So I finally went to my schools yesterday for the first time, and today for about 30 minutes before my Principal decided he would take me to town to show me around. But yesterday I was introduced to the teachers and learners (their word for students here). Both are small primary schools, Bokgobelo Lower Primary is grades R-4 (Grade R is what they call kindergarten here), and Mphakanyane Higher Primary is grades 5-7. Both schools have about 120 students each. The lower primary has 7 teachers and the other only has 3, one class of each grade. They’re a five minute walk away from each other, and about 5 minutes from my house, so that’s nice. The facilities are pretty run down at the lower primary, old buildings, chipped paint, cracked walls, old desks and chairs. And the “playground” consists of painted tires that are half in the ground. The kids mostly play by running around or chasing each other with sticks. But on the side of one of the buildings there is a world map that the previous Peace Corps Volunteer painted. The kids like to look at it and it adds a nice bit of color to the school. The higher primary’s facilities are a bit nicer, but not great either. They do have a computer lab though which is pretty cool.
A couple days ago my principal showed me the trail behind my house that goes up into the mountains. You can see really far and it’s beautiful with the surrounding mountains. There’s also cactus everywhere and weird trees that look like small palm trees but have weird red cactus things coming out of the top. It reminds me a little of Arizona.
So things at my house are good. Ramoraswi left for Johannesburg on Sunday, so I have down time again which is nice. She’s a fun kid though. Her sister also left to go somewhere else for school, so it’s just me and Eugene (the social worker tenant) here right now. But Pinkie (my host mom) is here during the days working in the yard and doing other stuff but still staying at her house down the hill at night. She gave me a stove a few days ago to keep in my room. It’s pretty gnarly being able to cook in here now and not having to carry everything through the yard into the kitchen.
There are two dogs and a bunch of cats (at least 3) that live here too. One is medium sized black dog, probably a mix of some sort, maybe part lab, and the other is a small white dog, probably a Chihuahua mix. Pinkie calls the dogs Blackie and Whitie, quite creative. So Amber helped me rename them Whistle and Kazoo. Whistle because she misread “Whitie” when we were typing to each other, and then Kazoo because we thought it kind of goes with Whistle… and it’s a fun word. They’re both pretty hyper, fun though.
Ok, that’s it for now.