Friday, October 1, 2010


Hey Hey,

How’s everyone doing? I am doing well. I have many things to catch up on, as usual, my laziness is going to result in a monster catch-up post. As those of you who have been following my blog know, I was away for permaculture training for two weeks. I have since been back for a week, but I will start with my adventure away.

I was staying at a granny’s house located in Lawley, a township located just outside of Johannesburg. I had a roommate in my very small room, and there were also 3 fellows who were in the training who stayed out in a very luxurious garage. It kind of felt like college again going to class and going home with the same people. So where do I start…

The roommate. She was a very nice person, who was the same age as me, she was also married with a daughter. In fact, everyone I was living with was either my age or a couple years older and all of them were married with children, one was engaged. One thing I became appreciative of American culture within the first day was the expectations of quiet and dark while someone is trying to sleep at night. Unfortunately my roommate did not share these same sentiments. First she wanted to sleep with the light on all night because she said she didn’t like the dark. This was a problem because I don’t know if I can actually sleep with a light on. I told her I didn’t think that would work for me, also trying to tell her that we should try and save electricity because the granny we were staying with paid for her own electricity. Luckily, she said it was ok. Next, she would always have her phone radio on. The sound quality was terrible and often really staticy. She said she needed this to sleep. I asked if she could put headphones on. The problem was that she needed to have the phone fairly far away from her, and therefore fairly loud, to get decent reception. Headphones didn’t really work. The first week this was a problem. She would eventually turn it off when her battery was running low. Some miracle happened the second week I was there and the reception got better, which meant she was within headphone range. Next, she never had phone credit. Unfortunately for me (and many other roommates across South Africa), the phone service used by most people offers free calling between midnight and 5 am. This is when all of her calling would happen. It would last between 5 and 20 minutes each night, 1-3 times a night. I tried asking her to go outside of the room to talk, she didn’t get why she would ever do this and just said she would whisper. That didn’t really do any good because our beds were about a foot apart and my hearing was super acute because I was waking up each time she started talking. This problem was never resolved. The final thing was her morning bath. I never actually figured out why she insisted on taking a bucket bath in our room rather than doing it in the bathroom, but this is the decision she made. Each morning, at 6 am, she would be up and scrubbing down for 30 minutes in a big bucket, even though our class didn’t start until 8, and she would be ready at least an hour early each day, she just insisted on bathing at 6. This was another problem that was only resolved by me getting up at 6 everyday too. Basically, sleep was a little hard to come by for that 2 weeks. I tried napping, but she was in the room every second after school each day, making just as much noise. She would take random naps, often when she knew that I was on a walk. Cultural differences killed my sleep schedule. I know she was not even aware of what the problems were, which is why it was often so difficult to find a solution. All it resulted in was being that much happier to be back home with two Americans who sleep quietly, in the dark, each night. Good experience, but I am glad it was just a temporary setup.

The permaculture class itself was pretty good. I didn’t understand about 95% of it because it was in Setho, but I think I still got all of the information. Most of the concepts I had heard before, and the headings for each subject were in English, so I at least knew the topic they were discussing. If I needed something clarified, the teachers would translate for me. In general, it was just taking terms, concepts, and skills that I mostly knew already and organizing them in the permaculture way. It is really a pretty cool farming method. It is quite sustainable if done correctly. We learned about all of the material in class, then we would go out to their garden and practice/see what we learned.

