Aug 1, 2011

Things I won't miss about South Africa, part II

Continued from part I.

1. Begging.  I hate that shit, and it never lets up.  Today I stepped out of my room, and in the 50-yard walk to school, no less than five people asked me for money.  Four children and one adult.  It's completely routine.  "Hello, Thabo," says the person.  "Hello," I say.  "Mpha madi," he says, holding out a hand, meaning "give me money."  When I say no, often the person is angry.

2. Taxis and buses.  The public transport I usually take is cramped, uncomfortable, usually miserably hot or cold, takes forever, and is often terribly dangerous.  Drivers are sometimes equipped with well-maintained vehicles and drive conservatively, but more often they're aggressive maniacs zooming around in seat belt-less rusting contraptions held together with band-aids and bailing twine.  On vacation, having my own rental car was a terrific feeling of freedom.

3. Teaching.  This isn't to say that I have forever forsworn teaching, rather that teaching in my South African village, especially for a relative amateur, really sucks.  There's no accountability, no institutional support, no culture of learning, and the Peace Corps training in this area was, well, not to put too fine a point on it, utterly and completely worthless.  I firmly believe that with the bad habits I've picked up here, I'm a far worse classroom teacher than I was when I started out.  At the very least I'll never teach any classes younger than 14 or so ever again.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ryan,

    Am only now catching up a bit on your blog... I have missed it!

    Again, I find myself shaking my head in agreement with everything you say about PCSA. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!

    Keep writing!

    You guys stay safe these remaining weeks! Karen

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