Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Phokwane Youth Sports League, Part II

Just this month we received generous donations from two local stores. We now have balls, water bottles, whistles and more of the same promised plus a duffel bag to carry everything.

Adults and children don't often play together in this culture. Our goal is to boost the kids' self esteem and to provide an activity that reduces behavior that increases the risk of exposure to HIV and AIDS.

The Phokwane Youth Sports League, Part I

One of the projects we feel has been most meaningful and successful to us thus far has been playing soccer and netball with the children in our village every Saturday.

Jennie came up with the idea when her Sepedi tutor, Mahlatse, commented on the lack of activities for youth to do - on the weekends, on school breaks, in general. So after the lesson, we played soccer and ultimate frisbee with about 15 kids and Mahlatse.

This continued for about three weeks when we decided the soccer field didn't have much water. So I asked my principal if we could move the Saturday games to the school, which has water, a netball court and a full size soccer ground.

Three weeks more down the line, and over 50 kids were showing up. If you've never tried to play one soccer game with 50 kids, don't. It doesn't work. Everyone kind of swarms the ball. So now we've started playing netball in addition.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

First Thanksgiving in South Africa, Part II

Pictures from our first Thanksgiving:

Friday, December 7, 2007

First Thanksgiving in South Africa, Part I

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving in South Africa with two fellow volunteers, Margurite and Gregor, and our host family on Saturday the 24th. We were all working on that Thursday, as Peace Corps Volunteers don't get United States holidays off, only South African holidays.

We did manage to find most of the fixings - turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casarole, and a fabulous fruit salad brought by our friends. We attempted, we think successfully, to explain Thanksgiving to Sholden, Madintsi, Lea, and Lebogan, our host siblings. After we stuffed ourselves, we had just enough time to rest before running the weekly sports activities up at the school (the topic of our next pair of posts).

Slide show to follow in the next post, or click here to go to the album.


We were telling someone in the United States that we go on a run every morning and they were quite concerned. "Is that safe with all the wild animals?"

It's time we came clean. There are no giraffes or impalas grazing outside our window. I know, we thought there would be too. At least five per week. But sadly, no. Apparently, they don't freely roam rural Africa. Our older host brother thought it was pretty funny we expected that.

In fact, we have yet to see one giraffe, impala, kudu, lion, zebra . . . here's a slide show of the "wildlife" we've seen thus far.