Food was another interesting obstacle during the 2 weeks. They have a food here called pap (pronounced “pop”). I have had this food before in Tanzania and it is basically maize flour that is made into a solid porridge-like substance (some of you may know this as ugali). I knew how my stomach deals with this food, which is not well. Unfortunately this was the main course of choice by the chefs in the area, either pap or white rice, which are basically the same thing: condensed simple carbs. People can also eat this stuff in ENORMOUS quantities. It is really quite impressive. The bad part is that I cannot even come close to eating that much, and because it is just simple carbs, I am hungry in about 2 hours again. Others say that pap will keep you full all day, which doesn’t actually make a lot of sense, but then when I saw how much of this stuff they could eat, I understood how they stayed full for so long. Also, for breakfast the granny really liked serving sour porridge (the name explains it all, if you can imagine what that might taste like). I can eat just about anything once, but she served it 3 days in a row. The only way I could get it down was to douse it with sugar. Of course this made me feel like crap all day. After about day 4, my stomach had had enough. It was sugar overload and I was feeling the consequences. I had to go to the store to get food to supplement my diet. First thing on the list was fruit, something I hadn’t seen the entire week. I just started taking significantly less of everything that was cooked for me and just filled in the space with bananas and pears. A nutritionist came in the last day we were there. He had all kinds of yummy things for us. He had a constant supply of nuts, raisins, tea, and cooked two entrees for us in class. I was the only one who truly liked either of the dishes, which was unfortunate because the point was to move people more in the direction of eating healthy. The nutritionist’s secret goal is the rid South Africa of pap because it is causing a lot of health problems, especially diabetes. I think it is a really good goal, but it is also basically impossible because people love it so much and it is so cheap. The best weapon he had was telling people that maize was not native to Africa, and people really didn’t like one of their staple foods being from somewhere else. They probably got over that little fact in about a day, though, so I don’t know how to fix this problem, but nutrition here is really unhealthy and does need some fixing.

One more funny thing that happened on the trip was that on the first day about 3 little boys were standing against a fence looking very suspicious. Three other people and I were walking past them. They quickly put their hands behind their back. I looked back after we passed to see what they were hiding and they totally had condoms filled with water that they were using as water balloons against unsuspecting passersbys! It was super funny, good thing they didn’t through them at us, though.

Now I am back in Kroonstad. Last week was pretty uneventful, mostly just catching up on various office tasks. This week my garden-partner, Frans, and I started making our garden. We had 2 picks, 2 square shovels, and a hoe. The first time I hit the ground with a pick it stopped dead in its tracks because the ground is basically a rock right now. That was a little discouraging. Lucky for me Frans is amazing at digging. I made some calculations and he is 6-8 times better at our work than me. I feel bad that I can’t really hold up my end of the work, but he doesn’t seem to mind so much. Katie and Sarah helped dig a little bit each day. I was not at all in shape to work as much as I did. The first night I got home and could not actually move, my muscles were so sore. The second day was not much better. I started moving again Wednesday, although not much. I tried to finish this blog post on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I could not move my fingers individually well enough and hitting the spacebar was just altogether not going to happen. I am pleased to report that my fingers are moving again. My back is still killing me and I feel like I am about 110, but I am getting younger each passing day. We finished digging yesterday, today and tomorrow are about making the garden look like a garden. This involves reinforcing the edges with brick, mixing the clay soil with a tiny amount of top soil (I greatly underestimated how much top soil was needed to supplement our soil…oops), and adding much on top of that. It may not be able to support plant life, but it really does look good. We are going to add water tomorrow. I am just hoping that our whole garden doesn’t just melt when we do this, which is definitely possible. I will put up pictures soon.

Ok, I think that pretty well covers the highlights from the past month. We are hesitantly planning a trip to Lesotho for sometime in the next couple of weeks. It seems silly to live in South Africa for a year and not go to Lesotho, it is right there. Our permaculture students start on Monday. There are 24 of them, that is a lot, compared to my usual 9. Frans will be a big help, I am glad I am not teaching this class alone, that would be pretty difficult, if not altogether impossible. The class will be 2 weeks long, everyday for 4 hours. It is a good schedule and the class is really diverse, as far as age and gender are concerned. I’m excited, it should be fun. Well that is all from my end.

More later,


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Month of August

For some reason I am having trouble thinking of what I have been doing for the past month right now. This may mean that I should maybe not be blogging right now, but I feel like this needs to get done or I am never going to do it.

