*FloW*


I woke up this morning, feeling slightly hazy and cloudy in the head… It might have been the lack of sleep from my unfathomable dreams or the heat of the night, but either way I lay there for an extra hour to get my head straight.

So after telling myself “I am going to have a good day” and gathering my teaching materials, I set off in the direction of the classroom.When I got there  the door was locked and no students in sight. Turns out that the President of Paraguay was at the school giving a speech to his political party! Little did I know. 

This resulted in all lessons being cancelled and me having a very relaxed day. Thanks Mr President

And now for the best part… My dad arrives at 12 tonight! He was due in on Sunday but managed (as he always does) to get an earlier flight in from Brazil. We will be meeting up tomorrow morning and going to check out some of what Paraguay has to offer. Super excited! The crazy part is that his trip was scheduled before I even got the opportunity to come here! Amazing.

Thanks to my wonderful mother and incredible girlfriend I will be receiving a bag of goodies from home 🙂 so much love and appreciation for you two .

The plan is that my dad, Martin and I will be travelling to the Fundacion Paraguayas all girls school deep in the jungle of Paraguay , next week.  What an opportunity. What a blessing. I am very glad and thankful for the invitation.

Happy.

On a different note… I have been continuing my cold shower rituals and am loving them more than ever. What I want to touch on is washing ones clothes by hand. Very rewarding in fact. Cleaning is a very unknown meditational aspect of our lives we have made every attempt to get someone else to do for us. One might be inclined to think “we cant go to work all day and then come home and do our washing as well!” To that I say; if kids and adults who work outside doing hard labour in 40 degree heat all day can do it easily without a second thought then anyone can do it. We have become lazy.

I am only commenting from my position of knowing my peers and coming from a very comfortable upbringing. There are of course many millions of people living much more simply than what we have become accustomed to.

A unique opportunity has been presented to me : To coach a football team consisting of 3 outfield players and one goal keeper, to travel to whats known as the Homeless World Cup. This is a UEFA sanctioned event which gives underpriveledged kids a chance to travel and play against 16 other Nations. This year it is being held in Mexico. In October. I am meeting with the co-ordinator in the next week to discuss the details. yes. WOW. More info soon.

I am sure to have plenty of new and interesting stories to share from the experiences coming at me over the next week.

Saludos!

*iNtA-dEveLopMentAl*


Sunday…

The universal day for families to come together,eat,drink,laugh and share. It’s a beautiful space with no judgement,lots of love and good food.

I did exactly this,albeit not with my own family, but with a lovely bunch of brothers,sisters and kids who included me in their sunday celebrations.

A Paraguayan “Braai.”

 Wow…We in South Africa think we eat a lot of meat, in Paraguay it is ONLY meat! lamb,steak,sausages of all shapes,flavours and sizes,with a bit of rice and bread rolls to complement the mass of ‘carne’ (meat).It flows off the coals and onto the table at such a rate that if u blink there will be another platter full of sizzling,good quality food on the table before you know it. 

The beers also flow,except all 6-8 people at the table share the same one until that is finished and then the next ice cold wetty comes swinging your way promptly. The culture is one of inclusion and sharing to an extent I have never witnessed before. It takes some getting used to but once you get the feeling of sharing and passing on it feels so good you actually want to pass it on more than you want to hold on to it! Great experience. 

Western societies seem to have a very strong attitude of ‘whats mine is mine’ and ‘whats yours is yours’. Aint no sharing going on there. Just an obseravation. I have received and witnessed many acts of great kindness and sharing in our beautiful South Africa,which I would like to add is not a western country in my opinion.We conform yet we are not the same.

I played with two of the cutest and most unique puppies I have ever seen. One sleek and black,the other white and fluffy. Both tiny and not more than 3 months old.

So good to interact with new animal spirits,fresh to the world. To laugh and play with any young energy is like water for the soul. Happyness for free!

 So….. I have been here for one month. In that month, I have had cold showers EVERY day. no exceptions. I dont think people realise the value of this. If u feeling sad or frustrated or any other emotion you want to bring yourself out of, GO HAVE A COLD SHOWER! It shocks your system out of the space you are in and when you get out you have forgotten your problem!

The only way I learned this was because I had no hot water!  It got fixed today, although I reckon there will still be many a cold shower happening. Until winter pops up. The temperature gets down to 0 degrees here.

They say that this has been the hottest summer they can remember. Regularly reaching 40 degrees, and i arrived at the peak ! Its interesting, the people here can handle high temperatures but as soon as it gets a little fresh they dont like it one bit! I have seen kids and adults walking around in jeans and denim jackets at midday without even breaking sweat! I’m pretty sure I prefer Cape Towns “four seasons in one day” phenomenon! I love Cape Town.Kommetjie.

I do really miss the ocean. The freash scent, salty taste and the feeling like every atom in your body is alive when you dive in…

The kids are so interested in learning English its amazing. Everywhere I go at least one of them pops out a ‘hello teacher’ or ‘it is hot!’ etc.

