Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sports Day

Yesterday, Hoohlo Primary school had sports day. But this was not like a sports day in the UK just for the school. Children from 14 primary schools around Maseru competed against each other in athletics. The winners go through to a bigger competition next week. Most of the events were running races and almost every child ran barefoot.

We needed a place big enough for everyone to fit in, so we went to the national stadium. Some of the children from school who were not competing came along to cheer on their classmates.

All our students did very well and were given big cheers in assembly this morning. Some of them won their events, so they get to compete again next Friday. Fingers crossed for them!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Standard 5’s School Trip

This Thursday, Standard 5 children had a day out at the Lesotho Durham link to learn about pondlife and food chains.

To learn about food chains and ecosystems the children played a game. They each had a card with a picture of a plant, animal or insect on it and all died off one by one, to show how they all depend on each other for survival. One of the children in the class, Relebohile Molise, wanted to tell you about it:

“We were playing the game about animals which eat other animals, insects which eat other insects and plants which get food from the sun.” 

“Then we caught the animals which live in the water and put them in containers with water. We drew the animal we had caught and answered questions about it.

 “We learnt a lot about insects. I enjoyed it and would like to go back to the river.”

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Looking After the Environment

Friday was Moshoeshoe Day, a national holiday to celebrate the life of the first king of Lesotho, Moshoeshoe 1. He was the man who brought different tribes together in the 1800s to form the nation of Lesotho.

At school, most children and teachers were given the day off, but some chose to come into school for an environment day. You have probably been learning about climate change at school: it’s the same here. Some of the causes and effects of climate change are different here to those in the UK – you would be more likely to ride in a car or go on holiday on a plane, but also more likely to recycle. People in Lesotho reuse some rubbish, but don’t recycle anything. Most rubbish gets burnt or dumped. The children in Hoohlo primary are learning about how climate change is caused and how it has affected their country.

So last Friday, some of the children at school asked members of the local community in to talk to them about why it is important to look after the environment. We were joined by children and staff from 2 other schools in Maseru. The children led a march through the local village of Ha Hoohlo, singing and picking up litter. They showed people how they could help the environment by planting trees and making fire bricks to cook with from old paper, rather than burning leftover pieces of cloth from the factories.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Non-uniform Day

Just like in Wales, sometimes children in Lesotho have a non-uniform day to raise funds for the school. Last week, children could come dressed in their own clothes if they brought in 1 Maloti (about 10p) to help pay for the cost of sports day. Sports day will be held later this month. The children were very excited about the day and some even made their own accessories to wear.

Namoqaboko, a girl in Standard 5, said they had all dressed up “because we want to support our school. We are not paying school fees (primary school here is free to attend, but children have to pay to go to secondary school). I like wearing my own clothes and would like to be wearing private clothes every Friday”.

This week the school had an Ash Wednesday service to mark the start of Lent. Hoohlo Primary is an Anglican school, so the local Anglican vicar and her two deacons came to the school to take the service. Towards the end, everyone queued up to get the sign of the cross marked on their foreheads in ash.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Yum Yum!

School dinners in Lesotho are very different to school dinners in Wales. There are no sausages, pasta or curries. Each day of the week has a set meal, so the children always know what they will have. The dinners are made from traditional Basotho dishes, and are very filling to give the pupils lots of energy for their afternoon lessons.
Monday’s dinner is pap and moroho, Tuesday’s dinner is bread and pea soup, Wednesday’s is pap and moroho again, Thusday’s is samp and beans and Friday’s is pap and milk. This picture above is of pap and milk.
Pap is a food made from maize meal that is eaten with many different foods, often chicken or chopped vegetables. It doesn’t really taste of much, is cheap and full of carbohydrates. Moroho is chopped and boiled cabbage – this tastes nicer than it sounds! Samp is dried corn kernels. You can see it in the picture.

All the school meals are free and the dinner ladies (called caterers or ‘the Bomme’ here) bring the food into the classroom where it is served. Most of the pupils eat with their hands, but if they want to use a fork or spoon, they bring it in from home.