I cannot believe that we are already in the last term of 2010, with only a month left to go!  Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori has been a hive of activity and our prepared environment and our children are developing amazingly!

In September 2010, Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori hosted a Transkei Pre-schools workshop weekend.  We invited the pre-school teachers from Mdumbi Education Centre, from Coffee Bay Christian Comprehensive School, from Zitulele, from Lubanzi and from Bulungula.  Our guest speakers were Sam Streak from Port Elizabeth Montessori and Dr Margo de Koker.

Our Saturday started with a visit to Tuppy & Noen Trouw, where we were given the opportunity of seeing traditional Xhosa beadwork from 50 years ago.  All the teachers mouths dropped open at the incredible beadwork  they were seeing!!  We then headed up the hill to Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori, where 5 of our children were waiting to show the traditional teachers how a Montessori environment operates.

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Dawn and Tobelani doing a 3-period lesson at the workshop

Sam Streak then gave a very interesting talk on the universal characteristics of  the young child.  This was followed by Dr de Koker’s very informative talk on children’s ailments and germ spreading and she kindly left us with many super practical tips and practices!

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Listening to Dr de Koker talking about worms in children – hence the expression!

We all learnt things at the workshop, we all had fun and it was great to share stories with each other!

During September we also had 2 visitors from the Mail & Guardian newspaper. They were doing a Fairtrade in Tourism story on Coffee Shack Backpackers, but Ben and Lisa also came and spent some of the morning with us at school and asked us questions and took photos.  On 20 September 2010, Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori was featured in the Mail & Guardian!

October brought a new child to our school,  Aluvuyo Cwithi.  He had been sitting outside our fence for a few days and after speaking to his mother, we welcomed him to Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori.  He is 6-years old and is a very lively little boy.  He is happily adapting into his new secure environment.  We currently have 11 full time children and 2 part time children.

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Aluvuyo Cwithi packing the red cylinders away, always the biggest one first!

October also brought Jakob and Bruun to Coffee Shack.  Jakob had been to Coffee Bay in March and after his visit here, he went back to Holland and told his partner Bruun all about it.  They operate an organisation in Holland called Stichting Obonto www.stichtingobonto.nl

I connected well with Jakob and Bruun from day 1 – we were just always speaking the same language (although they are Dutch) and somehow on the same page too!  After visits to the school and many many chats, some over red wine others not,  Stichting Obonto very kindly donated R3000 to Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori, so that we can build a kitchen in which to prepare our childrens’ meals. Thank you very much for this!  It is going to change our life!  I do believe that we have started something very special with these guys and I look forward to our future relationship!

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Josh, Sonwabise and Esona during work cycle
Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Siya with Sound Cylinders, Kyan and Kaya painting, Nopesnuka passing in front.

There are a few things in the pipeline for Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori and I will share those with you next time.

Happy days from Dawn and the abantwanas x

The last quarter of 2010!
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