Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Part 2: Volunteers Charlotte & Laura - the end of the adventure!

Here's the second part of Charlotte's awesome vlog documenting her return here to volunteer on the Wild Coast Schools Program with friend Laura...

Part ii.
So, time in Chintsa isn’t the same as time as anywhere else. Where has two weeks gone? Frankly I have no idea.
Kids walking into school in the morning

Chintsa East school is brimming with enthusiastic kids, who pop up at the start of school asking “Grade 2 computers?” and when the answer is yes, you get a sunny and excited smile. 
After finishing building mind maps using Microsoft Word we mixed things up a bit and studied landfill sites! Grades 6 and 7 started to make their own Powerpoint presentations on the topic. Volunteer Steffi and I have learnt the important lesson of strategic seating in the classroom and behaviour noting!
Arrival of the months food!

The school’s food and cleaning products are snuggled under the computers in the lab, so generally our mornings are punctuated with collections of food. One morning saw the smooth operation of a whole food chain of school children delivering and packing away a month’s supply of food, definitely a military operation!
Steffi & Phumla re-cycling loo rolls into art!

Another day in the week saw the enthusiastic Phumla (Grade R teacher) getting creative with Grade R, 1 and  2 recycling empty loo rolls, by painting them and sticking them together with glue and some string. Steffi and I lent a hand and once finished the school was full of binocular wearing children!

Adult computer literacy continues to go from strength to strength. I put my budget hat on last week and taught the students how to use excel, with formulas as well as some pie charts thrown in for good measure. 
This week we also began creating an advert using Microsoft publisher to advertise Phumla’s eco-schools and Flip’s building business. It’s a great scheme which I hope will continue to grow after we leave.
Greensleeves hasn’t failed to disappoint with its bouncy children ready to play as soon as we appear! Last week I took some art supplies along and we got creative drawing pictures together before some trampoline fun.

Volleyball on the new volleyball court in Chintsa
Our bi-weekly sports afternoon was given an injection of fun into it with a couple of new group games. One afternoon we played races with the smaller kids, whilst Chloe (a returning volunteer come Chintsa local!) and I played volleyball with the older kids, sidelining the ever popular soccer for a change. Our last sports afternoon was filled with using a brightly coloured parachute, full of hyper children we played animal games, as well as just plain running in and our of the parachute fun!
Mama Tofu in her village

On Sunday African Heartland Journeys (AHJ- mother company to VA32) Tobz took us on a walking tour of Chintsa East township before taking us up to the infamous Mama Tofu to get to know some Xhosa traditions. (She’s award winning, so you definitely wouldn’t want to miss out). We found out all kinds of gems about Chintsa village and township, and all about the traditional procedure that Xhosa women go through before getting married or having children. Mama T remembered me from all those years ago, which made my day!

This Monday saw a small disaster strike when the school’s computer wouldn’t connect to the server. With Steffi ill, I magicked up a recycling art lesson using scrap paper, magazines and paint to recycle our used items for our wall display! A lot of fun was had despite the eventful start to the day.

Last Friday brought my last day at Chintsa East, along with homemade cards for each of the grades. After being clapped and thanked by the students and teachers the schools principle asked me to stay for a personal “thank-you” concert by some grade 5,6 and 7 students in the computer lab. Whilst waiting for it, I was given a thank-you card by grade 7 who thanked me for teaching them “all about waste and recycling”. The concert was brilliant, with one song even being sung about me! It is safe to say that I left the lovely Chintsa East school teary eyed.

Volunteering again has been everything that I wanted it to be and more, to put it into one sentence is a tall order. So instead I’ll give you some advice: come and see it for yourself.


To see more of Charlottes photo's click here to visit the flickr slideshow :)

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