I guess mostly what has been happening in the past month has been work, so I will start with that. I think my class is the greatest. My students are so fun. They really get excited about computers, I can't even really get them to take lunch break or our other shorter break. This causes a little problem because I only make enough work for the scheduled amount of time each day, that way the couple of students who do want a break will not fall behind. We finished with Word last week; this week we are doing the internet and PowerPoint. Next week, I am going to give them a crash course on Excel...we will see how that goes. That program confuses me sometimes, I don't know how easy it is going to be to learn even the basics of the program. In any case, we will do our best.

I have been chasing the movie Inception all around South Africa. Several people have recommended it to me, it got super good reviews, and I love Leo, so this made my list of priorities about a month ago. I waited 2 weeks after it came out in America, then went to Johannesburg to try and see it. Not there yet. It will be there in a week. Luckily that was not the only reason I went to Johannesburg. Then I waited another 3 weeks and went to Welkom this past weekend to try and see it. Not there. It will be coming in 2 weeks. Unfortunately that was the only reason I went to Welkom, so I just came straight home after that trip. What a bust. You may be wondering why I did not do more research before taking these trips. Well, Johannesburg, I was going no matter what, so it was just going to be a nice bonus. And Welkom, there is no place anywhere that has the phone number for the movie theatre online. I at least got that out of my trip there, although I think I may have lost it.

It is finally getting a little warmer here. It still has not rained. They do a lot of intentional burning during this season to try and prevent any big fires taking over because of all the dry grass. This has made things look pretty nasty in a lot of place because now the ground is just black. The air always smelt like smoke. That finally stopped about a week ago. I just hope it rains soon, everything looks so dead. At night it still looks really nice though:

The school that Katie and Sarah work at got evaluated in the past couple of weeks. Putting it nicely, the school did very poorly. I think the overall rating was a 66%. It is strange because the school has a reputation in the community for being pretty good relative to the other schools. Katie and Sarah both say the education in less than stellar; this just makes me wonder how bad the other schools could be. Katie and Sarah were talking to me about it one day and said that teachers commonly ask them to type up exams for them because they don't know how to use a computer. They said it would be really good if I could teach them computers, since that is my South African specialty. I told my boss about it earlier today (she was one of the evaluators for the school) what Katie and Sarah said to me. Her jaw slowly dropped wider and wider during this conversation. In the end she said, "Those teachers don't know how to use Word?" I said yes, and it seemed to be a bit of a problem. Her response then was, "That is not a problem, that is horrible." So, based on that conversation, I think I might start teaching a computer class to the teachers at that school before I leave. I am not really sure how they got hired without that skill, but it is a little thing we can do to help make the educators more qualified to help improve the quality of education at the school. I will probably know more about that project in the near future.

Well, I think that is about all from me for now. If I think of anything else that is interesting from the past 2 weeks, I will do another post. I don't know what is wrong with my brain right now. Or maybe this has just been a tame month. Either way, this is all for now.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

World Cup and Birthday...aka, what a month!


Man, I have a lot of stuff to update on here. I was going to post information last weekend, then the power went out for 2 days, so that wasn't going to happen. Some thieves decided taking an ax to the power lines and taking the cable was a good idea. Well, actually, the more I thought about it, the more I decided it was the perfect crime, minus the risk of getting electricuted. They cut the wires, then everyone goes crazy and isn't paying attention to them. At the same time everything goes dark, so no one can see them. The land phones and tvs don't work so it is difficult to communicate about them. The list goes on, but it really is a pretty clever thing to steal if you are into that business.

