18 September 2011

Teaching in South Africa, part 2

Day 2 of teaching was pretty subdued compared to Day 1. I had one class session in which the students took their first quiz on the material covered the first day, and then we read and discussed more on the "how-tos" of catechesis. This time we learned from Pr. Peter Bender's insights in the introduction to his Lutheran Catechesis materials. Two students who missed the first day joined us, and one of the first day's students was gone preaching somewhere.

Ginger, Zeal, and I again went to St. Paul Lutheran Church down the road a couple of blocks for lunch. Bishop Weber's sister, Renata, graciously provides lunch each week day for the LTS students and guests. And then the afternoon was pretty relaxing, with plenty of time for grading quizzes and mapping out the direction for next week's classes.

Friday evening brought a "hot night on the town." Well, okay, a trip to the Hatfield Plaza for a fish 'n' chips dinner and a movie. The girls, Ginger, Zeal, and their friend Coral, went to a "chick flick," and Christoff and I went to see "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." Really, it was the only movie that looked halfway interesting, and actually I was surprised that it was a pretty decent story with some very good CGI effects for the apes.

Hatfield Plaza
Saturday began in relax-mode, getting up later than the previous days, cooking some breakfast, reading up on some history of South Africa, and then conversing with the ladies once they got up. Ginger and I decided to walk to Hatfield Plaza and shop for some odds and ends. She wanted to have some picture ID cards made for the students, a task she has been delighted to accomplish because this is the first time any of them have ever had such ID cards. We then grabbed burgers for lunch at a restaurant called "Wimpy." (Hmm, named after the Popeye character, I wonder?) Yes, South Africa has burgers - even McDonald's and KFC - and so we decided to try the local establishment.

Then we began the walk back to LTS. The journey from the seminary to Hatfield Plaza was only eight blocks--go east straight down Arcadia Street for six blocks, turn right at Hilda, and two blocks south to the shopping center, which fills a whole city block. After lunch we tried a different route home--down Burnett, which parallels Arcadia, and then turn right on another street, and - viola! - we should find Arcadia again. But something went wrong. (Shh, don't tell anyone!) The second block wasn't Arcadia, but South. So we had to turn back to Hatfield Plaza and regain our bearings (okay, I  had to regain my bearings!). And, no, we weren't lost! I knew exactly where were going ... or suppose to go. Our starting position just got turned in the wrong direction coming out of the mall. But we did find our way back, and had a good walk for exercise all around.

(Picture not taken by us.)
As we returned to the seminary, we noticed many people parking on the sides of the streets. A big rugby game was scheduled for Saturday evening, and it sure looked like streets around any American stadium - college or professional - when a big game is on. People in the streets were trying to direct the drivers to park in their places, and thus get the parking fee from them. Some individuals were selling their "concessions" on the street corners. Ginger and I also noticed that many people were doing something that looked suspiciously like tailgating--gathering with friends around the parked vehicles for food and drinks and casual conversation. We might call it "tailgating," but South Africans call it "braai" (Afrikaan for "barbecue"). And, yes, most of them had their barbecue equipment out.

L to R: Me, Benjamin (Mr. "Dangers for Pastor"), Zeal, & Kaine
Perhaps the highlight of our relaxing Saturday, though, was teaching some of the students that fine American game called "UNO." Zeal had first mentioned cards on Friday at lunch, and some of the students must have started thinking gambling and betting, but they were relieved and interested when we assured them that, no, UNO involves no bets and no money. Just some good, clean fun, with chances for gotcha moments, that is, with the cards Ginger calls "naughty cards" (Skip, Reverse, Draw Two, and  Draw Four).

Ginger popped popcorn for the festivities and provided some Cadbury chocolate along with some "biltong," a South African snack of dried and cured meat--similar to jerky in the U.S. The students sure enjoyed - and devoured - the snacks!

Clockwise: Eboro, Matthew, & Ben
The students really did take to playing UNO, even catching its similarities to the good ol' childhood game of "Crazy Eights." The problem was, however, that everyone wanted to apologize for playing the "naughty cards." So Ben would lay his "Draw Two" card for me and say, "Sorry, Pastor." Yeah, uh-huh! Another student, Benjamin, however started getting into the spirit of the game when he, after looking at the cards dealt to him and looking to me on his right, said, "Ooh. Lots of dangers for Pastor." Nothing a little "Reverse" card couldn't handle though!

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