When Tariro was a toddler, we would take him to Oude Molen to feed the horses and when he was 4 years old, he told us he wanted to attend Gaia Waldorf School.
In January 2010, Tariro commenced his journey in the kindergarten class with teachers Rowena and Mamoeti. Tariro remembers a lot of time for play in the early years. He nurtured many friendships in the small playground, with the resident pigs Miss Milly May and Sebastian idling outside the gate, and with the aroma of freshly baked bread in the air. He also loved playing in the old treehouse at the Millstone.
Tariro developed an important relationship, at this time, with his Eurythmy teacher, Elizabeth Kotzuba. He enjoyed spending time with her and blossomed in her care. She would refer to him affectionately as “tender Tariro” and we were saddened by her passing years later.
At the big school we met Kristal, a young enthusiastic woman who was to become his new Teacher. One of the many highs during these Primary School years include the amazing gardens the children created in Class Three. At home he would offer gardening advice (he seemed quite knowledgeable too) but actual farming was reserved for school and working under John O’s eye. The class camps were another highlight and it seemed like he was hooked after the first camp to Bloublommetjies. Spring Fairs have always been very enjoyable with interesting crafts, treats and connections.
Gaia has encouraged Tariro’s creativity and confidence. While he saves most of his drawing for school, he loves music and sings and dances at home with no inhibitions. We have loved his school books so much that we have kept them and are taking them with us. We appreciate that Kristal has been attentive to his development and it has been reassuring to know that he has a caring, inspired teacher.
Aftercare has been a space for him to make friends with older as well as younger children, especially important for Tariro as an only child. We are grateful to teachers Nombulelo and Yolanda and for the care and support they have given him during his time there.
A few years ago Tariro said he never ever wanted to leave Gaia and wanted to stay at his school forever. However, over the years he has seen other children come and go. He is now curious about what it means to experience a new school and to help him with this transition we have chosen another Waldorf School. Roseway Waldorf School is set up on a hill near the Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu-Natal, and this is where he will commence Class Six in 2016.
We are stepping into a new adventure as a family and this excites and terrifies us simultaneously. We do expect to be visiting Cape Town quite often and we will help Tariro to nurture and sustain the friendships he has developed here.
Tariro chose wisely. Thank you to Gaia and especially Kristal for providing him with a safe, stable and stimulating environment.
Alex Daniels and Mario Pissarra