Anyways, I will start with the World Cup adventure. It was pretty awesome, as you can probably imagine. We took an overnight bus to and from Port Elizabeth, which is about a 12 hour ride. I only remember a couple of hours of the trip because I was dead asleep. We got there and went to our B&B. It turned out to just be this nice family that runs a B&B for extra money and because they like meeting tourists. They were super nice and helped us find all the answers we needed about everything. Our first order of business after dropping off our things was to get food. We walked to a nearby cafe that was attached to an aquarium. No joke, the entire Uruguay team was there looking at fish!!! There was security all around, and we asked if we were still allowed to go in to get food and they said yes. That sealed the deal for sure. While we were waiting for our food, the entire team walked past us. We tried talking to them, but they mostly just ignored us. Then Sarah chased them down and got her picture taken with a couple of them. I was already cheering for them, Katie was for Germany, and after that incident, Sarah swung my direction.

We spent the next day or so doing various activities such as swimming (wicked cold, but super cool waves), eating sushi, and generally walking around. On the day of the game, I drug Sarah and Katie to the new Twilight movie with me. We went in and everything was normal outside, then when we came out, the entire town had transformed into a World Cup monster! Everyone had flags, face paint, vuvuzelas, etc. We ran home, got changed, got on a shuttle, and were off to the game. Most of the audience was for Germany (boo). We got some yummy dinner for just $2 outside of the stadium. While we were waiting in line, some people tried to steal things from Katie's pocket. It was a pair of men. One came up to her and started begging for food, the other used the distraction to unzip her pocket and try to get her things (which included her wallet and passport). They must have been watching her for awhile. I was luckily standing behind her and saw the thief. I grabbed his hand and yelled "What are you doing?!" He tried to tell me that he had just dropped something. I told him I wasn't stupid and told him to get away from us, perhaps using a little harsher language than I am reporting here. After that, we went in. It was super cool inside. The design was really nice. And even though we had cheap seats, they were actually pretty good. We could still see everything. Certainly not worth an extra $200 for the good seats. The vuvuzelas were not that bad inside, the acoustics made the sound go away pretty well and the people around us were pretty tame. I don't know who watched the game, but it was pretty exciting to sit through. It stayed pretty even, constantly getting both sides' hopes up and then crushing them. Just what I wanted: suspense!

Getting home was quite a fiasco. The line to get back on the shuttle was forever long. We were in it for at least an hour and a half, if not longer. To try and pass time, Sarah dared Katie. The bet: Sing the U.S. national anthem as loud as you can, not telling anyone around you why you are doing it besides that you just have a lot of pride. The reward was $50, I said I would put in an additional $20. I don't think Sarah thought Katie would take the bet, I wasn't so sure. Well, Katie did it. It was super funny. Right in the middle of a bunch of German fans, Katie just starts belting out the most out of tune rendition of the national anthem. The funny thing was that there were some Americans standing pretty close behind us (we had actually run into them the night before when we were out and they were super annoying, we didn't even talk to them...alcohol, cowboy hats, big hair if that gives you any perspective on the situation). They starting singing along with Katie, except they were doing it in all seriousness, then they messed up the lyrics. Katie held her own, though, and just sang regardless of the others. It was hilarious.

So those are the highlights from the World Cup adventure. It was a fun time for sure. Now on to my birthday...

Katie and Sarah had all kinds of fun things planned for my birthday. Because my birthday fell on a Thursday, it was only natural that it should be a 2 day celebration. The first night, it was just the 3 of us. The theme for the party: neon-fabulous! Excellent start. This required the three of us to deck out in everything neon, including nail polish, bling earrings, and I even got a nice orange boa. For dinner: homemade sushi! A few ingredients were substituted, rice paper for seaweed, hot mustard for wasabe. Nonetheless, they turned out wonderfully. We packed ourselves full of those, rested for awhile, then went into town to get dessert from my favorite place.

The next night, other people came over. Just a few of our friends to hang out and play games and stuff. Our friend Rudy got me the world's coolest cake. It was a sheet cake (he deduced that that would be enough for 3 girls...), the top of it was the South African Flag and the bottom was the American flag. It was so pretty. Also came with 23 relighting candles. I ate way too much cake, then I got super thirsty and drank a big glass of milk. About 10 minutes later I was completely nausious. That is when Sarah told me the milk was rotten. This is not the first time I have drank a lot of rotton milk unknowingly. After a rough hour that ended with me losing all of the cake behind a tree, I was up and running again, ready for games. It was really fun; I was dead tired by the end of the night.

