First Day of School

May 31, 2011

Last night during our group discussion we had to come up with three achievable goals to get out of our community service project.  These are the three that I wrote:

  • To grow as a person and be more appreciative of my life
  • To become more motivated to be an active member of my own community
  • To build a relationship with someone from this culture

I feel that these goals are attainable and likely from this experience.

Otherwise, today was our first full day of work.  It was amazing.  The school I was assigned to is Red Hill Preschool, and I will be there for the rest of our time here.  I have to admit that I was really nervous about today.  I’ve never been very good with children and, to be honest, I’d been questioning why exactly I had signed up for this program.

When I got there I was still fairly uncomfortable.  Children are like animals: they sense fear.  I was worried.  Fortunately, they warmed up to us fairly quickly, and I warmed up to them.  They are all gorgeous children who were excited, eager to learn, and so happy to play and spend time with us.  By the end of the morning, I didn’t want to leave.  I wish I could stay there all day.

The class I was with was learning about seasons today.  They learned about winter and the kind of clothing you wear during that season.  The lesson was in mixed English and Xhosa,but I was able to get the gist of it.  One thing I noticed was that the teacher explained that sickness was caused by the weather.  Of course, these were preschool kids who have only just learned to speak English.  The concept of bacteria and viruses would be beyond them.  I’m just curious if they will learn this later on.

This afternoon my volunteer work was at the animal shelter.  Basically I spend my time there playing with cats.  I don’t see how this qualifies as work!  Also, why haven’t I done this before!?  It was amazing!  There was one cat there which I would have adopted in a heartbeat.  He was absolutely gorgeous, playful, and the sweetest thing ever!  Can I take him home with me?

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About jessinsafrica

Hi, my name is Jessica MacKinnon. I am driven to work to make the world a slightly better place. I was really excited to take that motivation to somewhere I thought really needed improvement. What actually happened, though, was that I instead became a better person.
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