I often find myself giving impromptu lessons in the garden while we sit in the shade and drink terere, with them asking many questions and wanting to know what basic sentences or words are in English. Its very entertaining.

It all contributes to feeling more at home and building a self confidence that I can go anywhere and do anything. In the beginning,everthing is a challenge. From walking to the shop or getting out of bed at 6 every morning to simply learning the rhythm of the school from an old church bell clanging.Its all hard at first and I’m still working on it everyday,yet the consolation is that it’s getting easier. This blog helps alot.Writing down my thoughts and experiences helps me to see where I was and where I have got to.Always progress.

I thank all of you who take the time to read it. Much appreciated.

TeAcHinG-a VieW FrOm ThE deEp eNd*


First rule of teaching ANY subject as learned by yours truly: Have a really well thought out,structured and entertaining LESSON PLAN.

Second rule: Be flexible and let it flow.

Third: Let the students take the initiative. if  they start asking questions like “how do you say this in English?” then they are fully engaged and want to know more, so I sometimes like to let the students guide the lesson.They love it.

My first lesson was with the primera curso ( first year learners.)

We kicked off and got into a good, fun rhythm. Introducing ourselves, learning days of the week and various greetings. The pronunciation is hard for them. Repetition is the best solution. We also went outside and identified various vocabulary words… Tree, flower, grass, woman, man, hat etc. It was good to shift the students energy from being indoors to going outside,where they all felt much more relaxed. Got me thinking, maybe more lessons should be conducted outside,weather permitting? I believe so.

Classrooms hold lots of different memories and feelings for students…

It could be that kids might learn more if put in a more natural environment, more space, no walls, and much more fun and comfortable.

I believe most teachers feel the need to control students. While some pupils will do their best to disrupt (in an urban environment) I have observed that these kids tell their peers to be quiet before I have to! What a pleasure.

So my employer walked in on a class today and was greeted with a hearty “Good morning” from the students 🙂 He was beaming! The kids are remembering much more than I anticipated. So glad and proud of them.

I have been asked to put together a basic introductory lesson for the online course the school is offering. A new challenge! amongst many 🙂

Sure feels like I will be capable of doing a lot of different things by the end of this year. Learning and discovering more every day.

Thats how life should always be.

Whether you are old or young.

You can never know enough and if you think you do then you are stuck.

On the agricultural side we have been busy preparing many beds, composting and planting seeds and seedlings. Its amazing,you plant a seed and 3 days later it has come up!!   This is because of the humidity and heat.In South Africa it takes about 6-8 days…you get the picture.

The climate is perfect for organic agriculture. There is so much rain that you could plant a hectare of sweet potatos and not water them for the entire 6 month period they grow for. Same goes for sugar cane and soya beans.

The students are really getting used to me now.  Many handshakes,smiles and greetings from all ages. Very warm,respectful and genuine people.

The deep end is a good place to start from 🙂

*AsPeCtS*


I was walking back through the forest, from a hot,sweaty day in the gardens…

 I hear a croaking bird call from high up in the trees and looking up, I located the source of the sound, it was a Tucan! About the size of a crow with long tail feathers and the unmistakeable big,curved multi-coloured beak. Bless.

A beautiful, unique specimen of nature.

In the last week we have had two days of very welcome tropical rain, pouring and gushing down upon the  hot, clay earth, creating a steaming and humid atmosphere… If you look closely enough you can see the aquatic particles moving through the air.

It is so interesting to observe the differences between South America and South Africa. Essentially the country Paraguay is divided through the ‘middle’ by el rio de Parana (the Parana river) on the one side we have the Chaco which is classified as a temperate climate similar to South Africa. It is semi arid scrubland used mainly for cattle and livestock. On the eastern side we have lush forests and plenty of good arable farming land where most of the sugar cane, soya bean and cotton production takes place.

What I am getting at is this: In South Africa there is a very lively energy that is tangible at all times and seems to jump out at you  around every corner. With its abundance of beautiful mountains, beaches and forests its almost as if you can live there your whole life and discover something new every day.  Its been an incredible experience all on its own to look at my beloved country from the outside.

In Paraguay the beauty is right in your face. It’s like a beautiful,proud woman who knows you are admiring her. This also draws the conclusion that because this ‘woman’ knows you will  notice her without needing to do anything, she somehow lacks the energetical pull to draw you in and awake all your other senses… Im not sure if this is accurate as I have only been here three weeks. Maybe I will have a different opinion in a few months. A lot can change.

So, onto news of the school, the new term and the students.

We have five students from Haiti! Two boys and three girls. They speak only French and their local dialect Haitian Creole. Its amazing that they are here. Their country has been devastated by earthquakes and all kinds of natural disasters,they wear the strain and pain they have been through in their auras.

Very unique and interesting individuals. Beautiful and innocent looking.

The school is now international!

So much variety.

Getting exciting. The future holds great experiences.

We have to work together, help eachother.

This school is creating leaders and empowering poor, rural people.

The future world leaders and saviours are coming from third world,developing countries. Of that I have absolutely no doubt.