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August 12

SOUTH AFRICA | Monday, 12 August 2013 | Views [539] | Comments [1]


I'm experiencing so much that journaling once a week isn't possible, so I'll be posting 3 times a week. 
This past weekend was great. Here they celebrate Women's Day (which I love) so all of the schools were closed on Friday. Me and my mom went to Robben Island to tour the jail that political prisoners were held in during the civil rights movement. The tour was absolutely amazing. It was about 150-200  people but we were split into 5 groups. Each group took a bus tour around the island with a tour guide. We were able to see every wing of the jail, the houses that are on the island where the tour guides live with their families, and we were taken to the area where Mandela went to visit years after he was released. We saw a pile of rocks that he and some of the other freed prisoners piled  up in remembrance of everything that happened. (There's a picture in my photo gallery). We then were dropped off in front of the prison and we were introduced to our tour guide who would walk us around the jail and show us Mandela's cell. Each group had a tour guide that was a former political prisoner (incredible) and we were able to hear first hand how their trials went, the conditions of the jail, and how they were treated in the jail. Our group was led by a man named Jama. He was in high school when he was arrested. He was the leader of a civil rights group at his high school and he was arrested during a protest. He explained that he and his group were all arrested together and trialled and sentenced to 5 years. He explained that they were very lucky because most of the other protesters received 20-25 years. But because they were so young they got a lesser sentence and one guy was let off because he was very young. In the jail there were group cells and single cells. A group cell would have 40-50 people in it. There are pictures in my gallery that shows how crazy that had to be. The prisoners worked all day during the week and on the weekend they were allowed to play sports and work out in the court yard. We ended at Mandela's cell. It was hard to take it all in because there were so many of us and we all wanted a picture so I was more focused on getting a picture than actually reflecting on what I was seeing. The tour in general was awesome and I tell everyone to go see if they haven't already. 
We met up with some other volunteers who were actually in the tour too and rode the train back with them. The train let us across from the Friday market where there is food and thrift shopping. It's there every Friday night and it reminds me of LA so much. We went to the same type of market Saturday morning but a while away. It was way bigger and we bought gifts for people back home and ate a lot. We shopped more a the Green Market that's in CapeTown.
I felt like it was a good ending for my mom. She flew out Sunday around 1:30pm. She was sad to leave but she was happy to get back to her warm bed and TV lol. Our TV is broke in the volunteer house and theres no heating system so it's cold ALL of the time. I'm sitting here now under two blankets and i have on twi shirts, a sweater, some leggings and pants and I'm still cold. I left Sunday morning on a wine tour with some of the other volunteers. We went to a town called Stellenbosch and there over 100 vineyards. We went to 5 and tried so many wines by the end we were ready to get in the bus and sleep lol. 
Today we went back to school and I got to spend time with my kiddos. I love them so much already and I've only been here a week! Today was much more calm and there was more order. We keep the day moving and when there is a dull moment I pull out a book or sing songs. The kids are IN LOVE with two songs that I taught them last week. They're called Slippery Fish and Baby Shark. When I walked in this morning they ran to me saying "Teacha, fish. Teacha, fish" So we sang those two songs a lot today lol. We only work 8-12:30 so we have to get in as many activities as possible in the morning. Today we worked on shapes. Over the weekend the lead teacher created worksheets for the older children to do and the other children drew shapes on paper. The lead teacher is very good at her job but the second teacher is not as helpful. I know she means well but she either yells at the children or she's yelling at someone in the hallway and interrupts the circle time. 
The school in general needs a lot of repairs. We learned that the school is made of shanties that were connected together. There are holes in the wall of our classroom and we're next to the 1 year old room so when they change diapers we smell it. The babies like to stick their hands through the holes also and I'm nervous a child will bite or the baby will get stuck in the wall. I'm trying to find something that can cover the hole but the wall is so thin that I think nails will just create another whole. I want to find a piece if wood that can be glued maybe that way we don't have to worry about nails. 
That's all for now :) 

Tags: africa, children, mandela, robben island, school, south africa, sunrise, tour



This is awesome!

  Dedra Aug 13, 2013 8:09 AM

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