Chante Cooper

Chante Cooper

At the age of 18 I stand in South Africa, my place of birth and the place i find myself returning to 11 years after living in New Zealand with my family. Coming back here on holidays, i have always been able to see the vast amount of poverty present and notice the obvious and huge gap between the rich and the poor that stands present today. On my gap year in 2015 with the awesome GVN organisation I finally have the opportunity to help out just a little bit as i set out to volunteer in assisting to teach english in a school and help out in a child care centre. Most of all, i am looking forward to live with, learn from and begin to understand the local Venda community that is so rich in culture and faith and i am certain that i will gain a lot more from the experience than i am able to give- hopefully you might gain something by reading these blogs too! Venda, here we come !

A final farewell

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 2:20 am  South Africa  Comments Off on A final farewell
May 162015
 

As my final days in Venda arrived,  I spent my precious hours left in this beautiful country saying some very hard goodbyes.  Monday I devoted to my Manamani children.  I went to school for the last day,  saying goodbye to all of the teachers and telling the children I was leaving with a few last moments helping them with their schoolwork. The last class I took outside for lifeskills and if I now close my eyes and think of my time at that school, I picture that last hour playing soccer with the kids on the rough red sand outside the classrooms with the bright, hot sun searing down on us. After school, my usual gang of kids followed me home and we played monopoly and rumicub board games untill the sun (and the loadshedding of electricity) went to bed and forced us to end for the night. My last full day, I went and said my goodbyes at the creche I first began working in and funnily enough it was here that I got the biggest goodbye with the teachers hugging me and taking photos and singing goodbye songs with tears in their eyes while scolding me for not letting me know sooner so they could throw me a leaving party. All my close friends came over that night and we threw a small party in the garage just spending our last hours together and then saying somr very unreal and sad farewells.

My last adventure was the trip back to Pretoria on Wednesday.  Unlike most volunteers who take a safe, prebooked bus, I decided I wanted to stop at the huge fruit market in a town on the way and the only way, I was told, this was possible was to take a different kind of bus. Well it wasnt actually a bus. It was a taxi. A very old, very run down, dodgy kind of taxi and full of some more very dodgy looking people! I told myself deep down that if i made it out of there alive, without crashing or having an accident or getting kidnapped or stolen from, it would be an absolute miracle. Murendeni strictly told the bus driver not to change with any taxis and to take us straight to pretoria… well this was exactly what he did not do.  After about an hour or so we stopped in the middle of nowhere with a about 10 idle men lingering about and another(already half full) taxi. They told us to get out and everyone went in got on the other taxi. By the time I got there it was full and I, an 18 yearold new zealand girl and the only white person about, was left alone standing with my bags. Let me tell you myheart was beating ffaster than it ever had before and inside I was shaking with uncertainty and fear.  Eventually I got onto the taxi sitting on the floor on a crate and away we went, extremely overloaded and illegal. I think while I was in that taxi we were stopped 3 times by police officers and the driver bribed them to let us carry on our way. Having just been in Venda, with a newly adopted african vibr I managed the whole day without even worrying a little thinking that what ever will happen will happen and laughed at the experience I couldnt believe I was in the middle of! To make matters worse halfway through the drive, my drink bottle decided to leak all throughout my bag and onto my phone. My phony with all of my contact details, and my only connection with the person who was supposed to meet me at the other side. So of course, it stopped working. It turned out the others on the taxi were not all that dodgy and helped me to dry it out and while one person help a part of my phone by the window to dry, another held anothet part in a different place and together we tryed again and again untill it eventually to my greatest relief switched on. As soon as it did, the taxi stopped once again and I was told to move to a different taxi which, to everybodys surprise, I as a makuwa confidently (or so it looked) marched over to and got on. Once we got to pretoria the taxi drove around the whole town dropping everybody off in different places whilr my driver sat and wondered where I was. Finally the driver told me to get off and walk down the busy, crowded streets of pretoria to my destination and so with a deep breath I climbed off into a sea of people feeling like a that odd black sheep.  But I arrived safely, in one piece and with everything I left with and live to tell the tale!