Alright, I think that pretty well wraps up the highlights of the past couple of weeks. A new computer class started this week. I just have one class now that is for a longer period of time, 9-3 each day. Today we learned how to save documents. Although this may seem like an easy thing, it is actually the most confusing thing for students to undertand. I am for real teaching now too, not just assisting a computer program. All this means is that if they do not understand, it is 100% on me. I think they will get the hang of it soon though, I am not worried. The concept of there being folders within folders and files are all over the place in those folders is just a bit difficult. They are fun though, there are 11 of them who are very serious about learning how to use a computer, which is all I care about.

Love ya,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kids All Around


Sorry for the lapse of updates for the past few weeks. As predicted, the kids sucked all of the energy out of me and the thought of having to write a blog update just became too much, even though it doesn’t take long to do at all.

The holiday activities went pretty well. We never quite had 300 kids show up, but there were about 200, then towards the end numbers dwindled a little bit, more like 150. Our organization gradually decreased by the end too. The first couple of days we were really organized; every group had a letter and they rotated at specific times. By the end, we had a vague idea of what we were going to do that day, but we would mostly just give the kids a bunch of balls and tell them generally where to go and not to cause too much trouble. One thing I do not miss in life is being in the 9th grade. I think it might be a universal fact that all 9th grade girls are mean and have the biggest attitudes ever. Every single thing we did they were just not having it. We heard that some of the older students didn’t want to attend the program anymore and the parents started lying to them, saying that if they kept going we were going to give them KFC on the last day. Man were those kids disappointed when they got a bowl of rice and some meaty soup that day for lunch. Overall it went pretty well though.

We are off to Port Elizabeth for the soccer game this Thursday. I keep forgetting about the trip because it seems weird that the World Cup is coming to an end. Unfortunately I don’t really care about any of the teams that are still in it that much. I was really hoping that Ghana would make it. I didn’t see the game that knocked them out, but I heard the refereeing was not so great and that they should have won. I think I am just going to root for the team that has the best looking players since I don’t really have much more to go off of. I don’t know who this is at the time, I looked at the team members and honestly none of the teams were that impressive. All I can say is that Germany is definitely out of the contest. Maybe I will just wear a bunch of South African stuff and just go as a general supporter of the World Cup.

The sad part of the past couple of weeks is that I finished Harry Potter. I was hoping it would last a little longer because it was such a nice thing to sit down and read at night. Despite the series’ length, it did not last as long as I had hoped. It was really good though, I was quite pleased with the last book; I was a little worried I wouldn’t like it because those types of series are so hard to write a good ending to. I have moved on to some of the American classics that I never read in school for one reason or another. I am currently working on “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” All this book is teaching me is that I have the reading comprehension of a 2nd grader. I have to read everything twice and I still barely know what is going on…and this book is supposed to be for children.

I am not really sure what the plan is for the week at work. I might be helping some of the sewing ladies make chair covers, but I don’t really want to help them because this is work for them that they will get paid for and I don’t want to take that away from any of them. I also am less qualified than any of them at sewing considering I am just a self-taught person who probably does most things technically incorrectly. I think we are going to run the computer class again. We are waiting for a program that is being designed elsewhere currently. I will actually be the teacher for this round of students instead of an assistant to a computer program. I am much happier about this because I often felt like I could explain things better than the program. I think we are going to do this old school with textbooks and lectures this time, then have the students do different exercises on the computer during the afternoon. So instead of having a morning and afternoon session we will just have one class who will be there all day. I know that is a long day, but several students said on their evaluations that class should have been longer. I guess when you are traveling an hour + to get to class, it makes sense to have a longer class. They will get more out of the class too because they will practice with the programs more. We shall see, it would be good to get another round of students started though because there is currently a pretty big waiting list that is only going to get longer with time.

