Uhambo to Friendship Takes Off!

Trip Start Aug 28, 2012
1
18
30
Trip End Jun 06, 2013


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Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Saturday, March 23, 2013

While I was home over the holidays, my little sister Jenna really wanted to figure out a way she could help and/or meet my 10th graders at Masinyusane. Together, we came up with the idea of starting a Pen Pal program between her 7th grade classmates and my students. We decided on the name "Uhambo to Friendship." My sister even drew out the logo she had in mind for the program and I just worked it out on the computer. I couldn't believe how in literally 3 hours we had this planned out.

After presenting the idea to her teacher and showing students some of the photos of my kids and where they come from, we had to explain to the Skyview 7th Graders that although my students come from very disadvantaged homes, they were still normal teenagers. They still wanted to talk about sports, talk about television shows, and talk about their favorite singers. The only difference was that they had to be careful about what they said. For example, they had to be careful not to brag about places they've gone or games/toys/devices they had. They could still tell them things like that, it just had to be in a humble way.

After all that, my little sister Jenna did the work and I am so proud of her. She rounded up nearly 70 peers who wrote letters and took their photos. Now, my 10th graders just spent two days writing theirs. Although some of my boys thought this was a dating service (so I had to make a few corrections on their rough draft haha), they were all very clever. I was impressed by the amount of time and effort they were putting into their letters.

It was so neat to see their faces light up when I told them their letters had finally arrived. For the past few months they'd been asking me when they'd get a Pen Pal.

They are so thrilled to have an American friend and they were ecstatic to have a photo of their friend. Not only are they learning about another country (it was hilarious seeing their faces when I showed them a picture of ice fishing and snow-mobiling), making a new "friend," and learning how to write a letter, but they are getting more and more confident writing in English.

It's beautiful!

See more photos below! :)


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