Snapshots

It’s hard to believe that it has not even been three weeks since I arrived.  It feels like at least six – but that’s what happens when every moment is packed with new experiences.  Normal life doesn’t usually have so much “newness” to it, so a normal three weeks feels a little more “to scale”.  Tonight I decided to take inventory of all that newness.  In these very thick three weeks, I have:

  • gone through teacher orientation at a new school (big – bigger than I thought it would be)
  • organized and databased all the choral repertoire in the department
  • started school (taught all of my classes at least once)
  • met lots of new people (students and teachers)
  • bought a car (a Honda Jazz)
  • started setting up my new apartment (basic shopping for the kitchen, guest room, and bathrooms)
  • got a new phone number
  • set up internet (or at least, a temporary version)
  • set up a local bank account
  • been to a theatre production (Tin Bucket Drum)
  • visited “The Cradle of Humankind” including the caves and the museum (Google it – it’s cool)
  • scoped out a handful of churches
  • worked on my thesis
  • and baked! (banana bread, almond/cherry loaf, and monkey bread)

Here are some snapshots to give you a glimpse of some of the above.

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Landscape near the caves in The Cradle of Humankind. Did I mention it is DRY here?  At least for the winter.  I’m told though that the rains will come in September and that spring will start to pop soon.
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There is a lot of plant life in South Africa that is new to me. This is one funky plant I discovered on the trip to the Cradle of Humankind.  Have yet to find out what it’s called though.
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This is the outside of my apartment. Mine is on the ground floor, so the wall around the edge is my garden and patio.
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It is amazing to me that, as DRY and as cold as it is right now, there are so many flowers blooming. These are outside the entrance to my apartment complex.
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This is the front gate to my apartment complex. Again – beautiful flowers and bare trees.
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Spring is coming though … there are signs. This tree is ready to burst. It lives in the courtyard outside my classroom. That door with the orange sign next to it is the entrance to my room. The other door is the entrance to the choir practice rooms and the music tech lab.  You can see the reflection of the courtyard in the door windows.

My classroom is part of a snazzy new arts complex that is still under construction.  It’s beautiful and will likely be the subject of my next post … once I remember to take pictures.  There are still some issues that need ironing out.  The wiring of the sound system isn’t quite right and I don’t know how to work the projector or the screen.  There is also no white board yet, so I don’t really have a way of doing any visual teaching with my kids.  So far, I’ve been sticking to games and singing exercises that use a lot of movement.  Hopefully the issues will get sorted this week and I’ll be able to include more visual aspects to the lessons.

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