Friday, October 16, 2009

Snakes in the Schoolyard

Everyone told me that there were no snakes in the village. All the dangerous animals stayed out in the fields. I would never see them. Everyone was wrong. I was walking across the schoolyard one day last week, on my way back to the staff room after a geography class, when I saw some creature all coiled up in a patch of sunlight. I crept closer. It was a snake! Thankfully it was dead. Some learners had killed it earlier. After my careful inspection, the snake was removed from the schoolyard by a group of boys. Hopefully, this is the last post in my "Snakes" series!

In other news, I survived another week at site. I'm starting to fall into a routine. I get up early, drink tea, go to school, take notes, make suggestions, drink tea, marvel at some of the bizarre things that happen, walk home, chat with some learners, tutor others, drink tea, haul water, kill flies, sweep up, watch extraordinarily bad South Africa soap operas, drink more tea and finally, collapse. Then I do it all over again.

My life in South Africa isn't all that fun or exciting, so why am I still here? Well, there are occasional Peace Corps moments that make everything worthwhile. For instance, a neighbor came over to my house a few days ago for help with a 10th grade chemistry assignment. She brought her 2-year-old daughter. We chatted for a bit, and she said she wanted to be just like me and finish school. I really hope she is able to. That's what I'm here for!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snakes on a Khumbi

The title of this blog post comes from a small incident that occurred on the dirt road between my village and the next village over a few days ago. My host mom and I were just driving along when we came to what we thought was a stick. We drove over it. Then the stick moved. It was a snake! We turned the car around and headed back to look at it as it slithered away. My host mom refused to get too close, because she was afraid that the snake might jump in the car. Apparently, snakes can do that here.

Anyways, I have officially spent a full week at work in Deorham and have sort of settled into a routine. Monday and Tuesday I go to Mosinki Middle School, Wednesday and Thursday I spend at Gamochwaedi Primary School, and then on Fridays I work with home-based care in my village. I don't have a lot of free time, and I'm usually exhausted by the time I have to walk home in the blistering heat of a Kalahari spring. Even after the sun goes down, it's still burning hot, and it's not even summer yet!

I realize that it's only October, but since packages take such a long time reach me I thought I would post my Christmas list now.

Dear Santa,

There's no room in my suitcase to bring anything more home than I brought to South Africa, so I would like soccer balls and frisbees, etc. for the local children. Every night at six o'clock, the young people of my village meet at a big field to play games. There are only two soccer balls, and they are pretty ratty. So, if you have anything in reasonably good condition or are willing to part with a few dollars to buy new, send it to South Africa! Kites would be awesome too. The Kalahari can be very windy. Thanks!