Skedlemba Adventures

Skedlemba: Zulu slang,(adj): junker, second-hand, broken, falling-apart, like basically when something has been duct-taped that really shouldn’t be duct-taped, but somehow it still works. The iThemba staff have christened my car skedlemba. J, our short-termer from Cambridge, arrived just 3 days after me, and skedlemba arrived the day before her–all three of us started atContinue reading “Skedlemba Adventures”

Jesus Parade

“Shoooosholoza!” Sizwe called out, and the band of children that were trailing behind us like the Pied Piper echoed “Shoooosholoza!” and blew their vuvuzelas. Balloons bobbed in the bright spring sunshine, hands clapped, feet stomped through the muddy dirt paths, and all along the way we called out, “Wozani! Come!” to the children who stoppedContinue reading “Jesus Parade”

Planting for the Future

“We need oxygen to stay alive,” said the teacher. “And trees give us…” “Oxygen!” the children shouted back. “If you cut down a tree, you are cutting down your life,” the teacher continued. Welcome to an iThemba Life Skills class during Arbor Week celebrations! iThemba partners with various schools in the area to teach LifeContinue reading “Planting for the Future”

Rejoice! Grow! It’s Spring!

It’s Spring! Even though today doesn’t feel like it (it’s really cold!) there are flowers beginning to bloom everywhere. I love getting to wake up and go running and smell the Jasmine flowers that grow all along our road.Let me tell you about some other things that are growing this spring… JABULANI KIDS CLUB isContinue reading “Rejoice! Grow! It’s Spring!”

Pancakes, cars, and Xhosa Weddings

David and I are so happy to be settling into our flat. I have Monday’s off, and right now David does too. It is fun to have a “lazy day” every once in a while and do something fun…like make pancakes with chocolate bits inside. We are still figuring out how to do the dishesContinue reading “Pancakes, cars, and Xhosa Weddings”

The Most Powerful Weapon

Nelson Mandela has said “Education is the most powerful weapon by which you can change the world.” iThemba Projects is trying to change the lives of children in Mpumuza through education. They are starting by working from the lowest levels of education to the highest. Did you realize that the first 6 years of aContinue reading “The Most Powerful Weapon”

A Safe Person

A study of at-risk children by the University of Michigan showed that children who said they had an older person that they could share things with were much more likely to finish school and succeed later in life than their peers. The area of Mpumuza is lacking “safe people.” Apartheid, with its pass-laws which determinedContinue reading “A Safe Person”

Give Me Your Coffee? (Or fries, or frostys…)

Hello, coffee drinking college friends! This post is for you! (And if you hate coffee, keep reading, because it also applies to all those Wendy’s-loving, midnight-Burger-King-running, Payne’s-custard-eating friends, too). In a week David and I get on the plane to go to South Africa. That is, if David has his passport back from the SouthContinue reading “Give Me Your Coffee? (Or fries, or frostys…)”

Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela’s birthday was July 18th. South Africa’s former president is celebrated as a hero for his part in peacefully ending apartheid and ushering in the New South Africa, which strives to be marked by reconciliation, forgiveness, and respect for human rights. Every year on Mandela’s birthday, citizens in South Africa celebrate by trying toContinue reading “Mandela Day”