Notes from the Field: Life in Langa


Josh Elder, 2010 Teach with Africa fellow, is a 7th and 8th grade teacher of Life Sciences at KIPP Philadelphia Charter School. Photo by Greg Lumley.

Today marks Day 4 of Living in Langa.

Each morning I wake up at 6:00 AM and get ready for the day. My host family consists of a grandmother, her two daughters, and the two granddaughters. The family is incredible. They are extremely generous and a pleasure to talk to.

It feels as if I am home with my family.

It is easy to see the family values education, with the two youngest granddaughters striving to get an exceptional education. I leave the house around 7:00 AM and walk to where the LEAP bus picks up the learners in the morning.

The bus ride is about 15-20 minutes depending on traffic in the mornings. The first class begins at 8:15. I am teaching in a Grade 9,10,11 class and observing my mentor teacher in her Grade 12 class. I have learned different classroom management styles, and experimented with different ways to teach lessons and conduct labs.

The last class finishes at 5:15 and then we go straight to the bus to take it to Langa. The ride home sometimes is longer due to traffic. I get dropped off at the same bus stop and then go home.

I cannot thank TWA enough for giving us the opportunity to be able to experience living in the township and connecting with our students on a deeper level.

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