*I wrote this Friday, Nov 18.
Today at school we had a going away party for the volunteer I’m replacing. In true Namibian fashion, the party had been rescheduled at least three times.
It was less a party for Tom, and much more a “Fun Day” for the learners…well, the learners who brought N$15 dollars to cover the cost of food.
The day started out with a social studies exam for grade 5, 6, and 7. It was supposed to start at 7:45, but like most events at Ludwig Ndinda Primary it started late. When the exam ended the fun day began….kind of. Learners ran around the school for about 20 minutes and somehow all of them magically changed into their street clothes. I wish I would have brought a camera. Some learners were wearing tattered shirts and pants, while a few girls were wearing lacey dresses. It was adorable.
The day started off with a bag race (potato sack race), followed by a egg-on-a-spoon race (which was argued about in the staff meeting for a good twenty minutes. Why would you waste good eggs?), and then a game called battery. In battery there are two teams of four people. Each team has a line of batteries spread out in front of them. They take two old batteries and throw them at the other groups line of batteries trying to knock them over. It was actually really fun, minus the times when we almost got hit by batteries.
Following battery the learners got their first special meal of the day! I should clear something up, in Namibia party=food other than porridge. So the learners were excited to get what looked like mashed potatoes mixed with ketchup, a small piece of sausage, and a lollipop.
After food we played a game of netball, learners vs teachers. I’d never even seen a game, let alone played, so the first few minutes were a little confusing for me. It’s sort of like a combination of basketball, ultimate Frisbee and volleyball. You can’t dribble or move with the ball, and only certain players can shoot or defend. It was a lot of fun, and I found out my principal is super competitive. She was completely focused on winning, not on making sure all the kids were having fun. She gave the Sheehan family a run for their money, it was an impressive amount of competitiveness.
Soccer came after netball. I really don’t understand how, but it took at least a half hour just to organize the teams. First they have to divide the girls and boys, then divide them again, figure out how to mix up the boys and girls and then figure out whose playing first. Seriously, I don’t know why it took so long. A simple 1,2,3,4 count would have taken five minutes and worked out just as well. Oh well, the learners still seemed to have fun.
At least the older learners, that is. The poor lower primary kids didn’t get to play netball or soccer and had to sit around all day. I don’t know how they did it. Actually, most of them ran around the school causing a ruckus.
I’ve noticed that a Nam-event is not complete without a baby roaming around, and this event was no exception. The principal’s two year old granddaughter, who I think is named Kooki or something like that, wandered into the middle of the soccer field at least four times, only to be picked up by a spectating grade 6 learner. I wish I could have gotten pictures, it was hilarious. The whole day was great, I should have brought my camera.
The day was way more successful than the other events I’ve attended, I think mostly due to the fact that no one was asked to give a 45 minute long speech. Hazaah!
The school year is almost over. Next week we have exams and then I’m not quite sure what happens afterwards. I asked the grade 3 and 4 teacher, and she told me we either send the kids home until their grades are ready, or make them clean up the school. There has a been a rumor of a school tour (think multi-day field trip), so we’ll see what happens.
I hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving next week, I’ll be thinking about you (and missing pie ) on Thursday.