Right- where to start? It's been such a busy few weeks with lots of things happening. As I mentioned in my last post, Riette took us camping to Mount Etjo the weekend before last, which proved to be amazing and memorable for various reasons. Our camping spot looked right onto a watering hole so we spent hours just sitting and watching warthogs and oryx wandering down to drink before eating a delicious buffet dinner (impala sausages, anyone?!) and then going to the lion feed. After sitting in a hide in complete darkness for a while, we suddenly heard the sound of feet pounding the ground and 5 huge male lions bounded in and began ripping at the meat that had been left for them. They were so majestic and the sight and sound of them, especially in such close proximity (literally a few metres), was a real experience that I won't forget in a hurry! That night we settled down in our tent for our first night in the bush, only for Micaela to be woken up a few hours later by something pawing at her through the side of the tent. She woke me up and we lay in complete terrified silence while unknown creatures padded around and grunted outside, occasionally pawing us or throwing handfuls of dirt at the tent. At 6.00am, having been awake since 3.30, it had stopped so we decided to brave a peek outside the tent and immediately saw our attackers drinking at the watering hole: baboons! So much for the lions and hyenas running illogically through my mind! So despite it being the most terrifying night of my life (it was also Halloween night, rather appropriately!), it all ended well and we now have a hell of a story to tell! The dinosaur footprints we visited the next day were interesting but not quite able to compete with being ambushed by baboons in the night!
On Wednesday of the next week I remember-remembered that it was the 5th of November and told Riette and Hermien all about Guy Fawkes Night and how we often have fireworks and sparklers at home. So, we decided to build our own bonfire and have a Namibian bonfire night! We burned some wood and old papers and added a Namibian twist by drinking cocktails and cooking stokbrood (bread dough wrapped around sticks) and marshmallows over the coals. We rounded off the night with some sparklers which reminded me of home in the best way possible- I felt so ridiculously happy!
Since the last post we've also had the prize-giving ceremony, which was nerve-wracking for us as our G6s were performing 'Don't Stop Believing' and we'd only run through it with both classes together about twice! Luckily, it went really, really well and we were so proud of them. We had so many lovely compliments on it too, and even a request from a teacher to perform it the next day in assembly! Even now, weeks later, not a day goes by without us hearing "just a small town girl" coming from somewhere- even from the G7s (who learnt a different song) and G4s (who we don't even teach!). We were also lucky enough to attend the Grade 7 Farewell- a meal and dance to celebrate the end of primary school. Everyone looked beautiful and had a good time, so we were glad to have been a part of it.
School-wise, everyone is slowly making their way to the end of the year. We've been hard at work pulling marks together for all our classes so that we can grade them, and next week is full of exams for the upper primary. We're both scheduled to invigilate 3 each- a monumentally boring task but necessary! Because school finishes so early we're making the most of Christmassy activities now- we've been playing Christmas music in lessons and I've set up a Christmas card postbox in the library for students to send cards to each other. A few days last week saw the library packed with children of all ages making Christmas cards- a really nice sight to see! Next week I plan to don a santa hat and make my way round the classrooms handing them out, which should be fun.
In keeping with the Christmas theme, I've been invited to play the piano for a small choir that Riette is part of at her church. Only one rehearsal in so far, but I'm really enjoying the opportunity to play and to meet new people. I've also been getting back into practising the trumpet, as Riette wants me to accompany the congregation on some of the hymns at the same concert. All very exciting, here's hoping I can do it justice!
This has been a very long post- so much has been happening! It's the final countdown to the end of term, then we've got lots of exciting travels planned- Etosha with the Tses boys before setting off on our Christmas holidays- working our way down Namibia and ending up in Cape Town.
Miss Corinna signing off!