I suppose it’s time to give a small update about my first three weeks in South Africa this year. So here goes.
I spent the first 10 days having a nice time with my lovely friend Andile. We visited some relatives of hers in Joburg, then spent a week in central Drakensberg, where we went hiking, horseback riding, took a zip-line canopy tour, and enjoyed the Drakensberg Boy’s Choir. Then we wrapped up with a visit to Durban’s South Coast. What a great way to start the trip!
Since the 16th I’ve been in Dundee, in the same little cottage I always stay in. Feels good to be home.
This year I’m doing things a bit differently. Usually I show up without much of a plan, see what arises, and take things as they come. This year, I’ve got specific and ambitious plans, based on what I’ve learned over my past four visits. Here are my goals:
1. Get local network (printing and file sharing) and internet running at three schools: Thalana, Maceba, and Ethangeni.
2. Match up the South African curriculum by grade, subject, and term, to the resources I have: Khan Academy, Educational Games, Reference materials.
3. Run a regular after-school computer club at each school, so both teachers and students will have more time to explore and get hands-on help from me.
4. Produce a Zulu comic book for kids aged 8-12.
I don’t know if this sounds like a lot of work for 2.5 months, but it sure sounds like it to me. It’s more than I’ve done in previous years. I’m going to have to up my game.
I’ll write in more detail about each of these goals and how they’re progressing over the next several weeks. At this point I’ve mostly just talked with people and set things in motion. Now it’s game time.
Ok, back to work. Today was full and so is tomorrow. Loving it.