I Need to Go Back to Grade 12

Earlier this week, learners from a local high school went to my supervisior’s house for help with a school assignment. They had to interview My supervisor who knows how to set boundaries, sent the learners away and coordinated with the teacher to conduct the interviews. Wednesday we sat and waited
The poor learners had transport arranged, but had not arrived by 1 PM. My awesome supervisor decides to go find them at 2:00 PM and they arrived at 3:30 PM. The patient carers divided the learners into 4 groups and my supervisor decided this was an excellent opportunity for isiZulu practice. So I join one of the carers and look at the assignment.

One page of questions...there were two others and my "doctor's signature".

One page of questions…there were two others and my “doctor’s signature”.


The first time I had to analyze an organization’s mission statement and challenges, was last semester in graduate school. These questions would take a paragraph in isiNgisi to explain and my isiZulu ability barely obtains groceries. One of the questions was how I got involved with the organization! My language groups during PST did not cover how to explain how Peace Corps works, how to list 5 volunteer roles within the organization, or 5 obstacles we face! I tried with slow English and substituting isiZulu words when possible, yet I was told that I spoke too fast several times! Also, we struggled to find our mission statement so I stood up to grab my laptop for the website and…BAM managed to slip in my sweaty croc flats right on my butt!

Anyways, the girls were very clever and great to work with. This is a great experience for them to learn about resources in the community. My supervisor asked me to take pictures of the learners (so we had proof that they came) and in response the teenager girls whipped out their phones. I asked my supervisor to ask for permission to share the below photo, and after asking she turned to me and said, you know they are going to share their pictures on facebook!

Teenage Girls: Somethings transcend cultural Boundaries.

I could pass off as a student at their high school right?

I could pass off as a student at their high school right?

In true South African fashion, there was a twist to the story. This morning my director informs me that 6 other schools have contacted her (as in learners go to her house and interrupt an errand at the clinic). Turns out all grade 12 Life Orientation classes are doing the same assignment…and we have over a dozen high schools in the valley! Around 10 AM, two other learners came unannounced. I got to do another interview, lucky for the learners. They were very professional and even asked for our organization’ stamp. I am curious to see how my director and supervisor handle the influx of requests. There is no way I can struggle through 12 more isiZulu interviews with my existing workload this month!


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