Settled In

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First off no, I can not bring any monkeys home.

But I can tell you guys about my last two weeks. I started school atThe Wykeham Collegiate an girl school in Pietermaritzburg! The campus is beautiful. One of my favorite things about the school is that you get to walk outside to go to all your classes. Everything is outside even the lockers. We also have a break in the morning for tea and snacks! The girls at school have been so friendly and welcoming. The first week was great and I got to sit in on a lot of different classes to see what they were like.

The end of my first week of school  was half term so we got a 5 day weekend. My family used this weekend to travel to the beach in Mozambique! It was gorgeous. The beaches were so pretty and the water was fantastic. The only downside to the trip was i got really sunburned that I am still peeling from.Here is a picture of the view from the porch of the house we stayed at.

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Isn’t it beautiful? The place was breathtaking. I have seen so many beautiful things since I have gotten here and this last weekend I got to go to a game reserve at which I got to see wild giraffes..

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So I can check that off my bucket list. We also saw many other wild animals including rhinos which is becoming more and more rare because there is a big problem here of poaching rhinos for their horns. It was a great experience and being able to see these animals in the wild is one of my favorite parts of South Africa.

Since South Africa is in the southern hemisphere summer is approaching which means Wykeham’s summer holiday is coming up. This also means that end of the year exams are here. These exams are a really big deal in South Africa and are similar to our ACT and SATs in the states. Even though I have not been here the last year and don’t know a lot of the things they have studied, I am going to attempt to take a few of the exams anyway! This started with English on monday and I think, well hope, that it went alright. Also on the days I am not taking the exams I get to spend the day volunteering or helping out around the school. Yesterday I helped out in the junior school in a grade 3 classroom, and today I helped out with the preschoolers. It was extremely fun and all the girls were adorable. I loved hearing all their questions about the United States. One of the funniest moments was when they figured out I say some words differently than they do because of my accent, and decided to ask me to say about every word they know to see how I said it.

The diversity of the these classes was awesome. I loved seeing young girls from different cultures and backgrounds interact and spend time together. This has probably been my favorite part of South Africa. The diversity, in not just the people, but in everything. They have such a variety of vegetation, animals, food, clothes, and how they live life. It’s great, because even though I am in this one country I feel that I am experiencing so many cultures.

One of those many beautiful cultures is being shared to me by Eunice, my host family’s domestic worker. In the city I live in South Africa many people have live in domestic workers, this was an adjustment for me and a little awkward at first, but I am so thankful that I have gotten the opportunity to know Eunice and get to see bits of her culture. Eunice is Zulu, which is the largest ethnic group in South Africa, which means she also speaks Zulu.  She is one of the most friendly people I have ever met. Every morning she puts a smile on my face, but the coolest part about Eunice is that she records traditional Zulu music! How awesome is that? She shared her newly recorded album with us the other day and it was so fun. We danced around a bit and she told us how the people dance in the town she lives in. We are actually planning on going to visit her home soon and I am very excited to see the place she describes so vividly.

So my first couple weeks here have been great. I feel like I am settled in. I am very comfortable with my host family and love being with them. I have gotten to meet a lot of new people and though I can’t remember most of their names, but they have all made me feel welcomed. I love the people and the culture of South Africa.

Though these last few weeks have been great, on Sunday my heart broke as I heard the news of the passing of Matt Carr. I hurt so badly for my church family and Matt’s family. There are few things you can say when things like this happen. But a some things I would like to say are that I am so thankful for Matt’s life and his influence in the church,switch,and so many kids lives. I am also thankful for Jesus’s love and the hope that he gives. Thank you Matt for showing so many students the love of Jesus. I am thankful for the time we all got to have with you.

~Grace

7 responses »

  1. Wow!! So excited for all your adventures!! I’m sure your dad is in peace that you are at an all girls school!!! (Just kidding, jerry!!) Instead of bringing home a monkey for me, ill take a domestic worker!!! I love that you are having the time of your life!!!

  2. How fun Grace! I’d love to have the opportunity to move the Southern hemisphere and experience summer again. Not a fan of this cold weather. Eunice sounds like an amazing woman. I’ve stayed in many countries where they have domestic workers and it is hard to get used to. Looking forward to reading more 🙂 (PS – I’m a switch leader. Your dad shared this blog with us)

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