Sunday, November 20, 2011


It’s been a while, I know, thought it was about time to update again. Things have been good this side, for the most part. The school year is winding down, just a few weeks left, and they’re just testing now. I have been working on a World AIDS Day Art project at the higher primary school though, grades 5 – 7. It’s an art exchange project where the kids create a piece of art that goes with the World AIDS Day 2011 theme “It takes a village to fight HIV!” When they’re done with their art I will trade with another Peace Corps Volunteer who did the project (it’s not mandatory), and we will display their art at our school. Then the best pieces will be chosen to be displayed at the Peace Corps Office and the US Embassy in Pretoria. It’s been a good way to teach the kids the facts about the disease as there is a lot of misinformation this side. One girl thought you could get AIDS by sharing a toothbrush, others thought it could be spread by unclean drinking water.

Some of you have expressed the desire to donate to the schools I have been working at, and I didn’t really know how to coordinate that from here, but I will be home for 2 ½ weeks over Christmas break (Dec 17th – Jan 3rd) if you are still interested. There are a few different things you can do. The lower primary school, grades K – 4, would like more sports equipment (mainly soccer balls as they get punctured pretty easily), and DVDs for the kids to watch while teachers are out (which happens a lot). The South African Department of Education donated a TV and DVD player to the school a couple months ago, but they had no DVDs to watch. My aunt got their collection started by sending about 20 movies or TV shows and the kids (and the principal) are loving them. Not only do they keep the kids occupied (and quiet), it helps them with English as well. Any kids’ movies or educational DVDs would be greatly appreciated. If anyone wants to give me a few while I’m home that would be awesome, or you can send them, but for the soccer balls and sports equipment money would be better as it’s easier for me to buy them here than carry them back or have them sent.

Also, for the past 6 months or so I had been trying to get fruit tree orchards planted at both of the schools. Both principals expressed enthusiasm for the idea as they would be able to feed the kids with the fruit the trees produce, but neither were able to come up with money for it. It would only cost between $600 – $800 USD total (both schools), depending on how many trees we plant at either school. So you can also contribute to the orchard fund if you wish.

Anyway, summer is definitely here which means ridiculously hot weather followed by thunderstorms, which are awesome. It also means tons of creepy bugs everywhere. I keep my window open all the time so the cat and her three kittens (who were born 2 months ago) can go in and out whenever they want. Unfortunately, all creatures take the open window as an invitation… I can’t wait for a break from the heat (and bugs) when I go home next month!

Ok, that’s all I got for now. Can’t wait to see most of you in December!