Africa_ The People- Rich R

December 19, 2008 at 9:56 pm 4 comments

Parts One two threefour fivesix seven
ED NOTE: You can also access all the articles by clicking on Africa on the sidebar

I can’t believe my eyes and ears. I am standing there in front of Capetonians. A mix of people. A lot of them, I find out are Muslim. What an education this was going to become.

Our shift was 2:30 – 11:00. I wasn’t quite used to that time-frame for work as it had been a couple months since I worked evenings, let alone the time difference from the US to here! Six hours to be exact. I was tired from the trip, excited from my upcoming experience and awaiting to learn and experience as much as possible.

First on the agenda, of course, is they wanted to know all about me and my family.

Mentioning that my wife and I were going to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary in late November, they applauded! Then, when I told them I had three children, a daughter married and 2 sons that were single; the questions started to fly. The majority of the girls in the class sat up straight in their chairs. Wanting to know everything I could tell them about my sons…the important things – age, what they looked like, and of course what kind of jobs they had! Me, not thinking at first, gave them as much information as they needed to know.

They applauded when they heard my daughter was a specialist in animal eye care, amazed that a woman could get that far. They really had no concept of where Ohio was, let alone other information about the US that I discussed when they asked me about traveling. All they wanted was to hear more and more about me, my family and my life.

When I told them I had taught high school for 35 years, again a round of applause.

Family and education seem to be very important to these young people. On the family part, I’m not sure because, the 2nd night of class, a lot of the girls came “dressed to the 9’s”…including dresses, heels and jewelry. Smiling from ear to ear. One up front even mentioned about a girl in the back of the class who was going to be my ‘future daughter-in-law”. Some of the agents and I laughed but some were serious.

Calling on their names to have them introduce and tell about themselves was quite difficult…especially trying to pronounce the “traditional” names….some were easy and then the list grew…..I will only mention first names for their sakes!
The easy ones? Renaldo, Felix, Amanda, Dudley, Samantha, Brenda, Fortunate and Linda.

Then the traditional names came through: Nadeema, Aneesah, Thandokazi, Nosiphiwo, Whafieka, Ruwayda, Zandile, Tembisa, Sisa, Sharrol and Bukeka. Those aren’t that difficult but…when I hit the last names; let’s put it this way, there was a lot of laughter.

I learned that they loved me laughing at my mistakes and understood my frustrations at times.

Class went very quickly that night. All in all, it was a good night and I knew that I would have a good experience with them. The driver, John, was ready to “zip” us home that night. When I say “zip” ….we flew at ground level. The lights of Cape Town were like diamonds in the sky. Cargo ships in the harbor, tall buildings, lights of the freeway.
Getting back to the hotel was a ‘blessing’. That night, I slept quite well.

Entry filed under: Africa, personal opinion, travel.

Green Christmas ( Card) OUR KELLY ( Sagert)- Extreme to the Max

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rich Robbin  |  December 20, 2008 at 2:16 am

    Now I begin my amazing journey with the wonderful people of TeleTech, Cape Town as well as the Capetonians. A part of my life I will never forget! Please enjoy and let me know what you think. I dedicate this story to every one of them.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  December 20, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Rich I find this series so eye opening and it makes you think as well ….thank you for all your hard work on this Loraine

  • […] 20, 2008 ED NOTE: Within just a few houses I have Rich writing about his teaching experience in Africa and Kelly publishing another book Extreme Sports ( see below) – and an up coming E Book- Kelly […]

  • 4. fortunate  |  January 7, 2009 at 9:32 am

    this is great day….Because of the busy schedule, I must admit that I never really taken time to read the posting. We are busy with the ramp up.My current class is doing their first assessment, hence, I had an aopportunity to learn more regarding what dad wrote…it is so interesting…i just want to read more and more… By the way, Ian and Myself got our trienr certification in Dec. It was a great moment for me.

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December 2008

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