 

And so my time in Venda is up and with a sore and sad heart I leave the place that has become my home and the people who have become my family, the race that has become like my own. I miss it incredably already and know for sure that this was the first of many times to come as I already plan my return trip back one day. I have learnt an incredible amount of things,  a new culture, a new language, a new way of living and an entire new perspective of life itself. I have experienced and learnt a lot about people, thier way of thinking, religion anf beliefs. I have learnt a lot about myself and my own life and my time volunteering has given me a new appreciation of the many blessings in my own life. I leave with a new habit of waking up every single morning and thanking the lord for giving me a house to live in, a bed to sleep in, food to eat two living and loving parents and thr chancr to live another day. I have gained compassion, patience and gentleness and I have lost the first-world habit of worrying about so many things. I leave filled with an African spirit of happiness, a smile and a joke never far from my lips as I have been taken right back down to see the things that really matter and the things that we should just let be. But far greatest of all these things I have gained, is the friendships formed so close that I know I will not lose and the family that I know will always welcome me back. I camed to serve, and ended up gaining for more than I was ever able to give.

Finally, I give all my thanks to the wonderful GVN team and Miriam who helped me throughout the entire process,  to ZOTE and to Murendeni for all of their time, effort and energy with me. If your reading this and thinking about volunterring, I urge you to do it. It will change your life.

The bushveld foundation

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 6:49 am  South Africa  Comments Off on The bushveld foundation
May 102015
 

There is one very special part of my time in Venda that I have not written about because nothing can explain the time that I have had there, and that is the bushveld foundation. The bushveld foundation is the orohanage the other volunteers and I went to see one weekend a long time ago and I think i have written about mother lydia and the amazing work she has done there. Since then I have been back a few times and had a few sleepovers and ended up with a new, very close and very special family. The first sleepover I had there was over easter and I brought a whole lot of easter eggs and chocolate for everyone there(they are no longer kids, all teenagers or older so we gave the egg hunt a miss.) We spent the evening at the church next door dancinf and singinf and then the girls and I spent the entire night braiding my hair with extensions so that for the next three weeks I had brown hair and looked like a colored. This weekend again I spent at the bushveld and what a weekend! On Saturday was mother Lydias birthday and si we spent Friday night makinghrr birthday and momothers day cards. On Saturday, while she was at home thinking everyone had forgotten about her, we went ‘to church’ and brought cake and sweets and chocolates and candles and balloons and crept into the house and set up the entire lounge. When she came into the room we gave her the biggest surprise ever and how happy she was!! At the orphanage, all of my now close ftiends have some incredible stories to tell and all of their lives have been absolutely tragic. They now live together in this tiny house, 7girls in one room, and the boys in another and yet they are one big family. When they go somewhere or do something, they do it together. Walking everyone with their arms linked and, inspite of evertything, they are the happiest, friendliest, kindest people I have ever met and we have the most fun togethrr! When the time came to say goodbye for the last time yesterday, the sadness was unbearable and I left very quickly as the tears began to well up in everyones eyes. I have grown to love the bushveld like a family and, like the teachers at mulumlele crèche, I miss them unbearably already! I have learnt a huge amount from them all and now treasure my own family, especially my parents, so very much more. To end off a brilliant weekend, I spent the day at the orchard with my host mum packing Periperi chillies. On one of my first days here I talked about her as a hard worker. And so as one of my last days I want to mention it again-my host mum is an inspiration to me in the way of working hard. She was out of the house by 6am, I joined her at 9 and by the time we left as the sun went down about 7pm, after working non stop the entire day,;I was long past ready to come home and rest. But it didnt stop there, she packed the periperi in the back of her truck and once we got home, after cooking for us, she continued to pack until she was finished around 9pm! I took a photo and from now, whenever I am working or have to get something done, I will look at it and do like maria!

Life at Apple seeds

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 2:12 am  South Africa  Comments Off on Life at Apple seeds
May 062015
 