Well that is all from my end. Happy 4th of July! I am so jealous that everyone got to see fireworks but me : ( I lit off some sparklers, but that was the extent of fireworks in my life. We had people over and made some 4th of July foods, but nothing too extravagant. It is hard to get people excited about America’s independence day here, mostly our friends were just humoring us, but I still appreciated their efforts to support us.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well. I am doing pretty good. It has become ice cold here in the past two weeks. I am in class right now and I can almost see my breath. Everyday when I get home from work I spend about 2 hours doing various things to try and get myself warm again, usually without success for more than a few minutes. I think I am going to walk into town and buy a fleece after work today, I have been putting this off for quite some time, but I don't think I can take the cold anymore.

Two weekends ago I made my way to Durban with Katie, Sarah, and our South African family, the Josephs. It was an 8 hour drive to get there, although I don't remember much of it because I was out cold. It was such nice weather there. We only had one full day there before we had to return to Kroonstad, which we of course voted to spend at the beach. The water was soooo nice. It was almost the same temperature as the air. I was so swimming deprived that I spent about 3 hours riding the waves, which were also the perfect size. At about the 2 hour mark the lifeguards came out to see if I was okay. I said yes and that I just really like swimming. They joined me for about 15 minutes, then said they were tired and went back in...not really the most reassuring feeling that I could outlast the lifeguards by a longshot. We also went to the largest mall in the southern hemisphere, Gateway. That was pretty cool to see, I don't know if it is bigger than the Mall of America, but it certainly was not as overwhelming as the Mall of America. Part of it is outside and they have waterslides instead of a theme park, which I liked but it doesn't really make a ton of sense because who wants to be wet at a mall? Well, I kind of did, but I doubt many people would share that sentiment with me. Durban was definitely cool, I am sure we will return in the future.

As many of you know, Friday night was the opening match for the World Cup. We decided to go out to the township that my students are from and that Sarah and Katie teach in to watch the game. Soccer is stereotypically the "black" sport here, and the township is all blacks, so it seemed like the most logical place to go. We went to a tavern that was showing the game. It was really fun, although I got a pretty bad headache from blowing in the vuvuzelas and having them blown at me. I know these noise makers have been quite the controversy, but in case you don't know what they are, they are long horns and they make the bee-like buzzing sound when watching the game on tv. Needless to say, I could not hear much the rest of the night my ears were ringing so much. I think I will have to get earplugs for the game I am going to. It is funny thing here because there are commercials that jokingly measure how many decibals a vuvuzela makes when you blow in it. In the commercials, and in reality, they are loud enough to cause hearing damage, and this makes the crowds go wild with happiness. Perfect.

Plans for the upcoming week: I am going to Sowetto, the township outside of Johannesburg where Soccer City is located, to watch the South Africa vs. France (I think?) game this Saturday at a big public viewing stadium. Next week the holiday activities with the kids start so I am mostly planning on resting this weekend to get my energy up to deal with 300 children. The rest of my plans are a mystery.

Talk to you later!


Thursday, June 3, 2010


So Johannesburg was a blast last weekend. It is such a cool looking city. It is built on rolling hills, and although it is gigantic, it doesn't feel overwhelming, which is nice. The city is decked out for the World Cup. Any space that could have a huge poster hung on it was sure to have one and they just stuck giant soccerballs at the top of most of the buildings. I got to see the outside of the new stadium there too which was really cool. We were also supposed to go to the apartheid museum while we were there, but it was closed. Instead we went to Constitutional Hill, which was also really cool. It used to be a prison during apartheid for both black and white people, men and women. The current supreme court is located there too, although they left much of the old prison in tact. It was really interesting, but I will not bore you with the details of the museum. I will just say that if you ever find yourself in South Africa, pay a visit.

