First, i’d like to apologise for my lack of blogging- it’s not PURELY due to laziness (although that is a factor) but also due to how busy the last weeks have been! I have so much to mention but I will try to keep this as short and sweet and possible.
Due to the South African school year being slightly different to the UK’s- the school year runs from January to December as apposed to August to June- school life has been pretty hectic. Exams (although this doesnt effect the Enrichment Centre kids), end of year concerts, end of year trips, reports etc etc have taken up the majority of our time. Preparations for the Christmas concert was a daily occurance! Juniors, Seniors and Lifeskills all did seperate performances but they were all as funny and charismatic as the other. Dances to songs from ‘What does the fox say?’ to ‘Ag shame lovey’ (google it, such a tune), solo performances including a personal fave of Westlife (I couldn’t help but shed a tear) and a young girl dressing up as Sid the Sloth are just a few of my personal highlights. Not one person in the audience left without being amazed at the show and in a good mood! The hard work of staff and of course the amazing children paid off massively.
At the end of each term the classes go on day trips and I was lucky enough to go on both of the excursions that took place. The first was to a place called ‘Die Drift’ which is a gorgeous little farm sort of thing with pools, slides, zipwires and fun stuff like that. We had a picnic and spent the rest of the morning splashing about and trying to convince the kids to have a go down the slide, although some didnt need convincing and just repeatdly went down for the 3 hours we were there…
The second excursion didnt quite go to plan… after packing and preparing for a day to the game reserve with the hope of spotting some animals we were all sat eagerly on the bus, seat belts on, to find that our school bus was not working. The day wasnt a total disaster however and instead we headed down to the school swimming pool and played some games and had a brai (South African bbq).
As with all schools, we had our end of year assembly and prize giving. Alongside the mainstream kids, the Enrichment Centre kids also recieved awards. I genuinley felt like a proud mother in the audience when I saw the kids nervously walk up and collect their awards. The awards they got werent just mediocre awards.. “Excellence in Maths and English” was won by one of our Autistic boys, Hloni. Most of the other awards were more relating to the EC, such as awards for Tenacity, Improvement in communcication for a non-verbal child and improvement in independance to name a few. I couldnt help but laugh and smile when Hloni saw one of his classmates who is also Autistic go up and get his certificate- he clapped the loudest out of everyone, stood up and said proudly “thats my boy!!” It was too cute.
As well as school life being busy, we have been finding lots to do at weekends as well. We’ve had a trip to the waterpark, a trip to a Buddhist retreat up in the mountains where we spent 7 HOURS meditating and enough brai’s to do us the year. We also had a visit from some other volunteers from Swaziland which was lovely.
School has now officially ended for this tear and myself, Kathryn and Anna are now packing our bags to leave tomorrow to officially start our crimbo travels. Im very excited and also quite scared for some of the things we have planned for example THE WORLDS HIGHEST BUNGEE JUMP. If I don’t write another blog post you will know something has went wrong with that.
I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year!