|Me with the Angels on the beach :)|
When I was asked to write this blog about my time with the “African Angels Independent School”, I tried to recollect and summarize the most special occurrences I experienced during my stay in Chintsa, South Africa. Not an easy task for almost 5 months of school and afternoon activities…Events like taking the children to the zoo or beach, celebrating Human Rights Day with a fun sports competition or entertaining kids at the Greensleeves fundraiser with face paints were wonderful and unique memories that will stay with me.
Yet, in all honesty, those are not the most valuable ones. The memories that will stay deeply engraved in my heart and always give me a feeling of warmth and home are the little events, the ones that can hardly be put into words, the ones I didn't see coming at all.
The warmth you feel when you see the kids come running up to you from across the sports field calling out your name. The sound of their voices reading about the adventures of “Binky the Buck” or “Mo the Monkey”.The feeling you get when Evedence, looking at you with big eyes, says “Thank you for reading with me, Aunty Julia” or when Xhanti, after being cross with you, hugs you so hard you can barely breathe while whispering an apology. The feeling of little girls’ tickling hands (always hard to tell whose they actually are), fiddling with your hair – desperately trying to make it look pretty (they never seemed rather content with the results though…). The happiness spreading in Khanya’s face when he wins yet another round of UNO. The sound of Sipha’s voice singing “You are My Sunshine” in full power. The look in Lutho’s eyes when he realizes he has finished a page in his math’s book – without mistakes or any help.
|Maths work with the Angels in the classroom|
Those moments when you feel all of the children’s love and gratitude.
Don’t get me wrong I might be painting a rather idealistic picture. Children are children, everywhere you go. They have issues, are dealing with emotions, physical changes or simply don’t like the math’s exercise you’re trying to explain – and in every game of UNO there can only be one winner.
|Lutho & Sipha :)|
But then the last thing you see after school as the bus is pulling away is Sipha smiling at you with his bright brown eyes shouting a sweet “Bye-bye, see you tomorrow”. And that’s when you realize it is all worth it.
Last but definitely not least I want to say a few words to the teachers Sharon, Cristi and Tristan as well as Lou. With all your love and warmth you have created a unique and safe learning environment that enables the children a remarkable education. I was always amazed by your motivation and commitment to the school. The school would not be what it is if it wasn't for you. Each of you is very special and I am grateful having spent time with you and learned from you.