Meet the Kids

June 1, 2011

Today was a very good day!  Working with the kids this morning was great!  I warmed up to them a lot faster today, and we were playing and having fun in no time!  I’m also starting to get their names and personalities down, too!

(I had not actually met ALL of the kids at this time, but this blog post is the best opportunity to share all of my pictures and introduce you to all of them.)

  • Bruce: the troublemaker.  We had to stop him from climbing the fence today, and he started so many fights!  He looks deceptively adorable, though!
  • Sethu: the drama queen.  She liked to pout and cry over everything, including the fights that she started!  (Pictures of her in tomorrow’s post!)
  • Gracious: the diva
  • Trust: he’s the oldest, so he’s also the smarter, know-it-all type.
  • Akhanya: doesn’t participate a lot, but he’s on the side cheering everything on like it’s a sport.
  • Roxy, Thandi, and Onele: the stereotypical cute little girls
  • Avela: the prissy girl
  • Justin, Ricardo, Likhona: the stereotypical little boys
  • Martin: the kid that gets picked on all the time
  • Kwe-Kwe: adorable kid!  I spent most of today with him.  Curious, friendly, and interested!
  • Montombi: the shy, sweet little girl.  She lied to me and told me her name was Suz, so maybe she’s not as sweet as she seems.
  • Zipho: the cutest little boy EVER!
  • Lathitha: still young and still not very good at speaking English.  If you talk to her, she’ll ramble at you at Xhosa as if you understand every word.
  • Emihle: brilliant!  If she was an American kid, I would see her becoming a doctor.  Here’s to hoping that she will.
  • Mihlale: the girl who’s more mature than the rest
  • Sima: the extremely girly girl!

Today the kids were allowed to go into the toy rooms to play because of the rain.  It was absolutely fantastic to see how excited these kids were.  The toys were cheap, and a lot of them were broken.  They were the kind of toy an American child would play with for maybe 5 minutes then get bored and never touch it again.  Nonetheless, this kids had the greatest time playing with them.  Appreciating the little things is something that you don’t see much of anymore.

This afternoon I read at the library and did puzzles with the kids.  The ones I worked with didn’t know Enslish very well (again), but they were nice.  This communication barrier is getting really difficult.  The puzzle we were doing was missing pieces.  We discovered this at the end, and it was impossible for me to explain that the pieces were missing and that taking it apart and doing it again wouldn’t fix it.

However, the urge to learn here is amazing!  I watched a girl sit down with an educational number puzzle and intently count the pictures and find the number.  A lot of kids in America would think this was annoying and stupid, but the kids here really wanted to figure it out.  It’s a nice change.


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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2 Responses to Meet the Kids

  1. Emily says:

    Hi I stumbled upon your blot while doing some research on South Africa and I was wondering if you could help me? My family sponsored a little girl from the Eastern Cape but have never really been sure how to pronounce her name. I was excited when one of the kids you posted has her name (Emihle). Could you tell me how it is pronounced? I would greatly appreciate it!

    • Hi Emily! I’ll do my best to help you. Her name is actually pretty difficult to pronounce for American speakers. Most of us pronounced her name Em-ee-lay, which is the easiest way to do it. However, the “hl” in her name is a consonant that we don’t have in English, and for the life of me I can’t find a video or recording that will give you the pronunciation. Wikipedia explains it to be pronounced like this: “Place your tongue to the side of your mouth and expel the air (like Welsh ll sound).” It sounds kind of like an sh, but not really. I wish I could help you more!

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