Monthly Archives: August 2018

The Joy and Care of Children

The Joy and Care of Children

“This place is burgeoning with life,” a friend marveled last week. “Chicks, kids, children… there are babies everywhere!”

 

A couple of weekends ago, we celebrated another year of life for one of our trainees with a backyard bonfire! Safety concerns after dark mandated that we burn our sticks during daylight hours, but we made the best of it by introducing the neighborhood kids to an all-important facet of American culture: s’mores.

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The World with Beauty

The World with Beauty

Last week, a training session unassumingly entitled “Teaching Aids” jolted us into activity with a daunting challenge:

Create a visual aid in 18 minutes.

Our instructor had wowed us with photographs of hand-painted murals, board games constructed from 100% recycled materials, and the classic erupting volcano experiment adapted for South African classrooms. Now it was our turn.

The booty? King-sized candy bars. Saddled with “circulatory system” as our topic, my team sprang into action.

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Strength So To Train Them

Strength So To Train Them

What ingredients combine in the making of a Peace Corps Volunteer? This past weekend, our training stirred in a dollop of history, a splash of community, and a generous pinch of fun.

Peace Corps brought our cohort to a rolling boil with a trip to Pretoria for a guided tour of the Voortrekker Museum. Trainees later debated whether we should invest our resources in experiencing a symbol of apartheid history and Afrikaner nationalism firsthand. Although the controversies left us divided in opinion, at the time we could all agree to revel in the fresh air, striking architecture, and startling heights.

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The Gates of Larger Life

The Gates of Larger Life

On my way home from Kwamhlanga, I pondered how to describe my weekend away.  My host mother had invited me there for a sojourn to her mother’s house.  The town wasn’t far, but we would be staying overnight.

What was the occasion, exactly?  “Church.” 

I suspected there was more involved, since she had broached the subject weeks in advance and invested the days preceding in amassing buckets of handmade amakheki (sweet biscuits or ‘fat cakes’).

“What will we be doing?” I ventured, in my elementary Zulu. 

“Praying.”

Despite the apparent logic of these replies, I couldn’t quell the sense that something more awaited me.

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