Tuesday, October 28, 2008

PNGC Week 16: Fetal Development

The last week of PNGC for the year has come and gone. It is surprising how quickly time passes. The day felt like any other day as the girls quickly organized the room, set up the sewing machines and turned up the volume on the latest Rihanna song. The leaders finished attendance, made announcements, explained the schedule for the day and off they went. The smoothness and ease with which the they orchestrated club for the day belied the true passage of time and how far everyone has come in embracing PNGC, making it their own.We had saved one of the more interesting lessons for our last day and were pleased to see how excited the girls became as the weekly story was related to them. The topic was Fetal Development and the lesson walked through the different stages of development from the early weeks to the last months. Along with the lesson, PNGC was able to borrow a set of Fetal Development Models from PGC in Klipspruit. The models are made to specific size and weight according to the various stages of development. Towards the end of the lesson, Ma Motebele began passing around the models as she explained in more detail each stage. The girls were giddy as the cradled these small and very lifelike models in their hands. Passing from one girl to the next, the models were accompanied by continuous cries of amazement, curious eyes, giggles and laughter. Pregnancy and birth are very important in the villages and the lesson brought new understanding for the girls and the leaders that was applicable to their daily lives. One of our leaders is currently about five months pregnant and there are a handful of students whose mothers are as well. At the end of the day, Ma Motebele even took the models home with her so that she could show her children and read them the story from club. Truly it was a perfect lesson to end this year's club.Once the din of the girls receded following the lesson, it was back to work on aprons. Almost half of the girls had the opportunity to sew their aprons the previous week, and the remaining girls had their chance this week. They modeled their finished product for their friends and were extremely proud of their own craftsmanship. Those who were not sewing began making up as many sets of earrings and beaded wire bracelets as they could. The hope is that the girls will be able to sell these extra items in the coming month as a fundraiser for next year's club. When they heard that this was the purpose of their work, they seemed to continue with ever more fervor. By the end of the day we had over 60 pair of earrings and even more bracelets, all with different patterns and colors. It was wonderful to see that the girls want to help in any way they can to make sure that PNGC continues for next year's 7th grade girls.The day wrapped up as any other day would. Dust settled from a final sweep of the room as the leaders put away all the supplies in the cupboard and the girls returned a few tables and chairs to their respective rooms. Bags were shouldered and thank yous were exchanged as we all waved goodbye to one another in the waning daylight hour. Walking home we felt a strong sense of pride in the leaders and girls. In a few short months they had taken a small set of lessons and crafts and turned it in to an incredible weekly program. It is an experience we hope the girls will carry with them throughout their lives. There is no question it has been a profound experience for both of us.

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