Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Overdue is an understatement

Ok, so I bet a lot of you have thought that I was giving up on the blog thing. I know I have been more than horrendous about updating. So I am making a mid year resolution to be better at the blog. It feels like winter now here in Lesotho, so it is fitting I make this resolution. My excuse is going to be adjusting, though thats kinda bs. Ha. But I do promise more interesting things to come in the future.

So I have not had a post in to sum up a few months in a short time? At this point we are just finishing mid year exams. My maths exams are not going so well. I think my students English level is partly to blame. I have to work on more word problems next semester. I am getting much more comfortable in the classroom. The kids are used to me and can even understand that impossible American accent of mine. It is getting cold. Most of the teachers sit by the window or outside in the sun while grading papers. It is not that cold (maybe 40s at the coldest so far?) but there is no escape from it. buildings arent heated, so it is cold all the time. it hasnt bothered me that much, thanks to the members of my college apt, 41 os. we kept the house quite cold to save on heat and even refused to turn on the heat until november one year. who would have thought that would prep me for the peace corps?

highlights to this point...teaching life skills. this is just like health in the us, but is really necessary here because lesotho has the 3rd highest HIV rate in the world. the kids are super super curious. they ask all sorts of questions and it is fun to answer. tho i know that there is a good chance many of my kids may have HIV, so that makes it a bit depressing. i gave each class a jar to write questions in to keep them anonymous. question jar sir! that is their favorite phrase. school here is very different than the us, but there are many similarities. for example, kids like school for the same reasons us kids like school, to hang out with friends and play or learn what they are interested in. attendance and homework are not as strict however. i consistently have a few kids missing each day. also homework is not done at home, but during study time for 40 mins a day. this makes it difficult to prepare kids for exams that would be difficult for many kids in the us. also kids have long walks to school and chores to complete at home. i run in my village and consistently pass one of my students fetching his cows from the mountain to take them back to his property. running is a fun way to get myself out in village. many people stop to talk to me or even run with me.

another highlight was a trip i took with some other volunteers. we went to umzumbe, which is about an hour south of durban. i have now touched three oceans! it was a magical few days on the beach, relaxing at our hostel in the jungle, and hiking the orbi gorge. If you youtube search orbi gorge swing, you can see what we did.

looking ahead, school is almost out so i will be working on secondary projects. the two i am working on are a library at my school (how to get it up and running) and getting a fence for an orphan garden in my community. they grow and sell veggies to raise money to buy basic things for orphans. it is a great organization. my friend eric also had the idea of building playgrounds and putting HIV/AIDS info on the structures. if anyone has any idea how to build cheap playground equipment easily, let me know.haha.

so i know there are more stories and i promise to put them up as they happen. i am sorry for the lack of updates. visit to see pics. email me if you want the password, not that there are bad pics up, i just thought a password would be a good thing.

ok! until next time...thanks for your patience.

Adam 'Stebo' Santos

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