Six weeks after our arrival in Namibia we could celebrate Easter with our children. This Christian Feast is celebrated in the Namibian bush, too. It can be traced back to the German colonization which started in 1800.
In order to attune the children to the public holidays we handcrafted an “Easter egg with stick”. As there isn’t any money available for handicraft materials at Mangetti this is something very special for the children.
Thereafter we went treasure hunting on the schoolyard instead of looking for Easter eggs. After we hid gift coupons for everyone the children stormed expectantly to the schoolyard to find the “treasure” in the rearmost corners and gaps. Their joy was great when the pupils could trade in afterwards the coupons found for popcorn.
After the Easter holidays the preparation for the final examinations of the term started. Differing from Germany the school year is not divided into two but into three terms. In order to prepare the children well for the examinations we organized extended study times in the school’s great eating hall. During the evenings we arranged reading competitions and read regularly bedtime stories to the children. Reading and writing in English is extremely difficult for the pupils because in their families only !Kung, one of the Khoisan languages with the typical clicks is spoken. Therefore, pupils of the 4th or 5th grade often still cannot read fluently.
Preparation for the final examinations was adventurous because electricity was not available in the evening. Without electricity the teachers could not prepare the examination questions and learning did not go well in the dark.
We decided to pack computer, printer and copier into the car and drove to the nearby hospital. The hospital’s secretary helped us to type, print and copy so that the examinations could take place in time.
For the trip home we made up tickets for the children so that the bus driver recognized them as pupils and picked them up. It is actually a school bus but as there are not any means of travel adults also try to hitch a ride and jump up. The busses are always extremely crammed. Owing to the tickets we could be sure that all children were given a lift.
The completion of the first term was celebrated with the children’s most favorite hobby – dancing. By means of a small generator and a sound device the school yard turned into an open air disco in which everybody danced cheerfully as good bye.
Kind regards from Namibia
Dorina and Svenja