The Gryphons Abroad team tell us about the second day of teaching the children how to both ride and maintain a bike.
Today saw the second day of bicycle training at Mnyakanya High School. The students were super keen to get started, and were waiting patiently for us in the classroom as we arrived. We set up swiftly and the team delivered some warm up games including the much loved, age-irrelevant domes and dishes. We then split into groups determined on the students’ ability to ride and started our session. It’s amazing how quickly 2 hours passes when you see the ever increasing standards of cycling and abilities of the students; from those who could not ride a bike yesterday being able to cycle over 10 meters today. Even individuals that could ride were able to head down to the road to learn some vital new skills including extremely important road cycling signals to other drivers and intricate bike handling manoeuvres to utilise whilst riding on the tough terrain of Nkandla.
Bike maintenance is coming on a treat, with the students all enjoying learning new skills including puncture repair, wheel change and basic brake maintenance which will be imperative for them to be able to maintain their bicycles once we are back in the UK.
It’s incredible to watch these students learning skills that we take for granted, and to see them already showing off their newly gained talents to their friends at break times.
One of the highlights of this trip has been being able to witness the development of the children we have been working with. Yesterday was the first day at Mnyakanya high school and we ended the day by getting all the kids onto a bike, some were already able to cycle, others picked it up really quickly yet there were some kids that struggled. Today we began the day by getting all the kids straight onto the bikes, it was amazing to see the progress that was made in such a small amount of time and the pure enjoyment on the kids faces.
I am having the most amazing time out here and could not ask to be with a better group of people. The group works so well together and each and every one of us have gained so many skills and really improved our leadership over the course of our time here. The whole experience is going way too quickly, and I cannot believe we will be home in a week.
The second day at Mnyakanya was brilliant, the children were split into groups of ability and I was working with the beginners group. The children were so determined to learn to ride a bike and this enthusiasm was carried though to our team. The whole day was rewarding for the children but more so, for us as a team. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the children at this school and this has been a total opposite to the week before.
The children here really are amazing, they are so enthusiastic and determined in everything they do, which for me has been somewhat inspiring. I have learnt so much already on this trip but the drive that the children have, particularly the students in Mnyankanya (many of whom have very little), has really made me contemplate my own way of thinking. We came here to help teach the children of Eshowe and Mnyankanya but in reality we are learning so much from them too. Day two at Mnyankanya was just as special as every other day has been. We split the students into groups of beginners, intermediate level cyclists and advanced. It is amazing to be able to teach them a skill that many of us have had since we were very young and to see them constantly progressing in that skill is even better! I am so ready to get back out there today and to have some very confident cyclists by the end of it!
Find out more about the project and apply to be part of the team for next year on the Gryphons Abroad Webpage.