Rachel Vernon
Rachel Vernon
South Africa, 2022
Hi, my name is Rachel, I will be going to Cape Town, South Africa for 6 months to work with Volunteer Solutions. I plan to work in elementary schools with sports development and work in a local clinic. Read More About Rachel →

Back to School

Last night before Sofia started school

Hi everyone! These last two weeks have been getting ready for the start of school. Jade and Auntie V collected all the school stationery things that Rozano, Ronaldo, and Sofia need. Sofia started school first on the 16th of January then the boy’s 18th. I also started school on the 18th. Auntie V has been teaching me how to cook her meals so that I can make them at home. I made sure to write down her recipes too! She even bought me specific spices for akni and curry.

Rode in a taxi, it was a crazy experience, everyone stared at us as we got in

The first day of school was hectic. The children went up a grade since this is a new school year, so kids were trying to find their new teachers and get settled in. Unfortunately, since there was so much admin stuff to do the students won’t have PT this week. They said they don’t need us until next week. Although we didn’t have PT we went around to each class to say hi! You would tell which students we had last year because they yelled “COACH!” and those that were new sat back in their desks nervous and confused who we were. It was so nice to talk with all the administration as well. We updated each other about how our summer break went. Unfortunately, there was one staff member that did not come back to school. Dawn, the custodian, had a heart attack at the end of the school year and another one during the break so she is not doing well. I really appreciated how loved she made me feel. She was the first one to know my name by heart. The other staff was excited about the year, but also sad that the break was over.

A variety of Auntie V’s dishes

During the break, I felt like a celebrity because when I saw students at the beach or grocery store they were always so excited to see me! It made me miss school so badly. I even saw a teacher at a store, and we chatted for a bit. The geese and rabbits are doing well! The geese got used to roaming the school during break, so now the staff isn’t sure if the geese are going to roam the school with students around or if they will stay in their “cage.” (I say cage in parenthesis because there is no roof and an open door around the back. The cage is not really to keep the geese in, but rather to keep the kids out.) It has been so cool watching the kids change how they interact with the geese the longer the geese have been at school.

The 18th was also Yonga’s birthday! She turned 23! She said she didn’t celebrate her birthday growing up because she grew up very poor, but I wanted to make her feel special because she has made me feel special and at home. We often talk about religion, including how our faith has changed and what were praying for. She told me she was saving up for a bible because she doesn’t have one. Instantly I knew I had to buy her a bible! So, I tried to discretely ask what kind of bible she wanted like the translation, color scheme, and any additional features that she wanted. I found a Christian bookstore and bought her the Life Application Bible. She was glowing when she opened it! She was almost to tears. It was a special moment! We also celebrated her with a birthday cake.

I hope you all are doing well and staying warm! I am overheating here because the weather just keeps getting hotter!

Hinse and I dying from the heat

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