“Back to school, back to reality”

Back in reality, so distant from hyena calls at night, glorious purple beach sunsets and slow- morning sleep- ins. Life is accelerating into needing a weekend after the weekend; “should I really eat another piece of cake?”; early nights for early mornings.

The lazy holiday feels have evaporated and I find myself arguing with my student, “I know your mom said you can eat when the food is ready, but I said you can eat when your work is complete.” Unfortunately my anger levels never reach above a 2 out of 10, and I can’t stop laughing at her death stare that she so kindly and perfectly shares with me.

We do have a lovely relationship with lots of giggles and disses and hard school work, and after our little tiff she walks me to my car and asks me to stay a little longer.

Even in the busy mundane of working days, there are moments of true hilarity where water snorts out your nose, true understanding where you watch the animated light bulb atop their head ‘ting’ on, true friendship where a secret is shared with you that you promise to keep safe.

I’m so corny, it’s face flushing. I always get sentimental when the holiday comes to an end.

“They don’t know that we know they know we know”- Phoebe

“Our friends are flying back to England tonight, and they are just desperate to visit the Voortrekker Monument before they leave. You studied history right? Awesome, so I’ve told them that you will go in my place and be their tour guide.”

“Uuuum I really don’t know that much about the monument, I don’t think I’ll be much of a tour guide.”

“Nonsense! You’ll be fine, you probably have more knowledge on it than you think you do.”

While you spent your Tuesday morning reading over reports, calming excitable children down, cooking delicious breakfasts for your customers or whatever else your vocation requires, I was sitting in the backseat of a minibus, frantically googling interesting facts about the Voortrekker Monument.

My girls that I teach, sitting on either side of me, were canning themselves at my expense. Snacks were passed to me on the drive and I absent mindedly, stress- ate them all.

When we eventually got there, everyone turned to me, eight pairs of eyes expectantly waiting to hear where we should head over to first. I three- sixtied on the spot to get a lay of the land and pointed toward the huge building competing with the sun for a space in the sky. “This way first, I guess…”

Questions were asked as soon as we hit the steps and I quickly perfected the, “is she shaking or nodding her head” talent.

I will say that the building is beautiful, the stone is smooth and the views are magnificent. The stairs were many and our legs were shaky afterwards. The planning of the building must have been extensive and it’s safe to say that I, the tour guide, learned almost as much as they did, my tourists.

So many awkward moments of, “I think that could have happened…” and ” we didn’t learn that in history” (although it could have also been that I wasn’t listening in that part of the class).

My girls followed me throughout the day, laughing loudly when I gave an unsure answer and enjoying my red, and growing redder, face.

Moments of called- for blushing seem to follow me wherever I go, but I guess I’m learning how to live in it, embrace it, and share it with you guys- allow you all to laugh at my expense as well. At least the awkwardness isn’t experienced in vain.

But let’s also just say that there may or may not be some lovely British people trawling the streets of England with a warped view of South African history, because of a history student who couldn’t remember her facts.

You can’t just give up! Is that what a dinosaur would do?

Waking up with a purpose makes it easier to wake up.

I’m not falling into a pit of despair with this whole unemployment thing, but today I realized that a job is important, not just because we need it to buy food and pay rent, but we need it to make the day purposeful.

Unless that’s just me.

I worked as an assistant teacher last year and fell in love with the quirky words the little people spoke, the not- so- secret secrets they would whisper to each other, and the pure joy on their faces when they heard the break bell. I was asked to sub for one of the teachers today, and if I believed in auras mine would have been sunshiny yellow. Every interaction with one of the miniature humans, each photocopy made, and squeezy hug received held a piece of purpose. Knowledge that that interaction was correcting a mistake and furthering their development, that each photocopy given to a kid contributed to their skills and abilities, and that every squeezy hug was affirmation that they are appreciated and loved.

Okay, I am rambling and over sensitive at the moment. Clearly a little too sentimental after being reminded of what I was lucky enough to have last year.

One funny kiddie story before I go:

I asked one of the kids to make up a story for me about three princesses, and the story went like this; once upon a time there were three pretty princesses who all loved the same handsome prince. Each of them planned a special date with him, and when he realized that all three dates were on the same day, he ran away. He got lost in the forest but sadly there was no Wifi there, so he never found his way back home.

Here, have a photo of some fat caterpillars crawling up a wall