It’s a week since we arrived in Cape Town. Athlone to be precise… We’ve spent this past week getting to know our project and our host family and learning how to say baie lekker, a phrase we’ve had to make ample use of.
We’re working at Thornton Road primary school, under the auspices of Mr Momberg, who himself went to the school many, many years ago. There are about 250 learners at the school (not students), and 10 staff. That sounds like it would make for some pretty decent learner-teacher ratios, but in practice while the older classes are quite small, there are 49 kids in Grade 1 (5-6 year olds).
Most of the time, I’m tending to a computer lab that is in great need of some TLC. Or some TCP/IP, whichever. The computers were donated to the school last year by an NGO that went out of business before the handover of the lab had been completed. The snag list left 6 out of 20 computers unusable. As a result, the computer room has sat idle for nearly a year. I’ve been able to help with some of the issues – I remember how to add a machine to AD from my days in IT Tallaght – but if I look at the hardware issues, I risk voiding the warranty. This means that much of my value at the minute has been that I can talk the IT language to the people at the helpdesk, and sit on hold until I get an answer.
In the evenings, I’ve been catching up on my Astronomy study, and it’s making me very excited about our trip to SALT later in the year. Our host family have made us very welcome, and I can’t remember the last time I ate so many home-cooked meals in one week. Also, maybe they’re just trying to make us feel at home, but cups of tea flow freely and often, and the kitchen is warm and welcoming.
There’s more to write, but that’s enough for now…