A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Maggie7781

Hamba Kakuhle - Goodbye

Teacher Aggie Sad

Molo my dear friends-
Today was a very hard day. I left the township behind and have begun my journey back home.
I will stay in Cape Town for the night, and leave early Sunday morning...arriving back in the US of A on Monday!
I am very excited to see you all and to share all my photos and stories.

This last week was "field trip" week at the orphanage. We took the kids to Monkey Town (a place I hope to never see again), although the kids loved it...actually they loved the bus ride and playground at monkey town more than they liked the monkeys.

There was one particular monkey that was a "recovering alcoholic"...i am NOT kidding folks.
The guide kept going on and on and on and on about this monkey whose previous owner used to get drunk with it every day (please see photo for full details). Meanwhile the kids are so young they have no idea what he is talking about. I pretty much wanted to tell him to shut up about the damn alchoholic monkey. Side note: the monkey nows lives caged up with kids poking at it all day...hmmm. Perhaps he was happier before? To each their own.

There were also two monkeys named Chanel and Gucci - we werent exactly in the most "urban" area so I am not sure how they came up with those designer names??

We also had a nice day at the Nature Reserve. Playground, picnic, tours of the pond, ducks, etc.

The big adventure was to Cape Town to see a magic show.

All of these places of course have adorable gift shops. Our kids eyes just LIGHT up...they have no idea what a gift shop is. We try to just walk them by quickly, and we are not allowed to buy them anything even with our own money (i of course am always wanting to bend the rules, but cant).

One of the older girls at the orphanage, Sharmane, is 12 and attends a primary school because she met the english requirements (thats the official goal at the orphanage...to get all these kids to meet english requirements and get them into schools). Anyways, Shar has be going through puberty faster than the other girls in the orphanage. Everyday has been a HUGE struggle to get her dressed because everything is just too tight.
When they go out on "trips" they get to waer "fancy clothes" which usually just means a clean pair of clothes that match.
I was finally so frustrated I went home, went through my closet, and I have now outfited Shar in a very fsahionable wardrobe from Old Navy, and even two items from Calypso...if only Shar knew.
The worst part is, they told me the reason she doesnt have a lot of clothes left that fit her is because she gets bullied at school (along with her twin brother Erand). So to keep them from bullying her and her brother she gives away her clothes. Yes, I started hysterically crying when i heard this, which prompted the immediate fashion makeover for Shar. (Mom and KT- everyday its like i am a little girl watching Sally Struthers :))

We also had a movie day where we brought in a DVD player and hooked it up to the TV in the private house. We watched Happy Feet, which I dont think many of the children understood...but the look on their faces to even be watching something was probably equivilent to the look on your childs face when they get to disney world for the first time. We also watched Shrek which i think they really enjoyed.

Friday night was "Brii" night (BBQ) where we say goodbye and watch a video of the past two weeks, etc. Then we all go out together and lets just say we had a VERY good time.

This morning I headed to cape town with two gilrs (Rita and Tara from San Fran) - they are continuing on to Botswana and a few other places. I just met them at their hostel and we went to dinner...i am exhausted and cant wait to hit the sack.

A few pictures for you to enjoy. So much to share but very little internet time.
So much more to tell.
Love you all.
"Teach-ah Aggie"


ps. sorry about the spelling...:)

Alch Monkey

Nugget in my Glasses :)


Classroom photos


Posted by Maggie7781 15:09 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Some Photos - Hen Night, Classroom, and Field Trip Day

Field Trip

Heather- this one is for you...she LOVED this dress. Her name is Syonella (see-a-nella)


farm house


classroom wall

classroom wall

Hen Night - Cape Town





Posted by Maggie7781 09:56 Comments (0)



So my first week at the orphanage has come to an end. I cant believe i ONLY have one more week here. I do not want to leave!!!

The name of the orphanage is Ikhayaletemba (eek- hal-eh-tem-ba) and means Home of Hope :)
For more info on the history behind the orphanage visit:

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I am teaching 3 students, aged 2-4.
My "classroom" is in one of the bedrooms. Very small space, but I do the best to make it fun.
Each month there is a different theme that we are to teach the children. This month is Community Jobs and Trades.
These arent things my kids can really grasp hold of, so I tried really hard to make my lesson plans interactive and fun.

These are the topics i have been working on them with.

For fisherman, I made each the children colorful fish with there names on it - each child had a different colored fish.
Then we "row row rowed the boat" and we went fishing. I made them "fishing poles" out of pipe cleaners and decorated a box that looked like the ocean. Then each child had to "go fish" and catch their color fish. Then they each decorated their fish, and we made an ocean on the wall and put all the fish in it. I dont have a picture of the wall to show you yet, because as I mentioned we do not photograph the orphanage until our last friday on the project. Everday they go "teach-ah. teach-ah, fish fish fish.

