We just finished our fourth day of school at VG. Things are going a little bit smoother now that everyone is used to us being there. We are still observing classes, but Wellyna gets to teach tomorrow! I've entertained some classes, but have yet to teach a full lesson. The COST coordinator for the school comes back Monday, so I'm sure she'll sort things out and lay them in stone for us, as to which teacher will be our cooperating teacher and the like. After classes every day are co-curriculars which are basically the sports, music ensembles, other physical activity classes (yoga, aerobics), and tutoring. Each teacher is required to help with 3 hours of co-curriculars a week. I get to help with their orchestra, a marimba ensemble (they have 5!), and yoga! I will also help with English tutoring whenever they need me, and I'd really like to be a part of the aerobics class (it would at least be some physical exercise :P) I really like that they are called co-curriculars because it means that the school views them as just as important as the academics.
Wellyna and I are trying to fill up time and help with as much stuff as we can so we can be around the girls and get to know them better. The senior marimba group started today and it was so much fun! They reviewed some pieces from last year and taught parts to some of the new girls. I've heard African marimba music played some, but it is a little different when some of the girls grow up listening and learning the rhythms! Below is a video of a group that is bigger, but similar to the one I'm helping with. I will post a video of the girls when they feel comfortable with me taping them and p For those of you who are musically inclined, the African marimbas aren't classical ones that you'd see in a western ensemble. They have all of the white keys on the piano, plus F#. So if you can't figure out the tonality, there you go ;)
Tomorrow evening there will be a braai for the staff and the leadership group at school. The South Africans joke because a braai is basically the same thing as our barbecue, but they don't slather the meat in sauce, they just use spices to make it taste good. And besides, barbecue is the flavor of a chip ;) The act of using a braai is also a fire using wood, never gas or charcoal. Saturday is the first social of the year. The music department is hosting a social as a fundraiser. The girls will have to pay to get in and for snacks and drinks once their in. It costs 10 Rand to get in (which is equivalent to about a $1.20, so not much), so hopefully a lot of girls will come. Tonight, Wellyna and I are going out to dinner with some of the staff! They don't eat dinner until 7:30 or 8 around here! It is definitely a more laid back culture.
Before I wrap this post up, I want to give a quick shout-out to my parents, Marianne & Marty, who are celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary today! Last year they went to Hawaii to celebrate and this year they get to stay in beautiful Salem ;) Hopefully there are many, many more opportunities to go on holiday for your anniversary. Oh, and thanks for getting married ;)