South Africa: Tuesday-Teaching Day 1

I woke up today very excited. It was our first day to go to Belleville South High school. I really was anxious to see the school, and to see the teens living in theses shanty areas we saw along the highways.

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Our class was made up of about 30-40 students ranging about the ages 14-17. Levi and I are the leaders of a group made of all girls 15-16 years old.

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Just like in the US, these ladies LOVE to giggle. They found our accents so funny and drilled us about the music we listen to, and movies we liked. I think we asked them just as many questions. South African teens like a lot of the same music and TV shows as the teens in the US.

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Today we had two presentations for the learners. The first was about water purification, the necessity for water, permeability, and potability. Marty and Mark were great with their lesson, and were a big hit with the kids.

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Once we covered these topics, we had an activity where the learners worked in the groups to design their own water filter. They used different types of materials such as sand, rocks, and fiber glass to filter some swampy water.

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Mark and Marty even drank the water after the filtration. It was still brown looking, but it was safe to drink!

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Our second lesson covered many physics principles and ended in an activity using these forces to build mouse trap car.

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Gabby and Tanner did great with their lesson, I think the learners liked this activity the best. The girls told us they had just been studying physics. It was cool to see them getting excited about potential and kinetic energy, friction, and torque.

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Our group named themselves the cheetahs because they wanted to be like Mizzou tigers, but faster because they were going to win 🙂

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I learned molweni means hello to a group of people and molo means hello to one person.
One of the coolest things, is seeing the students eager to learn. It is currently towards the end of their 3 week winter break. The students are choosing to forgo their vacation this week to come to our engineering camp. Unlike many students in the states, they are so excited to be here and ready to learn. They are so beautiful inside and out!

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After class we went back to the market. The hand made crafts are so beautiful. I want to buy everything! Marty had a connection to a wholesale market. We were able to access some of the goods for a much cheaper price. I talked with the man there for a while. He over heard one of pur group members mention I was getting married. The man INSISTED that I take a wedding gift. I felt I would offend him if I refused, he led me to a set of fertility dolls. He told me that in Africa, a married couple keeps these in their home to bless them with babies. The dolls are very cool, but I think I am going to lend them to Jen and Jon for 5 years or so. (Aunt Joan, I think you need another grand baby!)

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We then drove near Table Mountain and Signal Hill for some breath taking views and photo opportunities.

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We plan to come back in a few days to go to the top of Table Mountain. I need my dad, the geology king, to give me a lesson on the type of rock, and explain how it formed, and how it became so flat on top, like a table(hence the name, Table Mountain).

We headed to a local piano bar for dinner, and then went to Long Street to check out some bars and dancing.

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