For the Fireman activity, I read them a book about fireman. I also made a firetruck out of legos (actually they are called COGO"s here and they are horrible...i had about 25 pieces left over...), anywways, we talked about what firemen/firewomen do.
Teacher Maggie:
"The phone rings and someone says "
Students: "fire fire fire"
Teacher Maggie: So the fireman..."
Students: "hurry hurry hurry"
Teacher Maggie: "and they put the fire out with..."
Students: "water, water, water"

I made them special firemen/women outfits which were SOOOO CUTE - cant wait to show you the pictures.
Their helmets were so cute and they each had a badge on their outfits.
Then we colored in firetrucks.
Then we had a "fire"
Teacher Maggie set off the alarm and we "hurried hurried hurried outside".
I gave them water balloons and they would throw them and put out the "fire". It was absoultely adorable. Everyone was laughing/crying because it was just to cute for words.

For the Farmer, we sang alot of "old mcdonald" - whihc they really didnt know, but eventually caught on. Their favorite animal on the fram were the ducks. They would flap their arms and run around and say "teach-ah Aggie., Teach-ah Aggie, quack quack qauck. We read a book about animals on the farm.
I built a farm house out of a box and we visisted the "farm", and the kids wore pig noses i had made- so they "oink, oink, oinked" there way to the farms. Inside were pictures of different animals, and we talked about the sounds they make. After duck, horse is there favorite - neyyyy, neyyyy, neyyy.
Then we decorated the animals (katie- your framhouse stickers were a HUGE hit this day-thank you!!)

Finally, when we were gardeners, we read a pop-up-book about a family that lives inside a flower...it was cute.
Then they decorated flowers with tissue paper, and we hung them up in the "garden" - which was green colored construction paper, cut at the top to look like grass. I also made them special aprons, that said there names in a shape of a flower, - they LOVED THIS.
Then I went a little off subject and we colored eggs for easter (which bye the way is NOT something they do in south africa...i had to scramble to fins some food coloring and make my own dying kit.
Then I gave them each baskets and we had an easter egg hunt outside...again, SOOO cute

Anyways, I am headed into Cape Town tonight for my first official "hen party"- its a surprise for our coordinjator who is getting married in two weeks to our program manager. Should be tons of fun!!!

Miss you all.
Happy Easter (by the way, mass in the township is 4 hours long...soooo, thats probs not happening :)

Here are a few pictures of my lessons, and a couple shots of the kids that i teach (Nugget and Athule)- still trying to track down a picture of Amvuyele






Nugget - the one smiling- would die to bring her home

Athule- in the pink oveeralls.

Posted by Maggie7781 06:11 Archived in South Africa Tagged educational Comments (0)

Malo my Dear Friends!!!

Malo Malo (turns out Halo is Afrikaans and the township I am in now speaks Xhosa...lots to learn people.

So, my final day in CapeTown (Saturday) I took a private tour which was amazing. My tour guide (john) was a pocch and a half...so cute...but found out quickly he was married with kids. Regardless, he was very well traveled and knew a lot about the country. I also didnt have to take pictures of myself, so that helped :)

We went to:
Sea island
The Cheetahs
Owls- for Peter!!
The Jackass Penguins (thats really the name)
Cape of Good Hope/Cape Point.

On Sunday I headed to the Townships of Nomzamo and Lwandle - where the orphanage is located. Very sad to see how the people in the township live. The orphanage is the nicest place there and that isnt saying much.

I was assigned class A which is 2-4 year olds. I have three children whom I teach everyday.
Their names are
Athule (at-too-lay) - she is 2 and precious. Really has no idea what uis going on but loves to laugh at me.

Nisipi (ni-sip-e) AKA Nugget - she got the nickname nuggest becasue when she arrived there were no detials of her birth etc. Just recently they found documents indicating that her birth name is Nisipi.
Nugget is my FAVORITE (although i am not allowed to have favorites). She is 3 years old and has a smile to DIE for. She is the leader of the pak. Everyone follows her...so as long as I have her in check, then class os pretty easy.

Amvuyele (om - vous- el-a)- The most precious of all the boys in the orphanage. He is beautiful and is my "big helper". He loves to help me carry the chairs. He ios a tota; teachers pet. A bit shy in the beginning, but now i can barely keep him off me.