The day begins at the gate, welcoming the kids into the school. As cars and taxis and buses pull up in front of the creche off the busy main road, we run to the door and fetch the children, greeting the parents as we go. It is in this way that volunteers are able to become involved with the wider community as we get to know all the parents, caregivers, grannies, taxi drivers and siblings and everyone passing by on their was to work on the busy main road is able to see you (as white person, I am quite the eye opener and get a lot of double-or triple-looks, !). I love this beggining to the day as the kids love coming to school and, once they get to know you, love being greeted by you. So the children jump into your arms and the parents greet you with big smiles and the busy two hours at the gate are full of good spirits, waves, smiles and happiness from everyone. After a week or so you get to know that this is the taxi with lots of children, this one is the driver with lots of jokes, that parent loves to stay for a chat and the kid in that car is the one that crys when his mother goes. We call out to what we call the ‘teenagers’ zulu grannies walking past with thier faces full of make up and wait for the lady selling scones to come with our breakfast. After that comes assembly which uses about half the energy my normal day requires as we jump and dance around loudly singing songs and chants and teaching them unconsciously as we go. Once we split into classrooms, I assist or run my own class on body parts or colours or numbers or the alphabet before break time and so it goes until the time comes for collection and we frantically run around trying to get the kid and thier bags to their rides as fast as we can (taxi drivers can be impatient!) Overall we have a whole lot of fun, singingn and playing with the children. What I have learnt is two things: if you want to control a class of children you have to be more exciting and louder than whatever it is they are doing which takes a whole lot of energy and if you really want to entertain them, you have to put yourself back down on their level and become a child again. So I spent a great deal of time running and jumping and shouting and answering hand-made telephones. We begin the day before the sun does, at 6 am and finish around 7pm. In the evening high school students come for extra classes which, if I had more time, I would have been running. Once everyone has gone, the teachers and I living at the creche started doing exercises and stretches before going for a walk to the shop and making dinner (theres no fridge so we have to do this most days). During these timss with these teachers fromZimbabwe I learnt a lot about their culture on that side and the situations many of them are placed with. Although our day is full of happiness, at the end of it their is an unspoken sorrow as they go to bed thinking about their children and families back home. I think about the childhoods they are missing out on and how unfair it is when the children at the crèche (who come from the more wealthy homes) have bags full of food everyday but their teacher feeding them runs out of money for their own food half way through the month and goes to sleep hungry some nights. Going to this creche was a huge inspiration to me, after coming from a public creche in the village and I enjoyed most of all the energy, the time, the passion and the love the teachers, most of all the principle, put into their work.

Home again

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 7:22 am  South Africa  Comments Off on Home again
May 032015
 

Today I went with the family in Malumlele to their church. Coming from a Catholic church back home ,and not having been to one for months since ive been in Venda,  when you are a catholic and go to a catholic church no matter where in world you are at home. The mass was the same is usual but with an african twist with african drums, tambourine and lots of music, a mixture of upbeat dancing to beautiful slow harmonies.  I spent the afternoon drinking tea with the sisters on mission in Venda,one from Poland and one from india. Ive begun doing exercises with the teachers im staying with at the crèche and we have a lot of fun together doing it! Today I also cooked for them pasta, “new zealand” food (anything not pap) and did some baking with them, another abnormality.  One of the main things volunteers can bring is just themselves and their normal way of doing things back home because here , in a new culture and place what you normally do,say and eat is  new and exciting and entertaining. So we go to sleep feeling happy and full, with a touch of sadness as one teacher falls asleeps with a picturr of her baby she had to leave at home and the other teacher knowing she has missed out on sharing her childrens childhood as one child turns 12, living for the 6th year without his mother.

A hard life

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 8:02 am  South Africa  Comments Off on A hard life
May 012015
 

I havnt written in awhile because I have done and seen and learnt so much that I could never possibly write it all down. But out of these many things come stories, stories of people. And over the past few weeks these people have completely humbled me. Humbled me right down to the ground and even further. Let me tell you just a very few of these Storie s and situations…  I have been working with some teachers from Zimbabwe. They all come over the border to South Africa looking for work, whether they managed to get a permit or a visa or a passport or not,  they come. The situation they describe in zimbabwe is not good, food, clothes, water and electricity expensive and scarce and unemployment a major issue. One teacher has been here for a few years now, having had to leave her child at home in zim with her grandmother to grow up without her mother. She gets payed only 1500 rand (around $20) a month to pay for her electricity, food, clothes, phone money to call home, she also has to send money home because there is no food and pay for her child at home Another has been here just two weeks and crossed the border herself, leaving her husband and children behind, not knowing where she would go, where she would stay or what she would do. The third teacher i met today arrived only a few days ago. She is 21, married at 18 with one baby and a husband who miss treats her. She left them behind coming in search of a job so that she could provide for herself and be independent of her husband. Like so many others in Zim,  she is an orphan.Currently her only father left (in western terms, her uncle) is seriously ill and vomiting blood. The local hospitals sent him home, not being able to help him and they do not have enough money to send him to a proper one. She is worried so much that she cant eat and just wants to sleep so she doesnt think too much about it and desperate ly wants to go back and be with him before he most likely passes away but again has no money.  Can you even imagine a life like one of these? or the complete bravery and courage they have to leave everything behind and come to a new country alone, not knowing wherr they will sleep that night.  And now in South Africa, this problem of xenophobia means they come here desperate and helpless and then are chased away or murdered…

