Photo by Teresa Rafidi

Photo by Teresa Rafidi

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Loads of fruit, broken bridges, computers, and tasty worms!

Too Many Marula, Not Enough Pineapples

Marula is used to make a local beer, amarula liquor, as well as jam.
It's marula fruit season here in the village. These marula fruit are everywhere! Dropping off trees left and right. Villagers are collecting the local marula fruit from trees to be sold at market. Marula is used to make a local beer, amarula liquor, as well as jam. Recently we saw people lined up along the main road to sell their fruit to a commercial purchaser. In addition to marula, there are several other fruits that are in season now including mangoes and guava. As a result, we've noticed an usually high number of kids in trees these days trying to pick all this yummy fruit. As they say, nobody goes hungry around this time of year!
Villagers pick marula fruit from local trees to be sold at market. People lined up to sell their fruit to a commercial purchaser.

London bridges falling down, falling down... 
Recent flooding from heavy rain has washed away the bridge in our village.

Recent flooding from heavy rain washed away the bridge that connects the two sides of our village. Making it difficult for us to get to 2 of our 3 schools. We have to cross the river in order to get to two of our schools on the B-side of our village and our Principal says that there are crocs in the river!  So, it made for an interesting time trying to cross it. The first time the bridge washed away, they just patched it by filling it with sand and rocks. Then a few days later, a large dump truck filled with sand fell through it!

Dump truck falls through the bridge.

If you are what you eat, does that make me an arthropod? 
Fried mopani worm
Another new and exciting adventure this month happened when I (Robin) ate fried Mopane (Mopani) worms for the first time... (Well, they are not actually worms, they're caterpillars.) So, I guess you can say that I'm officially an insectivore now. One of the teachers at the high school brought us a plate to try out. They tasted smoky and were very crunchy. Mopani worms are a local delicacy especially for the Shangaan people. Sometimes they are fried and other times they are boiled. They are usually eaten as a crisp snack and people eat them here like potato chips or popcorn. Eventually, if these creatures are allowed to grow, they will become a beautiful Emperor moth.
Emperor moth at rest on the side of our house.
Computer lab opening...

Thanks to Ulusaba, Pride n' Purpose – We received 29 computers from a donor in Australia for the computer lab at one of the primary schools. Woody got a few of them set up in time to have an “impromptu” opening of the new computer lab after school just to allow the kids to check out the computers. Unfortunately due to a wiring mismatch with the electrical sockets, we only had enough working outlets to be able to get two computers running. But, after letting a few kids into the lab to try out the computers, we soon realized that they were very excited to use the computers. We let them play typing tutor games and demonstrated to them where to hold their fingers on the keyboard. For some of them, it was their first time even touching a computer... And it was certainly the first time to have a computer lab at the school. The kids all enjoyed being on the computers. They were so excited that they wanted to even play on the computers that were not up and running yet! We have several more computers on their way and hope to have both the computer labs at the two primary schools fully functional very soon. 

The school also received a generous donation of a projector from a group of guests and donors of Pride n' Purpose to be used in the computer lab. This should be of great help in demonstrating different programs and techniques to the learners once the classes start.

Taking a break from sorting library books, Woody stops to give a math lesson.
“A quality education has the power to transform societies in a single generation, provide children with the protection they need from the hazards of poverty, labor exploitation and disease, and given them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their full potential.”
        ~Audrey Hepburn

Don't forget to donate!

We want to thank Beth Caple, Tracy Ryan, and Carl Skibell, for their generous donations to the KLM foundation. We appreciate your support!!

You too can help us support good education here in South Africa. Woody has chosen to run the Ultra 56 KM in the 2011 Longtom Marathon as a way to help raise money for the KLM foundation. The KLM foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded by two PCVs that served in South Africa. The foundation raises money to send deserving, hardworking students to one of South Africa’s best college preparatory schools – the Uplands College in the Mpumalanga province. What better way to help this country than to educate a future leader?

Please help support Woody in raising money for this worthy cause!

How to Donate:

There are two ways you can make a donation:

Method 1: Online

1. Go to the KLM foundation website

2. Click on the Donate photo in the upper left corner.

3. This opens up a secure https:// connection for people to donate.

4. In the Longtom Marathon field on the donations form, please indicate “Dawoud Al-haddad” as the runner's name.

Method 2: Check

1. Make out a check payable to: Kgwale Le Mollo (US)

2. Add a post-it note or indicate on the memo section of the check that you are sponsoring “Dawoud Al-haddad.”

3. Mail it to:

KLM Foundation (US)
c/o Bowen Hsu
461 So. Bonita Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91107

For more information on the KLM foundation and the important work they are doing, visit the KLM website at:

Thanks for your support!!

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