CatoManor 3

How does Outdoor Classroom Day work in densely populated areas of low-cost and informal housing? Just fine, thanks.

A wonderful afternoon with Umkhumbane Schools Project in Cato Manor, Durban, proved the point.

“Do you know what an insect is?”, “Have you ever seen an insect?”, “What insects do you know?”, “What do you think of insects?” The answers made it clear some of the kids had not even thought about thinking about insects.

Then they got a chance to stroke my enormous pet hawk moth caterpillar, to hold it, look it in the eye, they were both thrilled and ‘grilled’ (an Afrikaans word that means exactly the sort of shudder you get from a close encounter with an insect).



CatoManor 2By the time we went outside to hunt for some insects in the school yard, they were totally excited. They whooped with joy when they caught an ant. Or a common house fly. One boy found a lovely stinging caterpillar, and so won for his school a copy of What Insect Are You, kindly donated by a member of Hillcrest Conservancy.