All the kids are so special.
Some are indeed are infected with HIV/AIDS. We are to treat all children the same, but it can be pretty obvious who some of the children are...noticable lesions etc. We always where gloves when handling the children if they are injured or using bathroom facilities.

Overall absolutely heartbreaking...but i have never met happier children in my life. Always laughing and running around. The littlest things mean SOO much to them.

John- your sponge bob puzzle is a HUGE hit because it is teh first 100 piece puzzle they have ever had :)

Katie- your foam stickers are amazing and the kids get so excited when they are allowed to use them.

They call me "Techer Maggie, or Teacher Aggie". My heart melts when i walk in each morning. Teacher, teacher, teacher...all the kids wait by the gate for us to arrive.

So, "Teacher Maggie" has been very busy.
I have little to no access to internet.
Internet closes at 5:30.
We work from 8:30 - 4:20 and then have mandatory meeting right after...so I am lucky if I ever get time.

Out of respect to the children, we DO NOT photograph them. However, on our final friday we are allllowed to take photos.

Im running out of time. SOOO much more to share. Hopefully I can use internet this weekend.
Happy Easter to all!

Here are a few photos for you to enjoy.










Posted by Maggie7781 07:52 Comments (0)

First Day/Night in Cape Town

map=217076 lat=-0.454545454545453 lon=-2.8421709430404e-14 zoom=1.98]

Hallo Hallo!
Today was quite an adventure.
I started by taking the Hop on Hop Off bus which is basically a double-decker bus like the one in NYC (criticize all you want but its def the way to get things done when you only have a short period of time on the city).
I saw a ton of amazing landmarks - too many to even try to mention them all.
A few notable ones --- the only parish in South Africa that allowed both "whites and non whites" into their parish during apartheid -- two benches labeled "whites and non whites" kills me inside to think that this didnt even end until 1994 (16 years ago- i was 12!!) -- buildings where they sold slaves -- homes of "non whites" that were torn down and have still yet to be rebuilt (just a grassy area in the middle of the city.

My biggest adventure today was going to the top of Table Mountain. They warned me that visibility was not good today, BUT i of course insisted it would be fine (it wasnt). However the ride up (yes i said ride...i DID NOT hike the mountain -- hey you can take the girl out of fairfield county but you cant take the fairfield county out of the girl --In all honesty I just didnt have the time) but it was beautiful riding up, and the top itself - unfortunately the views off the mountain were nothing but clouds. Luckily there was a wine and cheese plate special, so I kept busy up there!

Then I hit Camps Bay, at the suggestion of my friend Rachel, to watch the sunset. OMGizzle it was goregous. I was standing on the sand, wathcing the waves crash, and then to left of me was the mountain I had just spent hours on.
I then headed to sick hotel to have a drink (called the pink lady martini - YUMMY). I was def "at home" at this hotel...to die for.

Headed back to my hotel (which is actually lovely) and went staright to the spa. Swam some laps, cuzzied it up (that maggie for jaccuzi) and spent some quality time in the sauna.

I then headed to the waterfront for dinner/dancing. I ate at this yummy place with live music called Quay 4 - the locals call it Q4. The band was AMAZING - the lead singer even sang a Britney song for me (ok well just part of one). Hot boys everywhere. One in particular looked like a hot, older version of Zac Efron (he came over and talked to me for awhile...then we danced...then I decided i should probs go home before things got sloppy.

tomorrow I am off for the day on a private tour. I am going to see the "jackass" penguins, the baby cheetahs, the cape of good hope, the vineyards etc. My guides name is John - i hope he is cute!

So far here are my favorite things about cape Town:

1. mix of beach and mountains
2. PRICES ARE AMAZING (for example, dinner tonight was a delicous cheeseburger, onion rings, 2 vodka sodas, 1 beer - total in USD WITH tip - $28)
3. Boys are super cute - love the accents
4. so much to see...easy to get around, people have been super polite
5. the feeling of adventure and being alone - weirdly amazing

Things that arent so good:
1. taking pictures of myself - but thats ok. I figure no one in CPT will judge me :)

ok, time for bed.
miss and love you all.

What 24 hours of flying can do to you!

Me on the Hop on it Hop off it Bus

Only parish in SA that allowed both "whites and non whites" during apartheid

The trail that most people hike to top of Table Mountain -- and then the cable car i took :)

Top of Table Mountain

Me on top of Table Mountain


On my way to watch the sunset at Camps Bay

Sunset at Camps Bay

Beach and Mountains - gorgeous, sureal

Pink Lady Martini while watching the sunset- AMAZE DELISH

Posted by Maggie7781 14:52 Comments (0)

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