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Hey all,

Here’s some pictures from various points in my trip so far. I would write more, but I’m encountering some technical difficulties at the internet cafe, AGAIN!

The trip is amazing. Harlan and I are about to go play basketball with some of our older students.

For more information, video and pictures, check out Shannon’s blog with Dramatic Need:

There’s so much I want to say, and no time to say it in. Literally.

Gotta go,

Samaya Hantlei

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First of all, I have no idea if Tsela tsweu is the right term for “good journey”, but that’s what the guidebook said it meant. It also said that it means “White road.” That seemed fitting a few weeks ago in Chicago when I was making this blog. I anticipated that the internet would be frustatingly slow to make one here. I was right. So, forgive me all you Sesotho speakers who are cringing at my blog name. If I could rename is I would give the blog the name “shop”, which means cool or good. Or “yebo” which means yes or certainly. Or “Ioba”, which means awesome.

Labeetz alacka ke Leah: my name is Leah.

Sesotho is a clicking language. It has been really fun to attempt the clicks for students with names like Qwa Qwa, (pronounced “click” la, “click” la). The kids are great here. They are really enthusiastic to learn ANYTHING. Right now we’re teaching theater at Thabang elementary, in the Ramalutsi township outside of Viljoenskroon (pronounced phil-yon-shkroon). The school is about a 10 minute drive from my host family, the Metsose’s. My host mom is name is Ponda, her husband is Remsa. Ponda is a teacher, Remsa is what they call a “deputy”, otherwise known as a vice principal, at Thabang Elementary.

There are pictures of all these things, but the internet here is too slow to upload any of them. They will arrive shortly, I hope.

Thabang Elementary is really understaffed. I’d been in the school before to work with The Children’s Monologues, but today was my first time there during school hours. It seemed like all day the students were outside playing soccer and chatting, because a lot of the time teachers just don’t show up for class.

(There are some really annoying Afrikaaners behind me playing video games and screaming intermittently. So, forgive me if this is short, I don’t know how much of this I can stand.

Wow. I am seriously restraining myself from punching one of them in the face.)

OK! So, where were we… yes…school. We led various exercises today, and they changed with each class. The first class was great. We did She-she-koo-le, which works really well to deal with the language barrier and get voices and bodies moving. Then we did some walking exercises, experimenting with leading with different body parts. That also worked well. We ended with a dance circle. These kids are amazing dancers. I did a little shimmying too.

As the day went on, the students got less and less focused. Half of the class seemed to be outside playing soccer at all times. They would show up periodically throughout class just to disrupt things. Despite all of the obstacles, the kids really loved what we were doing. They gave us African names. I am Bosu (pronounced with a lisp), which means “beautiful”. They named Harlan “promise”. I’m not sure what the word is for that, all I remember is a click.

In one of the classes we taught the kids to beat-box. After class we had a little cypher with some students on our way out. One of the girls, Latisha, from the first class, begged us to lead another exercise. Her teacher never showed up.

I’m falling in love with these kids. There’s Freddy, who’s in CM. He’s a natural leader. He is going to help us direct. There’s Pumela, who’s just awesome and enthusiastic. I felt bad for her today, she’s in the most frustrating class of students. She deserves better. The classes are usually composed of 40 students, which doesn’t help with the learning process at all.

Alright, I’m almost out of internet time. And, I have to get to CM rehearsal soon.

More later.

All my love,





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