down the hall, didnt see or hear any burglars...More later....I love you 4 EVER and EVER!!!!!!

dad said...

Did I ever tell you the stoory of my very first year teaching at Ruffner....when i was so young and cool, and I told the kids I would talk to them about anything, they could ask me anything at all...and Eddie Sivells...yes, I still remember his name and his face very, very clearly...Eddie asked me a completely inappropriate sexual question....and I was forced to say,, I just dont know how to answer that....never made that mistake note cards are a great idea....some of the cards you could just slide to the side... :)hmmmmm....african time sounds alot like Berkley time...go figure....I hope your having a great time....surfing, or sunning...or watching surfers....only now i wish i had told you to keep you hand up near your head when you come out of the water after you fall-off....dont want you to end up with thirteen stitches in the head like I did...and...I dont care what you say, it may have been twenty -two years since I surfed, but i can still do it...and if you dont chicken out, ill prove it to you when you get back....of course...I have to get a much, much bigger board than I used to have....thought Id say that before you got the chance....4 ever and a day...I love you

dad said...

Hey baby...surfin in south africa...oh glad yu had fun...i was sure you would...standing up isnt as easy as it looks, but once you get the hang of it, its like riding a bike...nothing like sliding into a wwave and becoming one with the ocean! or something like pretty much feels that way sometimes....but the ocean has a funny way that lets you know youre just visiting....was it cold? did you wear a wet suit? where are those dang pictures?

JB is cooking breakfast....cant wait...he s a good cook!

Just a week and two days before youre back home...ill be the time has really flown, and before you know it, youll be on that plane coming, do what ya been doing, experience everything you can....everything youre interested in ,do it...I swear, Im so proud of you...always have beeeen, you just try anything and everything....when it comes to facing tough stuff, things that are a little scarry at first, you go for it...j.I dont think cant is in your vocablulary...I always liked the motto I learned in football....cant never did anything....just remember my one and only motto...never, ever, jump out of a running airplane......most anything else, im all for...I had to go back and include the word most....I hope you had a good time at the club last night and that the band was good...cant wait to hear about it....where are those pictures? what are you doing today????? I hope you call never ceases to amaze me....until you went to south africa, I rarely heard much about it, but last night, on the history channel, they had a show on discovering the ark of the covenant, the main historian is convinced that it was carried by jewish priest to, of all places, south africa...yes, south africa....he has even documented dna evidence that shows a tribe called the limba have dna linking them to the priestly class of jews from the first century.....and he located what he believes is the only surviving replica of the ark, which was really a drum, and it was taken by an afrikaans scholar to, of all places, zimbabwe....and they cant get to it because of the civil war there, but they had a film crew film it from a museum there....the4y carbon dated it to 600 bc or something....amazing....anyway...I just KNEW youd be fascinated by that, mom was....she went to bed while i was watching it...I love you forever....4ever and ever....put those pictures up girl!!!

Mary said...

Hi Katie,
Sorry I have not posted a comment earlier. I am enjoying your blog. Your trip to South Africa sounds amazing. I am very proud of the work you are doing there. Please let me know what I can do to help with the book club you are going to start. I am a avid reader so any help I can provide to encourage reading I am all for! Take care and I love you! Aunt Mary