Saturday, September 8, 2007

Arbor Day at Refeng-Thabo

Spring has finally come to Tweeling, with sunny weather that reminds us both of Tucson. Kate has planted zucchini, pumpkins, and chilies in pots on the porch and is already developing a sunburn.

Spring must be the time to move your cows, because there were 100’s of cows walking down the highway that passes by Tweeling.

I have no idea where they came from, but all of a sudden there were 20 tiny saplings parked in pots outside of Refeng-Thabo.

There are just under 20 different classes of students at Refeng-Thabo, so we decided that each class would have its own tree, a sapling that the class would be in charge of planting, watering, and singing to…

Friday just happened to be the end of Arbor Week in South Africa, and it was a gorgeous day that was perfect for planting. A few boys that were found outside of class were conscripted to dig 20 holes around the school grounds. Kate taught them the song from the movie “Holes” (“Dig, diggin’ up holes, diggin’), which became an instant classic at Refeng-Thabo.

A very sweet celebration was made for the new trees, with a ceremonious presentation of a tree to each class. As everything does in South Africa, the celebration included the students’ beautiful singing and dancing.

Much to-do was also made about the actual planting of the trees, with the students singing to the tree, saying prayers for the tree, and dancing in a ring around the tree.

The classes waited to plant their tree until Kate came to take their picture. The school has promised to pay for a large photograph of each class with their tree to decorate the classrooms.

The extra tree left over after each class had planted theirs was dedicated to the boys’ under-15 soccer team (this being Africa, the school has over 10 soccer teams). This team won the Mafube Municipality (it’s like a county) and is representing the municipality in the provincial tournament this Saturday. The team attributes their good luck during matches to the great team t-shirts donated by Deanna Harris. Notice Moeketsi, wearing his shirt in the center of the photo.

Spring is also the time to replace the 7th St. community soccer ball. This is the third and final ball that came to Tweeling all the way from Tucson and is kicked all day after school up and down 7th St.

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