Another friend from my village is also in her mid 20’s. She is a wonderful friend and a beautiful person, always smiling and confident so that when I found out her story, I could hardly believe. She is old, but only in grade 10 (year 11)  due to a distressed past and now she has returned to school in order to complete it so she may go to university. Her sister and her were miss treated by their father and run away from their village for safety to their aunty in the village I am staying in. The aunty was unable to help until a plan was made for her to stay in this small house and go to the school here. Ive visited her often but only went inside yestrrday where i found it hard to keep back tears. There was nothing but a small and dangerous electricity cooker, a chair , a bag full of clothes and her school books and the juice i gave her the day before.She is studying and so is not able to have a jjob and no money. She has a child back home with her grandmother who she has to provide for.  The other day a man broke into her house and attempted to rape her. Ever since then she has gone to sleep at night in fear. She said she would be happy living there if only she could feel safe again.

These are only a few of many stories ive come across and I can hhonestly say im left humbled and feeling extremely blessed. These are real people, people who are my friends, who I am living with and you could never tell where in these situations for their amount of happiness and their smile is still bigger than anyones back home. Coming from a loving and living family who care for me, provide for me and look after me, with food always being on the table, a secure shelter always over my head, the best upbringing with two guiding parents and a brilliant education, I know realize why my Venda name is what it is.Mashudu, meaning lucky or blessed. ..couldn’t be more accurate.

From witches to wonder

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 7:41 am  South Africa  Comments Off on From witches to wonder
Apr 192015
 

Last weekend I was blessed to have a wonderful visit from my aunt and uncle from Johburg and, when they left,  felt as if I was somewhat back to a normal reality. Well that feeling did not last long at all!  As I waved goodbye to them on Sunday morning, I stood waiting with my friend for Khuliso to pick us up to go to church. While we were standing in the busy main road with taxis and cars and people flying by, I saw a skinny man in rags walking around hunched over searching for something along the road. Instantly I knew something was wrong and I asked my friend about him. The man was an ex school teacher and now had some kind of mental illness. As much as this is a developing part of the country, I have not seen one begger or one person look homless or very poor while I havr been in Venda, the only exeption being people with mental illnesses.  I asked why no one ever helped these such people and learnt that it was a traditional belief that mental illnesses are evil spirits and that these people are bewitched so everyone is too scared to even talk to them, let alone help them.  I was then told all about the local belief in witches that come to you and ‘bewitch’ you. And, even being Christians,  most people believe in it as the bible is also filled with talk of spirits and demons e.c.t. I also learnt that weekend of traditional healers and was immediately put right off with a horrific story from my inspiration, mother Lydia, at the orphanage of one of her orphans. He found out that he had TB and then his aunt turned up and took him to a traditional healer who put cuts all over his body until he bled to death. After that day, with another ‘unusual’ church experience I decided I have had quite enough experiences with demons and spirits and witches  and those types of churches.

 

On quite the contrary, yesterday I attended church with my host family at the seventh day adventist. We all piled into the car and the back of the bucky and went to our neighbouring village of Tshvinga. Here we held church outside in a small shack made of wood and a corrogated iron roof among the mountains and surrounded by the long wild grasses and dirt road. It was a freezing, grey and rainy day and everyone was bundled up in blankets and towels as we sat on a wooden pew we brought along with us and sang beautiful Venda hymns to our Lord. The  church lasted the entire day and was brilliant. The first half consisted of singing and a great sermon by the pastor about what we can learn from the bibles characters and about planning. After lunch it was a big discussion about what our manamani churche vision and goals were, how we would achieve them and a plan of action. It was truly great to be back to the roots of the church, outside in Gods beautiful world with beautiful songs raised up in harmony and based soley on the bibles love and virtues with passionate, energetic and determined people going on then to carry them out. A true day of wonder, hope and faith.

