In which Emily makes some magic happen

It’s been about a month, and I have covered some ground! The two biggest things that occurred since last writing are GRS and vacation.

GRS!

What is GRS? It stands for Grassroot Soccer, and it is an organization based out of Cape Town that teaches youth about important issues like gender equality, HIV prevention, and more through soccer.  GRS is a wonderful partner to Peace Corps, and supports PCVs by providing training in how to teach GRS curricula.  In August I brought a Masotho friend of mine named Sketchaz to the GRS workshop to learn the GRS SKILLZ Girl curriculum.  SKILLZ Girl is the GRS program that teaches girls about gender equality. Soccer is very popular in Lesotho but traditionally male-dominated, so combining soccer practice with life skills lessons can be empowering to young women. I invited Sketchaz to be my GRS counterpart because she, like me, is a young volunteer passionate about social issues facing Basotho youth. Sketchaz was a rock star at the workshop, as expected, and this week we embark on our first 12-week intervention with a group of 20 high school girls.

GRS is all about having fun and high energy. Here are some pictures of us from the workshop:

11259508_1616091358665020_2809160392381336394_n

The group doing a ‘kilo’, which is a personalized cheer

11880629_1616090851998404_2252574004569009291_n

Being dramatical in a skit about abstinence

11889641_1616091581998331_5729672874035806918_n

Cheering for our team

11896225_1616091535331669_5675460597051603839_n

Doing an energizer activity

Showing off my soccer skillz

Showing off my soccer skillz

The following week I jetted off (and by jetted off I mean rode in a taxi for 8 hours, then took an overnight bus) to Cape Town for vacation.  After some usual travel snafus I met up with my good friend Susanna to head up to McGregor, South Africa to attend the McGregor Poetry Festival. I am a fan of poetry but had never listened to so much in such a short amount of time, and never in such a picturesque setting.  McGregor is in the wine lands just to the north of Cape Town, and generally considered an artists’ colony.  Susanna and I heard lots of different poetry, some in English, some in Afrikaans, some in Zulu, in gardens, an old church, a cozy library, and other visually stunning locations.  Being in South Africa feels a bit like returning to America because of how modern everything is.  That being said, it definitely has its own flavor and mix of cultures.

Me in McGregor

Me in McGregor