Day 5: Tuesday morning began with an assembly. Only, in this one, the children sang harmoniously, almost like a gospel choir. Each of us were amazed at how talented they were and how professional it sounded.
It was then time for Miss McKenna’s biology class. We joined the class’ lesson and worked in pairs with other pupils solving the questions that Miss McKenna gave… on MAGIC paper-something neither we nor the South African pupils had ever used before. The next period was English with Mamma G. This class turned out to be very inspirational. Initially discussing qualities and values in people, the subject soon changed to loyalty amongst friends. After establishing who everyone’s best friend was, one girl began to speak about the best attributes of her friend. She gave a genuine and emotional speech about her friend, ending it by calling her “a phenomenal woman.” This quote has become a motto amongst us, particularly when in the ‘Gender Respect’ lessons. The way in which the girl spoke about her friend so truthfully showed just how grateful the pupils are for the people they have in their lives.
We stayed with Mrs Gilchrist for the rest of the day, helping the pupils in her classes with their English. At times, it was difficult for us to define certain words or spell them correctly in our native language so we understood how difficult it must be to be educated and have to sit exams in your second language.
By the end of our second day at Ikusasalethu, we really felt at home.
After school a group of teachers kindly took us to see Richard’s Bay- an hour’s drive away. Firstly we visited the harbour where we learned that ‘ingwena’ means crocodile- it was the name of one of the boats- and we then went on to see the beach. Miss McKenna and Amy made their mark here by cutting some Scottish shapes on the sand; Joking around ending up turning into a five minute ‘how-to’ lesson on country dancing, with Miss Phimister at the head of the class.
What most surprised us that day were the numerous signs stating, ‘Do not feed the monkeys!’ Yeah, REAL MONKEYS!!