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Published: August 14th 2015
Frances was the only one who was awake enough (and full of beans), ready to go to school at 7.00am. The rest of us had a more leisurely breakfast before preparing for the day.
The sun was shining and a hot day promised as Tim and Robert made a prototype bench. They were banned from making the bench last night inside the guesthouse so they set up their workstation right outside the front door....the poor lady who was cleaning the house today, looked at all the sawdust on the doorstep and I could almost see what she was thinking!
An hour or so later, the first bench was ready for testing. It is just exactly right. So we hope they will be able to make several more. Muriel and her husband came to visit. They were just in time to see the bench in all it's finished glory. Muriel was very enthusiastic and said they should make more and put them in the new school garden.
Another trip to Cash Build in Siyabuswa to stock up on paint and other such useful DIY stuff, and we were on our way to school. The children were out in the
sunshine playing so Amy, Eva and I wandered down to play several rowdy and chaotic games of 'What's the Time Mr Wolf?' and read lots of books. We'd taken some Usborne Phonics Readers books. The stories all rhyme and are silly tales about the different animals. On every page is a little yellow duck peeping out from behind a tree or a bucket or some other item on the page. The children absolutely love being read to and with these books, they fight over who finds the duck first.
Amy made a little friend who attached himself to her leg. He didn't cling on as other children do sometimes, but followed her like a very well trained sheepdog walking to 'heel'.
Despite the increasing heat, we set about painting and putting a second coat of paint onto the playground equipment. There was less wind today so no worries about dust getting stuck on the fresh paint. The playground is 'Closed' for the next few days. A concept which many of the children struggled to understand! On Monday we will know who climbed over the fence - they will have white gloss paint on their uniform and skin! Next
week we hope to start to decorate the equipment with brightly coloured Ndebele-style designs. Their next project was to re-hang a lethal fire extinguisher, which was hanging off the wall at a 45 degree angle. Tim's Christmas present from his Dad (a little screwdriver) saved the day as it had a very short handle and managed to get into the small space available. So thank you Mr Martyn Lancaster :-)
Meanwhile, Frances was still in classrooms, attempting to support a number of teachers. Some of whom were more receptive than others ;-)
Robert and Tim had another successful painting session with some of the Grade 9 Boarders. They managed to get a good bit of the Further Educational Training (FET) Principal's office covered in paint.
Kwanda Ntuli was one of the boys painting and sends his greetings to Daniel Gillett - please can someone make sure this message gets passed on?!
Eva and Amy settled down to play games with the Early Years children who are boarding. We had taken a few games with us, but it would have been helpful to have another one. I decided to go on a hunt for some games which
were hopefully with the boarders and I was determined to find out what happened to the parachute we brought out in 2012. Sadly I had no success asking the housemother about the games or toys. 'No. No toys or games here'. However, I DID find the parachute. Elizabeth, who is Head of Early Years, directed me to another teacher who after a slight misunderstanding over 'rainbow coloured' thought I meant coloured poster paint, not parachute, found it immediately. 'Yes, yes. I remember' she said and with a beaming smile pulled it out of a box and gave it to me. So we have the parachute for next week's playtimes.
Tim is determined the girl boarders WILL have toys and games and is designing an epic Toy Box, which will go in their luggage room. They have access to this room and Hendrick has said that it is the best place to put it.
This evening Evelyn and Connie fed us with traditional pap, spinach and beef ribs with gravy and, after fighting with the very frozen ice cream tub, we had ice cream for dessert.
Evelyn entertained us with tales of her first trip to England. She
had lots of advice from people who had never been there before and realised when she got there, English people have washing machines and tumble dryers in their own homes so do not all use launderettes at great expense. That English people cook and eat in their own homes so do not all eat in expensive restaurants everyday. That English people are kind and generous and are happy to make friends with people from other countries. I am very glad that this is the conclusion she came to.
Tonight we are relaxing and planning a trip into Pretoria. Not sure which film we'll watch, but it could take a while before we get going due to the financial negotiations taking place in the Guest House.
Please enjoy our photos and leave a comment. It's good to hear from friends back in the UK (or beyond!)
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