A few weeks ago, I was invited to host a workshop at another PCV’s school in the NorCape province. Since the workshop was to be Wed-Fri, I thought the weekend before would be a great time to visit another PCV who lives in the general area (aka province). So on Saturday, I hopped aboard the bus, visited Tsiamo in Ganyesa, had a hilarious encounter with a delightful Afrikaner family, caught a ride to Vryburg, then settled into the 3-4 hour ride to Nolie’s village.
After one of the most ridiculous bush taxi rides ever, I stumbled off the taxi in an oasis-like village. Nolie’s village has elevation, built along a ridge that once border a massive pond/lake, but which is now I dried up salt pan. There’s a cave there, though it was too hot to walk the 1.5 hours to), and bushveld which looks like a scene from the Lion King, which I pretty much have around my village. And there are lots of cool rocks, which my village certainly doesn’t have. It was nice to see a real NorCape village.
Bonolo’s village is a lot like mine in the sense that nobody speaks English. This is actually pretty rare in SA, and thankfully I know enough Setswana to handle this, after living in this reality for 1.5 years. Unlike my village, hers has cool rocks everywhere. I like rocks, can you tell?
I was spending 2 full days in her village, before heading to the next village for the workshop. On Sunday we thought we might walk to the cave, or into the veld a bit…until we realized how hot it was. We lazed around all day, watching movies and sweating. Hello summer! The next day, we headed off to the crèche around 9am, which is a preschool. Nolie was starting to read with them for 10-15 minutes everday, just to introduce them to English. After her inspiration, I am doing the same in Grades R-3 at my school. The crèche kids were adorable, as most 3-4 year olds singing and listening attentively are.
After we read and sang, we headed off to the school, just in time for Nolie’s classes. She’s a real teacher here, responsible for English and NS in her multigrade 6-7 class. She’s set a beautiful classroom, and her kids were pretty great, considering it was the first week of school. I took lots of photos that she could have of her teaching and in the classroom, and was impressed by how well she handled her class. I joined PC and found out I am NOT a teacher, but some people find out they are great teachers. Mma Bonolo is one such person, even if she hasn’t realized it.
I took some clippings from a few succulents in her garden to grow back in my village, and shared a few seeds I had along with me, as well as some tips for her garden counterpart. After school, the learners ran home to get their traditional clothes and did some great dances for me. I certainly felt like a guest of honor. All the kids seemed bummed to hear that I was leaving the next day, and I really hope to visit again.
The next morning I woke up early and found a taxi to Kuruman, ready for the workshop the next day! The first taxi I was in was the most full I’ve ever been in-the 14 person kombi has 24 people in it, only 2 of which were kids. Me, 4 adults, and a baby were shoved into the back seat. Thankfully we reshuffled about 20-30 minutes, and some people got out. Crazy!
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