Monday, July 16, 2012

July Projects Update

The Orphan Garden Project is starting slowly but surely.  The winter is the dry season so the ground is really hard from no rain, so the field needed to be watered first before it is plowed and cultivated.  They promised me it would be done on last Friday, so we will see… I have found that once the ball gets rolling here, its goes from 0 to 60 pretty fast.  For example, one of my friends has been asking to start a volleyball team for a while now.  They had a volleyball team here when the last volunteer lived here, but I was delaying in buying a ball.  I finally bought a ball last week, practice started on Monday and every following day,  they found a team to play in Siphofaneni the closest town for Saturday, and got a community donation for transport and food after the game.  Fast, fast, fast!
At our game on Saturday. 

In other news, we are entering the 4th week of the Teacher’s Strike.  The teachers nationwide are striking because the government has failed to uphold their contractual pay raise of 4.5% because of the lagging economy.  The fact that government officials accepted a 10% pay raise in the last year has added the fuel to this fire that has kept it burning this long and newspapers report that the end is not in sight.  Meanwhile the students continue to show up at school every day even with no hope of any meaningful instruction.  Poor kids already struggle in school as it is and now this.
Two girls I have been turoring.  I brought my computer along to let them practice their typing skills.

Lately I have been tutoring English, helping students in their last year and students wishing to re-take their exams prepare for the test.  I have also been working with a class for out of school students.  They are learning English and Siswati and I am going to teach them to knit. 

The clean-up project is also on hold until the teacher strike finishes.  The teacher strike has put a kink in a lot of plans, but I still feel busy all the time.