By Terri van Iperenburg. Fourth-year Social Studies student Avans University of Applied sciences, School of Social Studies (ASH)
So another week has passed and it was a hectic one but also a nice one. Because I am not feeling very well at the moment I really just want to reflect on the fun things I did this week and not just be focusing on the bad, which I have been doing this whole week.
So I was still in Cape Town this week until Friday. I tried to work on school stuff, but that didn’t really work, so I did some stuff for the CASO project and got together what I still had to do before I could hand in my thesis (which is a lot, honestly, but I feel like I have a lot of ideas). I had a Skype call with my teacher last week and we talked about my interviews and I explained that the results were very alike. Which was really a relieve for me, because I don’t have any experience with doing research on my own. Of course we did research in Social Work but always in groups from 5 to 7 people so you never had to do anything alone. What is also a reason I was scared to go to South Africa, because I didn’t only have the stress to do my first research project by myself but I was also in a completely different culture when I was doing it. But I love that I achieved this already and that people enjoy my way of interviewing (because the hospital asked to ask the respondents what they thought about the way of interviewing so maybe they could use it in different departments as well).
Whilst I was in Cape Town I helped Pepijn with his internship which was very fun and Carmen asked to help her with her after school program where she is going to play a sport with 2 grades every week. She was expecting around 40 children to shop up so she asked me and Pepijn to help her with a game called Netball. Basically, you have 2 teams with attackers and defenders and you have to score in a sort of basketball pole kind of thing. It is a very complicated game with many rules so Carmen decided to use the 4 most important rules so everyone could play along.
When we arrived there were only 12 children who could participate, so we had to improvise and Pepijn and I played along so the teams were complete. The kids already knew the rules so sometimes it was difficult to have them play by the rules we knew because otherwise, it would get very chaotic.
But the nice thing was that the kids had a lot of fun and so did I. I haven’t felt that competitive since I played Lacrosse a few years back (which I really want to do again someday). I still love the endless amount of energy those kids have. They can’t seem to stand still and love running, playing and yelling around. That is the fun part about being a child, even if your conditions aren’t good at all.
After playing a long game of netball we closed with the big prize: a bag of Easter eggs which were gone in a matter of seconds. I think that Carmen did a very good job of connecting with the kids whilst still being strict sometimes. I also really think Carmen and I bonded this week which did me very well. I didn’t really have the time and take the time to get to know her, but this week we did try and I think we hit it off very well, and I look forward to sitting on your balcony to drink some wine, talk and play Uno (lol).
What shocked me was that when we went to talk to some of the kids after the program we talked about going to high school. I felt the excitement of going to a new school and getting to know new children and learning new things. The kid we talked to said he wasn’t going to high school because he had no idea what he had to do there. A lot of the children in this part of Cape Town don’t go to high school for different reasons, but hearing it from this little boy made it so much more real. And it made me realize how difficult it would be to not be raised knowing you can achieve everything. I’m very fortunate to have parents who always motivated me to learn and chase after my hopes and dreams because they can be achieved!
Still I think we had a good conversation about what he liked about school and learning now and what his dreams are. It is nice to see how passionate they kids are in sporting, because they can let out their energy then (everyone must remembering having gym in school and also in school not being able to wait for breaks to go outside even though it was too hot, too cold, raining or snowing).
Thursday Pepijn and I had a fun day together because the day after I left for George (only for a week though, because I’m going to be back for his BIRTHDAYYY, and of course to work on my thesis a lot haha). We went to a restaurant other CASO students had already been last week (Ferdinandos Pizza, they have amazing homemade food). The restaurant has its own art and story which is printed on their menu, it is an amazing love and travelling story which made for very good entertainment whilst waiting for the food. They also hand paint their pizza delivery boxes which is cute. The best thing in my eyes is the fact that they serve the homeless every Wednesday (if I am correct) do with your bill you can add money or donate spaghetti (sounds cool right).
Afterwards, we went to see the movie Capernaum which is about a very poor town where a family is being shown. One of the many children is Zain, a boy without a birth certificate so he has no idea what age he is, but he doesn’t care and his parents don’t care either. When his parents sell his 11-year-old sister to a man in his 30s for a few chickens (CAN YOU BELIEVE), Zain runs away to find something better but ends up in a lot of trouble. I don’t want to spoil too much, because YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE!! It is an amazing mix of excitement, disbelieve, sadness but also hope!
On Friday I said goodbye to Pepijn. It sounds dramatic and annoying, but every time it gets harder to say goodbye, even though I will see him again soon.
Well the last part of this text is dedicated to someone who just read my blog and was fishing for a shout out (SO HERE YOU GO LIZZIE, you are in my blog again, you happy haha, love ya girl).
Anyway that was all I wanted to say this week so see you in my next blog!