Well, it's hard to believe but this is most probably going to be my last blog post from Omaruru before we leave next week. Today was the last day of school, which meant saying goodbye to the 500-odd kids I've come to know and love over the last year. There were hugs, songs and almost-tears; I really can't believe it's time to go and I can't put into words how much I'll miss these guys. They've been such nightmares in the classroom at times but they're all such kind, funny and, most especially, unique people who have made my year what it has been. To think that soon I won't be walking to school with the words "good morning ma'am" coming from all directions, or having small children who I don't even teach coming up to hug me as I walk down the verandas, or every day finding the same 2 G5s desperate to play snakes and ladders with me after school- even if it means waiting an hour for me to teach a piano lesson and go back to eat lunch... it's not something I want to spend too much time thinking about. I am, of course, looking forward to seeing my family and friends again- I literally can't wait to see them at the airport- but it's going to be just as hard leaving my new home here as it was saying goodbye to them and flying here in the first place.
Anyway, enough sentimentality, on with the news! The main news being- we survived Joseph! After all the blood (probably not, actually), sweat (definitely) and tears (almost, on many occasions), on Friday 24th July, OPS put on it's first ever school concert. With me on the piano and Micaela conducting, the G5s, 6s and 7s sang their hearts out and sounded amazing- I was so proud of them. What made me even prouder was seeing my 3 piano students- the ones who have stuck with me since term 1- each playing a little solo piece. To think that they had probably never touched a piano last year, and now they can read music (subject to concentration!) and play a proper tune- that makes me really happy. The concert ended with the standard rousing chorus of 'Don't Stop Believing'- who'd have thought it would literally become a school anthem- and we were then able to relax, knowing that the kids had pulled it off.
We've also had another few great trips: to Omaruru Game Lodge, where I was able to feed an elephant and touch its trunk, then last weekend we went camping at Erindi, another local game lodge. No baboons this time- just getting stuck on our game drive right in the middle of lion territory, when the jeep broke down... It was freezing at night but boiling during the day and we had a great time relaxing with the whole family. A lovely way to end off this year's travels!
And that's about it. Just a few learners left in the hostel now- we'll watch a movie with them tonight and repeat all the emotional goodbyes again with them tomorrow. Then we've got a week of muddling around, helping out with reports when we can, saying goodbye to the teachers, the hostel tannies and, worst of all, Riette, before the return journey and the final step of this adventure. Here we go!