Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PNGC Week 13: Personal Hygeine

This week at PNGC we had very special guests visiting. Jessica's mother Mary and her sister Vanessa had come to visit us here in South Africa and their very first day full day in the country brought them to our village to see club in action. As has been the trend over the past month, the day was hot, dry and windy but with such honored guests, the girls and leaders were all excited for club to begin. They had been hearing for a couple weeks now that Mary and Vanessa were coming with special craft supplies from the United States and were eager to see what everything was.
The girls lined up in front of the school hall as usual, chatting and gossiping about their day at school, while the PNGC Student Council and leaders helped to set up for the day. We first introduced Mary and Vanessa to the leaders and they happily assisted us in preparing for the day while learning about how this year at club has been going. The leaders were eager to share their stories and show off some of the necklaces and earrings they had made. When all the tables were set with a few supplies, Vanessa was asked to be today's bell ringer. Snatching up the bell and popping out the door to the hall, she rang the lavender bell, much to the girl's delight, and week 13 was underway.
The girls took their seats quickly, inspecting the containers of interesting looking sweets that had made the journey across the ocean for them, as well as the small tubes of paint in the baskets on each table. Their eyes were already lighting up and we had barely started. As Jessica introduced our special guests the girls applauded after almost every sentence. They could just not contain the excitement of having our family here to visit. At this point we probably seem rather ordinary to the girls, but our family had just stepped off the plane from America and the girls wanted to know all about them. However, before they could be bombarded with inquiries from the girls, Ma Masenya stepped in to present the lesson for the day on Personal Hygeine. It was clear to her and the rest of us that the girls were quite enthusiastic about the day and their attention was not easily focused on the lesson. Keeping that in mind, Ma Masenya improvised as she went, cracking jokes and incorporating anecdotes specific to daily life in Seleka to keep the girls listening and laughing. It was difficult to grasp everything she was saying as it was rattled off in Setswana, though it was clear that everything she was doing was bringing the lesson closer to home for the girls in a light hearted way. I was amazed at how she was able to maintain a level of participation from the girls on a day when they were easily distracted by so many other things.

After completing a short discussion at the end of the lesson, the big surprise for the girls was finally here. Jessica began explaining that the paints on the table in front of the girls were fabric paints, and that today the girls would be decorating their very own PNGC T-shirt. More applause came quickly, but was soon drowned out by oohs and aahs, hushed giggles and knowing glances from girl to girl as the leaders began to distribute the T-shirts. Not much explanation was needed on what to do and soon every girl had a bottle of puff paint in her hand, aimed at her shirt on the table. At first, most of the girls took the initial suggestion that they could write their name on their shirt. Almost every girl started with that, though soon word spread around the room of other creative designs and patterns. In no time at all, simply designed shirts became elaborate mazes of different color paint that covered entire shirts front and back. Paints were being passed around the room, ideas shared and expounded upon, and everyone was having a fantastic time. Mary and Vanessa meandered through the girls, stopping to talk, or sometimes just to admire a shirt or two. As the girls neared completion of their shirts (meaning we started running out of paint!) They, along with the leaders, began to help the girls hang their shirts over chairs and tables so the paint could dry overnight. Once finished with their T-shirts, the girls now had their chance to ask the questions that had been burning the tips of their tongues all day. The two new Americans soon found themselves surround by eager young faces asking a range of questions from 'Do you know Beyonce?' to 'What does your house look like?'. They posed for pictures, laughed, joked, made funny faces and thoroughly enjoyed themselves for the entire afternoon. No one was too quick to leave at the end of the day, wanting instead to stay and keep talking, but we assured them that the following morning we would be back at school to take a group photo with all of their shirts. Knowing that, the girls and leaders all helped to clean, sweep, pack and organize shirts to dry. We made our way home with a troop of girls that continued to delight us with questions and conversation all the way to our front door. The evening was starting to cool down and we sat on the front porch talking about what an incredible day it was for PNGC.
The following morning we arrived at school to find all the girls already there, sporting their freshly dry PNGC shirts. After assembly we gathered everyone together for a large group photo. The girls grinned from ear to ear as they showed off their new look and posed for even more pictures with their new friends.

We would not have been able to do this craft without the generous contributions and support of friends and family back home. Please know that your donations will be worn with pride in our village. From all of us at PNGC, thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!


The opinions expressed are our own and do not reflect those of the Peace Corps, the U.S. Government, the Republic of South Africa, or and other person, party, or organization mentioned on this website.