Friday, May 18, 2012

Digging a big hole

I dug a big hole today. Literally. 

Day 3 and Day 4 of the workshop was more practical for the kids than day 1 and day 2. We planted manure, sowed seeds, and transplanted manure. While the teaching part was boring-- or maybe I just thought so because 1.) I wasn't teaching and 2.) the teaching was all in setswana (snore!) the practical part was fun. We got down in the sand and got real dirty. Anton, one of the boys got so carried away "cultivating" (airing at the ground) that he went around the whole garden plot and cultivated all the little tree-lings that were around.

On the morning of Day 4, I dug a big hole and buried a water drum (for a back up supply when the water goes out). We buried it cause we figured that it would go missing after a couple days. Even sitting in my house, I got a couple offers to buy it. I was glad to have it removed from my house finally after sitting in the corner of my living room for months. 

In the afternoon, we taught the kids basic economics, supply and demand. It was a complicated lesson and from what I understood of it, they basically learned one thing: 10 thebe biscuits are cheaper than 5 thebe biscuits. We tried to show them "competition." Later, we taught them how to use an excel spreadsheet to track the progress of their garden plants. I hope that the teacher continues to use this tool. Watching the kids use the computer for the first time was so exciting. The would literally look at me each time I told them to "click" to make sure they were clicking correctly. They ended up forming a team. 3 people took one half of the keyboard, 3 people took the other half, and 1 boy took the mouse. In this fashion we filled out a sample spreadsheet of fake growth lengths and harvest quantities.

Unfortunately, the electricity still isn't ready for the computer lab, so I had to set up a mini lab in the kitchen. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be, lugging 3 units there, testing the electricity, and cleaning all of the leftover food scraps from the table to make a safe space for the electronic equipment. Even the teachers were fascinated by the computers-- basic computer training is needed though. One of the teachers tried to turn off the computer by pressing the button on top multiple times cause she couldn't see anything on the monitor (the monitor wasn't even on). Then, after I showed her how to power down Windows, she pushed the button again to "switch it off" which, of course, turned it right back on...

Corn Cricket. Mmm!

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