The last two days have been very busy! We are all very exhausted and can barely write this. Let me explain from the beginning...
As you know, we offered to help plaster a wall so that the children could paint on it. With all of our plastering knowledge we thought that this would be an easy care free task, however, this was not the case. Michael's father very kindly offered to show us how to plaster, and it was not an easy task. The first step was to mix the correct amount of sand, cement and water, an activity that would be repeated again and again. The next step was to smear heaps of the mixture on to the wall. Here is a picture of what that looked like:
We only managed to smear plaster on half the wall in the first day. The second day we managed to smear plaster on the rest of the wall and began to "float" the plaster. This included rubbing the wall with a solid piece of wood so that it would become smooth. We then waited for the wall to dry and admired our work. We were very pleased with our work!
Today we were far more enthuiastic than the pervious day. It was the opening day of the world cup and we (Bafana Bafana) were playing the first match. We were very busy this morning as we had to organize the all the equipment such as the paint and projector. The projector was kindly lent to us by Bevan's dad.
The first half of the day was allocated to painting South African Flags so that the children would be more excited about being part of the coming match. Mrs Zulu was very kind to let use the hall for this activity. We divided the children into four groups and gave them paint brushes and paint. We had all the colors necessary to paint the South African flag. We devised a competition whereby the group with the best flag would be given a prize. We thought that the prize would encourage the children to work better as teams, but we were surprised to see how they organized themselves and how enthusiastic they were to have the opportunity to work at something meaningful.
When the first group had finished we were very confused as there was now a fifth flag, even though we had only given out four sheets of material! Upon further investigation we found that the paint has seeped through the fabric and had made a perfect stamp of the floor of the hall! Thankfully the staff were very understanding and even excited to have a piece of the childrens creativity. The children were very excited to have these flags and decided to parade with them around the field. The children also very helpful in cleaning up the hall in preparation for the coming game.
Setting up the hall was very stressful as we did not have all the equipment and finding a signal was proving difficult. We managed, however, to set everything up before the opening ceremony began. The children were very well behaved during the match and it was heartwarming for everyone when South Africa scored the first goal! A real sense of unity was felt by all. We were glad to see that the staff also joined in.
All in all the day was very successful.
Today was not what we expected! We woke up very early so that we could meet the children on time. The children were excited to meet us and once we had introduced ourselves they started to started to be more open. The whole group agrees that this first day was not planned out fully. Since none of us has had any experience with organizing children it was very difficult as first. Once we got to know some of the children however, it was a bit easier to mange them.
For the first part of the day we split into teams to play cricket, soccer and frisbee. Although these activities could be described as "chaotic" we still believe that the children had fun
After lunch we played a more organized game of soccer. Some the children are very interested in soccer and very good at it too! We were quite tired after the first day!
Here is a picture of us playing sports with the children:
We are four engineering students who study at the University of Pretoria. This is a blog of our experiences and feelings during the course of our project.
Our project involves spending time with the children of Mary Moodely Place of Safety. These children have come from broken homes and simply need some attention and time. We also intend to assist the home with any maintenance they may require.
Assisting us with this project is Mrs. Mpho Zulu, the head of Mary Moodley Place of Safety. She is a very dedicated lady who has helped us to organize our project thus far. We have various activities planned for the kids. We decided to base these activities around sports as there is a wide age range and we do not want some kids, who may not be able to participate in educational related activities, to feel left out. We also intend to help out with any maintenance that is needed.
Here is planned schedule for the next few days:
We will purchase all the supplies that required, such as toys and maintenance equipment.
We will divide the children into groups and play various sports with them. The sports we have chosen to play are cricket, soccer and fizbee.
We are very excited about this day! This is the first day of the world cup! For the first half of the day we will paint flags with the children, and then watch the opening match of the world cup!