2.) Nickel Night
3.) Georgia Douglas Johnson's poem Calling Dreams (love her!)
4.) Never having had braces
5.) Finding all the horrible things wrong in Sex and the City with your roommates
Well, I’ve almost been here for a full month. In some ways, it feels like I’ve been here for only a week or two, but I also feel like I haven’t been home in ages. It’s a strange feeling. Things are going well though, my internship and classes have started and everything's good.
I’m interning at Christel House, an international school started by a woman named Christel de Haan. There are also schools in the US, Mexico, India, and Venezuela. It’s a school that only accepts about 60 incoming students a year, out of 600 applicants. The kids are accepted based on their family’s income and situation. Many of the kids come from families suffering from AIDS in one way or another, abusive families, and from extremely impoverished neighborhoods. We took a tour through one town, called Langa, that a lot of the kids are from and it was just horrible. Some of the worst poverty I’ve ever seen, it was heartbreaking. But despite their backgrounds, these kids are adorable and so sweet. So far, I’ve just been working as a teacher’s aid for a first grade and third grade class, but I’m hoping to work with the social worker soon. Since I’ve been there, two kids have already had their mothers die (one little girl in my first grade class). It’s really sad, but it’s great work and hopefully preparing me for a job in my future (this is exactly what I want to do!).
Classes have started, and are definitely way more interesting than classes at Storrs. One class is a politics of South Africa class, and my professor knows just about everything there is to know about South Africa. He was involved in the political movement before the end of apartheid too, so he’s a great resource. It’s a lot of work, but it’s really interesting and I like it. Our second class is a seminar to go with our internship, mostly just discussing our internships and talking about any issues that may come up with them. Despite how easy it sounds, we actually have a bunch of papers for it so it might be more difficult than I’m thinking! Our last class is a women’s studies class given by our professor that came with us. Most of it is pretty easy, but there’s a lot of work with it. It’s interesting though, especially learning it in a foreign country and in relation to that country.
Other than that, I’ve been going to the beach a lot and having a good time! It’s fun meeting people (and hearing what they have to say about America) and luckily, I got a really good roommate, so that makes it so much better. I really like the people living with me in my house. I’m in a house of 9 other UConn students, while the other 17 live in a bigger house a couple towns over. Most places are within walking distance, and we’re also really close to the train, university bus, and taxis, so that’s nice. It’s definitely a new experience, and I’m loving every minute of it!
**Here’s an online photo album I’ve started, if you want to take a look: www.ruthsinafrica.shutterfly.com**