Friday, September 14, 2007

'Rithmetic, Rugby & Radio

More maths?! I felt like I had it coming out of my ears this week. At one stage on Tuesday I was helping 5 kids at the same time – Grade 9 Life Science (Biology – diffusion), Grade 6 maths (units of distance), Grade 6 maths (long division), Grade 5 Social Studies (water pollution) and Grade 4 maths (adding and subtracting thousands). I don’t think I got confused and said anything like, “Diffusion is kilometres divided by the amount of effluent minus 2,375” – but you never know!

The reason for my multi-tasking was just one of those weeks when almost none of the normal volunteers for the After School Program were available. Ruth had extra classes all week, Cillo was out of town, Tom had an assignment to work on and Joël’s grandmother passed away and he had to help his family with the funeral preparations.

One of the volunteers who did show up was Hauta Veii, who just recently started helping with the Program. An up-and-coming rugby player, we roped him in to teach the kids some rugby skills in our Tuesday sports slot. All the boys are crazy about soccer, and the only sport the girls know is netball, so we thought it would do them good to be exposed to something else. And so far they seem to be enjoying it…well, the boys at least (see picture)! The girls are being rather girly and saying things like, “But it’s too hot!” and “Won’t I get hurt?”

Hauta also helps out on Wednesday afternoons and is very effective in keeping the kids under control – a big, front-row player, all he has to do is look at the kids and his size does the talking!

Something encouraging: I got a call from Mr Kateve at Katutura Community Radio (KCR). KCR is a small radio station that only broadcasts in the Katutura area of Windhoek (Katutura is the former black township area where our church, the Evangelical Bible Church, is located). Mr Kateve found out about the training we ran in May on Orphans and Vulnerable Children and interviewed us on air. Since then he calls regularly to find out what other community programs we’re running. This time he expressed interest in coming to see the After School Program and broadcasting something about it. Hope it happens soon!

P.S. Kuzatjike did the extra maths homework I set for him over the weekend and actually got all the multiplying and dividing of decimals sums correct (a bit too good to be true? but he said no one helped him). Didn’t do so well on changing fractions to decimals and vice versa. So we revised that, and this week he had percentages. He didn’t come to the Program on Tuesday and Wednesday as he was sick, so we had a lot of work to catch up on yesterday. He has extra reading and maths to do over the weekend. Kauna (the Program Coordinator) has started sending extra reading work home with the kids who most need it, and some of them are really doing well.

On the home front: sports, sums & sweetness
Last weekend was great for Namibia on the sports front! On Saturday we qualified for the quarter finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (the biggest continental soccer tournament) and on Sunday we really gave Ireland a tough game at the Rugby World Cup. Sure, we lost 17-32 (which should have been 17-27 as the last try shouldn’t have been awarded…) but the boys really played a good game. We especially enjoyed watching our friend Wacca (see left, his autographed players card) play – and the ref only had to talk to him once for fighting! So if you get a chance to see Namibia playing on Sunday (against France, eek), cheer on the big #4 with us.

And yesterday I was exhausted after some tough squash games. Yes, I managed to win one this week! What made it worse for my muscles was that I decided to drill the kids at the Program yesterday on their times tables – with full body actions. They tired before I did, but I was also glad to stop and sit down for a while. And that was only the 1x table. I started off with, “One times one equals two” and not one of them batted an eyelid, sigh. (I wish I could say I did it on purpose, but, hey, it had been a busy week.)

Lastly, Jimmy and I have a brand-new goddaughter, Gloria, born to our friend Abigail on 5 September. She was 2.7kg at birth and when I held her a couple of days later I couldn’t believe how tiny she is! My two were much heavier than that at birth and I thought they were small. Hope to post some pics soon!

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