PERSPECTIVES

"This is Africa."

Editor’s note: Mocha Club member and volunteer, Annie, is blogging from Cape Town, South Africa on the Mocha Club trip from May 28th-June 10th. This is our first official “trip blogger” so please help us spread the word and check back for updates!

This is Africa.

That’s what we keep saying to each other and to ourselves. Africa is laid back. Africa is flexible. Africa goes with the flow.

So you may need to remind me. This is Africa.

Here’s what happened. We heard rumblings of a “camp” this weekend that we might be helping at. Ok, cool. We can play a game or something. No biggie.

And by “helping”, it actually means that we are going to spend the next two nights (Friday and Saturday) at a campground with over 80 kids and we are TOTALLY IN CHARGE of a weekend retreat.

Well. This is Africa.

So right now, as I’m writing, the team is sitting around the table and trying to decide what games to play, what crafts to do, and pretty much how to make sure 80 African kids have an awesome time for 48 hours.

I’m tired just thinking about it.

But I bet it will be awesome. After all, this is Africa.

We’re tired today. Adria and I have spent about 30 hours editing an auto mechanic curriculum manual. Yeah, two days ago I didn’t know a gearbox from a chassis, and now I do. I’ll fix your car if it breaks. But I’ll be honest, I definitely am more skilled with manual gearboxes than automatic. So just take that into consideration.

The job creation project here in Khayelitsha is starting a training school for young men — teaching them how to repair all sorts of cars. Elijah, the local man who works in the car shop for African Leadership, has written the book that will be their training guide.

Challenge #1: He is from Malawi. So he speaks English as a second language.

Challenge #2: Did I already mention that he tried to write a book in English?

Solution #1 and #2: Meet Annie and Adria. They edit books for a living in the United States. So for the last four days, we’ve been editing a book about a topic we don’t really know (cars) written by a guy who speaks English as a second language.

And the hilarity ensued.

But the book is done. Yay! The rest of the team worked their fingers to the bone (I think that’s a weird saying) finishing up the rest of the preschool. All that is left for tomorrow is to finish painting the outside of the preschool and then paint the walls inside. It looks beautiful – I can’t wait to show you. Video to come Sunday.

Speaking of, I hope you enjoyed the videos yesterday. Ernie did a great job. I hope you cried. As for our “day in the life” video, I just hope you smiled. And maybe laughed. Cause we sure did.

We head out of town tomorrow and won’t be back until Sunday afternoon. So that will be our next opportunity to blog. Sorry to leave you for a couple of days, but after all, this is Africa.

~ Annie

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