Friday, August 31, 2007

Photo Updtae from Tweeling

We’ve been Tweeling-bound for most of August, while we were driving a very undependable rental car. We’ve now bought Darren and Karen Peterson’s car, the other American Fulbright teachers who left for home last week, so have big plans for September, but wanted to use this opportunity to share a few photos from the last few weeks in Tweeling.

The undependable rental car (1996 Volkswagen Fox) had to be washed before we returned it, after living in the driveway for 4 weeks (rather than test our luck again with a rental car company). Car washing in Tweeling is a big event and almost always draws spectators and assistants. In fact, the neighborhood kids offer to wash the car just for something to do (they asked if they could wash the new car the day that we drove it home, when it was still shiny from the kids who had washed it for Darren and Karen) and are surprised when we buy them Cokes for doing it.

This car was clean long before it was finished being washed.

Kate thought that Andy would get a lot of attention for carrying Tshegofatso around African-style, but he said that noone said a thing. Apparently he’s fitting in very well... Tshegofatso is making an impressive go at talking, learning Sesotho, Zulu, and English all at the same time (“Hi,” “Bye,” “Katie,” and “Andy” are some of his favorites).

Ever since our American visitors, there is always someone wearing either an I Love New York shirt or a Cleveland (they call it “Cleverland”) t-shirt.

Kids playing on their favorite “jungle gym” in their Cleveland shirts.

About once a month, Refeng-Thabo hosts “Own Clothes Day,” where the students can pay 1 Rand (about 20 cents) to wear their own clothes instead of their uniforms. It’s a big money-maker, but gets kind of wild.

Everyone wants their picture taken on “Own Clothes Day.”

It’s tough to get much teaching done on “Own Clothes Day” because kids run around school to see what the other kids are wearing. This is what my class looked like, with 15 kids missing and 2 kids visiting from a different class.

I decided to have a go at teaching my 11th grade history class “Hangman,” not actually thinking that they would go for it. Fortunately, I was very wrong and they went bananas over it and even kept playing after the class was over.

My class of 55 9th graders loved it too.

A 10th grade class didn’t have a teacher, so two of the (usually trouble-making) boys decided to entertain themselves by sweeping the school. They came by with an offer to sweep my office, which I accepted, and they did an impressively-thorough job of it.

Kate went ahead and made “Own Clothes Day” even crazier by locking her keys in her office (it was better than when she was almost locked inside her office herself earlier in the year, but still a pain).

The same boys made a broom-handle-tool with a wire-hook end that they spent break throwing through the gated door of the office until they came up, victoriously, with the keys.

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