A marriage proposal?

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 7:07 am  South Africa  Comments Off on A marriage proposal?
Apr 192015
 

Awhile ago I brought a small phone cover from a stall in town. They didny have the exact one so a few weeks later when I passed the same stall, the man selling them told me he brought the one for my phone from Johannesburg for me and swapped it with my old one for free. By that time he had already asked for my number a few times.  A few days later I saw him again and again he asked for my number so eventually I just gave it to him so he would leave. The next time I saw him he demanded that he helped me download whatsup on my phone and because I was in a rush he followed me on a taxi home and on the way did it for me. Ever since then I have gotten a message goodnight every single day. Well one day he turned up in his car crying and the kids directed him to me. He was crying because I hadnt replied. I guess I should have figured out then that I should tell him to leave but instead I made him stop crying and allowed him to have a conversation with me. He is muslim, or hindu I forgot and from a small country called kashmir next to Pakistan and extremely passionate about his country and the bad image the world currently has of it and so gave me a very wonderful book of Malala who was the youngest person ever to be nominated for the worlds peace prize. I have to say it is a great book and encouraged me a lot with my volunteering in the education sector. Last Wednesday night I returned home to find Mirror (the guy) at my house. He had just come back from a week in Johburg. In our last conversation I happened to mention I was born in Johburg and so he turned up with a fancy sony camera “for me” on which he had videod the place he thought I was from in Johburg si that I might recognise it bring back good memories.  I refused to take it and accept it as a gift, and he refused to accept that u didnt accept it and left without taking it with him. Once he left a found a watch inside the fancy bag he put the camera in along with another wrapped present. On the table was a huge present for my host mum, another for my host dad and yet again ANOTHER present for me. I felt sick to the stomach, who was this man, why was he giving me things and what did he want! We decided that the next time he came, my host parents would say I had left and return his gifts. Mirror is old, around 40 I am guessing and the whole thing seems strange and very creepy. Before that day, when people asked for my number I just gave in and gave it to them because I knew when I leave soon it really wouldn’t matter. After that, I will never give my number to any stranger again!

Mulumlele, a new world

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 6:46 am  South Africa  Comments Off on Mulumlele, a new world
Apr 192015
 

I have just arrived in another town called Mulumlele. It is only 20 minutes by taxi from Thohoyandou town where I have been many times but it is like another country altogether. Unlike the village scene I am now used to, Mulumlele is more of a small town and full of Changan/ xitsonga people instead of the Venda. Recently there has been strikes here as the xitsonga people are demanding to have a different municipality to the Venda one and it has been dangerous with violence as people parade the streets and set fire to the shops e.c.t. They even demanded that noone speak Tshivenda here, only Changan and english so that now when i arrived I am careful not to use the Venda greetings I have been using the last 3 months. I also heard today that the president, Jacob Zuma, was here not so long ago and when he failed to address what they had asked him to aAddress, they began to throw rocks at him and attack him so that he had to quickly leave. Most of the people here are coming from Mozambique in search of jobs and do not classify mulumlele as part of Venda so that, coming from just up road, I can just tell them I stay in Venda. Because of the tension around, I have to just tell everyone I am coming straight from New Zealand to Mulumlele and havnt been in Venda the past 3 months. I am staying with the principle of the creche where I will be workin at this week. I met her in a supermarket a few weeks after I arrived and eversince she has trying to get hold of some volunteers to come and assist as our english will help a lot with the kids learning and everyone I have met here have been so happy to see me and know me and have me here. Her family, husband and three little girls, live in a tiny house and so while im here I will be sharingA very tiny room and sleeping in one small double bed with them. They are coming from Zimbabwe, having been forced out due to the political and economic situation there, and she has recently just started her own two creches and what an amazing job she is doing! I havr learnt a lot about Zimbabwe while being here already after only just arriving. They are from a small village near Masvingo where there is no electricity, no running water, all cooking is done on a fire, all washing in the river and even candles are a treat! She described to me how she saw all the white farmers get chased off their farms by President Magabe and how after that everything has just collapsed. How you no longer go to the shops to buy food as no food is growing in farms so it is imported and expensive and therefor everyone just grows their own food. She told me how when you vote, they come to your house and point the gun at you and watch demand u to put the tick under Magabe’s name. But throughout it all, no matter how much destruction and suffering he has enforced, the one thing he has encouraged is education and no matter how hungry or poor you are-you still go to school everyday. Unlike here, where you get money when you become pregnant, teenage pregnancies are scarce because once you become pregnant then you no longer can go to school. President Magabe recently visited South Africa and refused to talk or communicate with any white person. South Africa is also experiencing some horrific problems now all over the media:xebophobia. People in some placed are fighting and attacking all the foreigners and this evening I heard and saw some terrible pictures about a story of a man killed in the streets in Durban simply because he was from MozambiqueMore than 300 people have been arrested and all the churches, and government is calling out for it to stop. An interesting day, looking foward to a different kind if crèche tomorrow (where learning and playing is actual ly allowed!)

