book shopping sprees, buckets of paint, and the birth of Super Bear

First of all, beyond overflowing gratitude for everyone in my life who donated to our online fundraiser...we reached even beyond our goal, and with that moolah we will be purchasing some new computers for our library, as well as an abundance of new shiny books for our lil happy bookworms.

In fact, we took our library monitors on a book shopping spree just the other day. If you want to know what happiness looks like, this is it.

In addition to completing the auditions and casting for Romeo and Juliet (!!), I have printed the first couple batches of our literary magazine! Finally, my old school style zine-making skills are coming in handy.

The magazine (The Paterson Poet's Society) features poetry and artwork from some of our most creative students. Since having handed them out to students and faculties, I have had more poetry and art submissions flooding in everyday...some students are so shy, they just hand me artwork and immediately run away.

Some of the students only write poetry in Afrikaans, which has really encouraged me to practice...(fok, ja ons doen dit!)

In my free time, I have been painting a lot. The Xhosa Walls live art event at the ArtEC Gallery was definitely an liberating experience with me...it was one of my first times painting something larger than myself, and I'm full-on addicted now. And to create in a room surrounded by other local artists definitely reminded me of the classic Whytestone Art Party days.

Zifumane okutsha ngokuzoba. (Rediscover yourself through drawing.)

^ Another painting I've been working on, of my friend Luna...I'm going to be pumping out portraits of my friends because I'm so damn tired of painting my own face.

Also exciting: I took my Eco-Warrior environmental club kids on a fieldtrip to the Waste Trade Company depot to learn about recycling! (They are just too adorable in their protective masks)

I have to say, I'm falling more and more in love with these kids everyday. Right now, we are in the middle of exams, so we open the library open so they can have time to study and relax before they dive into their tests. After their exams they return to the library to play cards, draw pictures, and watch the top ten soccer goals on youtube (yes! one of our computers has internet!) We also have some serious MS Paint wizards, and when Super Bear was created, we printed out like ten copies and colored them all.

As I colored my Super Bear I thought to myself, wow, life as a Fulbright scholar is pretty tough

Love, light, & fire

(PS ~ One of my posts was also totally published on the Fulbright Student Blog. You can check it out here.)