Friday, December 11, 2009

Holy Cross School

I’m sorry its been so long since my last post, but these last few weeks have been quite crazy. I have had to say goodbye to coworkers, good friends and housemates. Matt Kellen after two and a half years of volunteering at the monastery and in Grahamstown left to go back home to Washington. This was very emotional for the community and especially the children that have grown so fond of him. Also Liz Haney left to go back home to Boston along with many other friends of mine who were at Rhodes University on exchange. School ended though two weeks ago. School was actually not supposed to end till the tenth of December, but after the students were done writing exams the teachers just decided to stop showing up (fairly common).

I have a new job starting mid January. When I first arrived here the brothers of the Holy Cross, had been discussing the possibility of opening up a primary school for the younger children in the rural areas around where they are. DSC00202 As I've mentioned the brothers sponsor a large number of these rural children to go to school, one of the largest problems they face is getting these kids into the good high schools. This is mainly because the rural  kids do not have the opportunity to go to school from grade R (Kindergarten) to grade 3. One of the reasons they started the after school programme is to help get the students caught up. The brothers have now begun raising money in the States and plan to open up a grade R school starting mid January. DSC00209 Ntobekhaya who is one of the teachers at the after school programme and also teaches at the best elementary school in town will be the grade R teacher. The plan is to start with grade R then add on a grade every year up to grade 3. This is very exciting!! The first year will be in the building that is now used for the after school program but they have made plans to break ground in the next year on a brand new multiple class room school house. They are know just trying to raise enough money to start building, but the school term will start this January the 15th. I will be working there helping out Ntobekhaya in the mornings then will stay for the after school programme. This should be very interesting because all the teaching will be done in Xhosa. I will be starting Xhosa classes at Rhodes in January.

There Is only one problem I am currently facing with this new gig. I have no way to get to the monastery every day. I was getting rides with Matt who had a company car or with Ms. Walters who is the head of the after school program, neither of whom will be working at the Holy Cross school.DSC00216 The monastery is about 16 k’s from where I live and it takes about an hour and a half to get up there by walking (I just did it and it was brutal). I have decided the best thing for me to do is attempt to raise money in order to buy a scooter. It would cost about $1000 or R7000 that's including a helmet and registration. When I leave I will be leaving the scooter with the brothers so the next Yascer will be able to use it, since from now on the Yascers will be working at the Holy Cross School.


          (Road to Monastery)

If anyone is interested in helping me do this please make a check out to St James’s Episcopal Church and in the Memo please put Rob’s Scooter. The address is

St. James’s Episcopal                                                  19 Walden St.                                                         West Hartford, CT              06107                                              

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and remember to keep these wonderful children in your prayers.

Still Walking,