A painful heart

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 8:05 am  South Africa  Comments Off on A painful heart
Apr 092015
 

This week we began our winter school for the second week of the holidays to a great start. My teaching plan for our english class was to get them to write an essay about themselves,  their personality, thier interests, their families and their dreams. In the process it would teach them how to go about writing(a big problem for all of them), brainstorming,planning, structure aswell as get then to think about their dreams and goals and give them a good quality piece of writing for them to show the world about themselves. The first day went great, the plans they wrote were superb, their ideas for their dreams brilliant and their introductions were on track. We made and gave out 80 sandwiches and everyone was happy. However the next day when we went to class, we decided to teach both grades together and it was a nightmare.Lindilani started off teaching maths and while i stood there, walking around looking at the students work I fell further and further into a state of hopelessness. The kids were noisy and weren’t concentrating (as per usual for their normal classes), the ones that didnt understand did not say or admit that they didnt understand and instead sat their wasting their time . Some of the students are 16-17 years old and in grade 7, and obviously not goimg to pass. In our hopeless, frustrated state as the class failed to keep quite ot even slighty focus, we ended class and sent them home, taking the apples we had for them back with us and told them not to come back tomorrow. We left that day feeling down and deflated, out hearts torn into pieces and our whole bodies throbbing with sorrow. Partly because we had put so much time and effort into planning class, so much energy into teaching and so much time organising food for them just for their own benefits and they payed us back in return with distrespect, noise without trying and without focus. But mostly because we knew that with the mindset and style of learning they were used to, without the willingness to learn and improve, they were not going to go anywhere. As I reflected on the poor education, the lazy teachers, the  situations and under developed minds of the older students and the potential I had seen in the dreams and aspirations of these children, I felt a pain, a sorrow so strong pierce me right through my heart and knew that for some of those kids it could be our teaching, our time and effort,that might be their only chance.

Easter school

 Posted by Chante Cooper at 2:47 am  South Africa  Comments Off on Easter school
Apr 032015
 

It Is now holidays in Africa and so the last week of school the teachers didn’t teach a thing or to my greatest frustration for the most part even attend their classes as they were marking and recording test results of which were extremely poor. One evening my friend from grade 11,Lindelani, and I had an idea to run an Easter school together and so this is exactly what we did. The first day was terrible, Lindelani phoned half an hour before starting time and said he Couldn’t make it and so i set off to control a bunch of naughty kids who honestly don’t respect me as a teacher because im always around them and playing with them and don’t listen to me (they don’t understand half of what i say) all by myself. I had a little three year old grandchild to take care of and i had to find the school key from a house i did not know. Well around 100 children turned up and didn’t stay quiet for one second which made my teaching job impossible and i was forced to end the class and send them all home. What a failure i felt, i just wanted to cry and i even messaged my mum in n. Z to say i wanted to come home right now. Despite all of this i turned up again the next day to try again(although didn’t have quiet enough courage to get up and teach) and this time things went a lot better as Lindelani finally came too. He is great with the kids, he teaches in tshivenda so they understand they listen and respect him and for the full two hours were quite and learnt a lot. Since then i have brought another friend Winne along with me and her and i take one class for English while Lindelani takes another for maths. We have also managed to buy food, which in terms of rand is expensive for all 80 or so of them,  and one day handed out apples and another fatcook and juice. In terms of dollars however it’s quite amazing, for only $10 we were able to provide apples for everyone and for only $12 we gave everyone juice and two fatcook. As we teach in Venda(Winne translating for me) they learn a lot and have more control over them than half their proper teachers do. We will continue with these classes next week and are busy planning more food that we can provide cheaply for everyone .

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