As 2016 comes to a close, I want to delight you with our very own South African version of the classical children’s ballet Peter and the Wolf. My 4 and 5 year olds at preschool practiced very hard to perform it for you. My own little Samuel, 4 yrs, wanted to be a cat, and Steven, 7, helped out with light effects. Enjoy and comment if you like.
South Africa is so different from Germany in many aspects. In Germany, just like in the US or Canada, our school year ends in July. You graduate in July and you start school again in September. In August you generally rest. Then, when you start school and work again in September, you get to rest at the end of year during Christmas and New Years, before starting the year again in January.
In South Africa, the year lasts from January to December without any major interruptions. In November all the reports need to be written, and what ever needs to be done has to be finished by the end of November because December is the big summer holiday. I find it to be a very long stretch of hard work culminating into a high pressure November. I tried to to find some resting points in between like going fishing with my boys but boy, am I tired right now!
I was so happy to be able to do a big preschool graduation concert with our school. Every child received a detailed report on their development and the milestones they reached. Since I am trained in child development (MA) this was quite a thorough report and many hours were spent accessing each learner. We are so proud of the fact that all our preschool graduates have been accepted into good schools after doing really well in the application interviews.
Here are some impressions from the concert for you to enjoy.
Today we took our preschoolers on a hiking trip into our nearby fantastic Soutpansberg mountains in northern Limpopo, South Africa! I had been teaching my 4 year olds about space, the globe, Africa, and our place on the map and now we went to check out geography by ourselves. Lots of excitement and many happy faces!
The local mountain biking club developed some great trails that lead over mountain streams and through beautiful forrestry. The kids loved to stop and listen to the murmur of the water, the bird song and the wind! Hiking with 2-5 year olds must be about fun, different textures and a stimulating environment. A lot of children have never been to this mountain let alone have ever hiked, so this was real great exposure to a new experience.
Field trips are great, and field trips that come right to your preschool are a lot of fun too because it is safer!
Horses are magnificent animals. Horse riding and interaction with horses is a proven aid to education, concentration, honing fine and gross motor skills, muscle development and social skills. Unfortunately many children do not have the opportunity of the benefit of getting to know these amazing creatures.
Therefore we are offering our children at Emmanuel Kinderland Preschool a very special chance every Monday morning.
We provide our students with a chance for horse interaction and an introduction to horse riding with experienced horse trainer Sarah Coronaios from the Rondebosch Riding School.
What a treat to quickly sneak in some blogging after an eventful week! This week was stuffed with happy moments, from finishing the new curriculum for the preschool to drafting the choreography for our Anti-Rape hip-hop drama, to hosting a trauma seminar today and finishing the planning for tomorrow mornings sunday school.
Now I want to quickly keep you in the loop on how that Bucket List thing of mine is doing.
My Bucket List 2013 – things I hopefully manage to achieve and experience.
As they happen, I will include links to what I was able to do in this regard right under each item. They might link, if fitting, to my other blog “Traveler’s Log” if it is about going places.
1. Meet new, interesting people
02.03. Organized a Trauma Counseling Seminar with Weynand and Barbara Louw which went down very nicely today. Really sweet and competent couple who have seem to traveled the ups and downs of life themselves and are definitely qualified to talk about the topic. Good stuff. Looking forward to maybe walking and working closer together in the future. Our people are definitely better equipped now to deal with the many traumatic situations we face in South Africa.
5. Publish stuff, get back into public speaking (after and with little kids … who wants to Au Pair?)
February: Started to speak at a Woman’s camp together with my husband again. Been asked to publish. Have written a drama and choreography for the Rape Ape campaign.
6.Network and connect. This lone ranger needs to join hands with like-minded passionate Christians.
Not an easy one. Been asked to leave a much anticipated meeting of national leaders in the first five minutes because apparently my little kids were a nuisance. We were late, due to a crisis back at the church, someone had just lost a pregnancy. You do not leave hastily at a situation like that, saying: Hey, our pastor will be cross if we arrive late at a meeting 500 km from here? So we drove fast, and the kids needed to stretch their legs after a5 hour drive. I don’t blame them. They would have settled under a table with colouring books eventually. But so I had to spend the two days outside – although fully prepared with national pressing issues researched and questions ready… I might want to network with people who appreciate the effort to drop everything and come a long way to see them?
9.Have a good vacation with the kids, where the cellphone use is limited to the lesser moments.
Money is a big issue here, and also to have a trustworthy person who can stand in while we are gone. You can’t believe the amount of trauma happening in a relatively small town and how much a pastor is the first place of help for many people to run to.
10.Host a special event at church. Don’t fear the no-sayers. Not even if they get up and leave if you come on stage.
02.03. Trauma Counseling Seminar, done. Wonderful! It gave many new impulses to many, changing the mindset away from the mystical towards clearly defined roles and approach.
11.Go to Germany and see my family. They deserve to see their daughter, grandchildren, sister, once a year.
Again, money. Should do a video audition to play a small role in a South African drama… I can do it, I know that.
12.Make a lot of money so I can be more helpful to those who lack around me. A prayer and a handshake just doesn’t cut it in Africa. Work towards creating a sustainable structure for helping others.
Many single moms in the African community have to put their children in less than acceptable creches to be able to work in other peoples homes as maids and nannies. This grieves me beyond words. To pay 200 Rand a month, when you earn 1200 R a month, to put your baby in a dirty muddy yard among 50 others, with one or two ladies barely meeting your child’s basic needs, so that you can wipe other kid’s noses and wash their dishes? It is not right. I am slowly getting involved with Symphonia Quality education for South Africa and hope this will lead to involvement in helping improve preschool education in poorer areas.
February 2013: Besides the Basic music classes and language development program that I designed myself I brought in gymnastics, playball and computer classes for the kids and also designed a wholesome daily curriculum. Like the school on facebook: www.facebook.com/EmmanuelKinderland
14.Go to gym and look like an action heroine.
So far, so good, going to gym 3x a week, spinning, workout, zumba- in the ideal scenario which means baby sitter needs to be in place and although its not during workhours, the church needs to befine. Apparently pastor’s don’t get to have privacy at gym, the office recently sent people over to see us there during spinning class. Hmm. But nevertheless, it is important. See here for why it’s helping me to feel one with the strange world I am in: