Allie and Lindsey have been in J’Bay for just over a week and we are so excited to have them there! Below is an e-mail I received from Lindsey about their adventures so far! I will be posting pictures of their trip soon…as well as updates from Nicaragua!
Molweni everyone! (Hello in Xhosa)
It has now been one full week since I arrived in Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa. I have had a wonderful, busy, exciting, crazy, and challenging week so far. I am working at Ithemba (the children’s day center) full time now from 8:00 AM- 4:00 PM and I love it! Working with the kiddos is both rewarding and challenging. By the time I get home at night I am completely exhausted because they keep us on our toes. In the mornings I help the teachers (4 Xhosa women) make the kids their breakfast. Then we have play time for about an hour. This usually consists of piggy back rides, getting my hair braided and tied in knots, tickling and chasing, and lots of hugs and kisses. The mornings usually have around 55- 60 kids ages 5 and under. I am quickly picking up Xhosa phrases to ask them how they are, what their names are, to tell them my name, and of course the useful kid phrases like “listen”, “don’t do that”, and “sit down please.”
I am teaching in one of the classrooms which is fun and yet very difficult because they are too young to speak English so I have to have everything translated. I am working with Mama Queen. She is a Xhosa grandmother. We work on the alphabet, shapes, numbers, days of the week, etc. There is a lot of work to be done to make the classroom setting run a little more smoothly, but we will get there! In the afternoons, we play some more and then about 100 more kids come after they get out of school- they are from ages 5- 16. I am working with the older kids in the afternoon on math, English, and writing. Yesterday, we did long division- it has been a LONG time since I have done long division but it went well!
My favorite part so far is just getting to know the people here. Both the Xhosa people and the Afrikaans people are so kind and helpful. They do not hesitate to help us (myself and Allie- the other girl I am here with) when we don’t understand something and they are very patient about teaching us their languages as well. We are learning pretty quickly and I am getting quite excited about that. Building relationships with not only kids but adults as well is very important to me!
The scariest part for sure has been the driving. Most of you know that I do not know how to drive a manual car so I had some lessons when I got here. My friend Marco was very brave and patient and he took us out for 3 lessons here before he let us hit the road on our own. Not only are we learning to drive a stick, but we are driving on the other side of the road and they have a lot of these roundabout things that are kind of tricky to figure out. We have had quite a few scary moments and stalls but so far the car is still running and we haven’t hit anyone else so I consider this a job well done- or maybe just done haha! We are getting better every day so I am trying to be positive even though I have to fight down panic each time I get in the car. Please be praying for safety both for myself and for the unsuspecting people of J-Bay!!
Finally, I want to share some of the cultural things that I find interesting so far: the eggs are not refrigerated so you by them on the shelf, milk comes in a box on the shelf, they call stop lights “robots”, they call stop signs “stop streets”, they say “see you just now” instead of see you later, soda is called “fizzy” or “cool drink”, and there are many more but I am slowly picking up on these things!
Anyways, I realize this is kind of long- but I hope that this finds you well and enjoying the summer! It is pretty cold here and I must admit I am a little envious of the weather at home. It is pretty though, and we are right on the Indian Ocean so we are definitely enjoying this place!
Please be praying for energy to keep up with the kids, for continued good health, for SAFETY while driving, and just that we will be used to accomplish the Lord’s purpose here! He is in control and He knows each and every one of these people by name. He speaks their language, even when I do not, and He has a deep and unending love for every nation, tribe, and tongue.
I will hopefully send out another update next week, please feel free to respond with questions or comments- I am obviously leaving a lot out because this thing would be SUPER long if I tried- but I am happy to answer any questions you may have. I get to the internet every couple of days!!
Lekker Dag (Have a nice day in Afrikaans),