After thirty plus hours traveling to the bottom of the world, I have made it to Grahamstown! Well actually I have been here for about a week. Sleeping a lot (darn jet lag!) and assimilating into my role at Holy Cross School has taken up most of my time and postponed me from writing this blog post. My first week has been absolutely amazing though and I have quickly assumed my multipurpose position at the school. I will be doing everything from being a teachers’ aid, to teaching a computers class, and being the school librarian. Tuesday was my first day at the school, Brother Daniel, the Prior of the Order of the Holy Cross Monastery in Grahamstown, gave me a tour around the school, introducing me to the teachers, staff workers, principal, and of course, the students. It amazes me how quickly the children grew accustomed to me working there, within five minutes of me being at the school on Tuesday, I heard tons of little voices shouting “Bhuti! Bhuti!” (Bhuti is an IsiXhosa word for brother, but it also is a term of respect for young adult males). They were calling me to play soccer, to push them on the swings, and to read to them. It was a great way of spending my first full day in South Africa.
Wednesday was my first full day working at the school, and it was a great day to start. Fieldtrip! The grade 3 class went on a fieldtrip to a local sheep farm, and I accompanied them on their trip. We saw the whole process of how they remove the wool and the process to prepare it for sale. It was a great experience to see the kids learning first hand on a trip like this. I saw the excitement and the joy on their faces from their new experiences. Throughout the week, I witnessed this similar desire for learning amongst all of the students at Holy Cross. Their desire to learn and the staff’s enthusiasm to fuel this desire has made my transition much easier. I am excited to wake up and head to the school every morning.
I am ending my first week in South Africa with a lively and energetic church service in the Monastery’s Chapel and a Braai that the brothers are throwing for my safe arrival to South Africa as well as Brother Roger’s safe travels to America later this week. I hope everyone has a blessed week!
The view from my morning commute to school!
The students watching the sheep shearing.