As I said in my last post, I was mainly in Johannesburg for a retreat and for reflection over the past two months. Let me tell you, if I reflected any more, I am sure that I would've actually turned into a mirror. It was really nice, though, and very relaxing. Everything was about being peaceful and soothing. We had an avacado tree growing in our back yard. Naturally we were on a ladder within about an hour trying to get them down. We eventually had to climb up on the roof and walls to reach them, we got about 8 in the end. Now we have delicious guacamole in our fridge. I still don't understand my body's relationship with avacados, however. I know I am mildly allergic to them when I just eat them by themselves, especially if they are not ripe. But for some reason I can eat tons of guacamole without any problems. Katie, coincidently enough, has very similar allergies as me. She cannot eat melons of any kind and avacados bother her too. She is more allergic to these things than me, but it did make me feel a little better that there might actually be some rational behind this problem.

We are friends with an Indian family here, the Josephs, who have basically integrated us into their family as daughters. We went there this past weekend for food and games and I had the most delicious thing. It was fish brayani, and the fish was baracuda. No joke, I thought I was eating pork for about 10 minutes because the baracuda was so different than other types of fish. They are also taking us to Durban with them this weekend. We leave at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning and it is about an 8 hour drive. We will get back in the middle of the night on Sunday. Hopefully I will be able to sleep away most of the driving. I don't know exactly what we are doing there, but knowing the Josephs, food will be a huge part of the weekend. My only goal is to go swimming in the ocean. The water is supposed to be a swimmable temperature, which is all I am looking for.

Other than that, things are going good here. I realized yesterday that the computers in my classroom did not have anti-virus protection for the past week. I installed some yesterday and of course all of the computers had viruses because my students were using the internet for a week and I have been moving files between the computers. The computers make a loud beeping sound when a detection is found, which is pretty funny because now everything is quiet except for this symphony of beeps that resonates through the computers for about an hour.

Write to me!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Big Fish


I have decided to try and post on here once every two weeks. I was going to do once a week, but I am quickly discovering that I don't have enough to write about every week and I don't want the blog to become a burden otherwise I might just stop.

The computer class is still going well. Most of the students will hopefully be taking the Microsoft Word test this week. I am nervous about their ability to pass, but I guess that is pretty normal for a teacher. I wish I could just have one student take it so I can see how they do. Now we are starting to learn Internet Explorer. We are getting the internet upstairs this week, hopefully, so they will be able to start practicing soon. The internet is proving to be more difficult to explain, and I don't know if it is because it is more complicated subject matter or I just don't understand things as well. So many of my students ask me what HTML and http mean and I don't know what to tell them. Even if I can give them an answer, I am still using words they don't know and I just don't know how to make it more simple. It is really hard to explain more complex things when the basics are missing. Slowly but surely we will get there though.

Sarah, Katie, and I took a roadtrip to Parys yesterday. It is a fun little town. There are a ton of antique shops, which I found quite odd considering Kroonstad has none and it is a bigger town than Parys. We ate at a fabulous restaurant for lunch, although the portions were a little on the small side. I had raw warthog with vinegrette ice cream. The warthog was delicious, the ice cream was weird. We went down to the river afterwards. I really wanted to swim until I saw what the fishermen were pulling out of the water. There were bunches of huge fish hanging in all of the trees. I asked one of the fisherman what kind of fish they were catching and he said cod. Perhaps I misunderstood him, or maybe I don't know how big a cod is, but they looked too big to me to be cod. Swimming would've been fun, but I would have for sure been freaked out knowing there were so many big things swimming next to me that I could not see.

Next weekend we are going to Johannesburg for an orientation thing. I think they are just going to give us some general information on South Africa and then see how we are doing. I am pretty sure we will be able to pick up our World Cup tickets there too. I will be happy to have those in our hands, I still have a sinking feeling that we did something wrong when we bought them.

Hope everyone is well!