A few weeks ago, Orban Grade 7 pupils exhumed the time capsules they buried in Grade 1 – with many surprises. Some content was entirely consumed by water, soil and insects, but there were also treasures: letters from a teacher or friend, a forgotten toy and even some coins.
The tradition was started 10 years ago by our Grade 1 teachers. Time capsules containing a letter by the learner, a message by the teacher, a small toy, a newspaper article that highlights an issue of the day and some grocery slips are placed in watertight containers and traditionally buried by one of our ground staff, Mr.Bright Ndima. At first, all sorts of watertight containers were used: tin/ glass/ plastic, but we found tin erodes and not durable enough. A sealed glass bottle works best, as plastic can get very brittle.
Mr Ndima keeps track of where each year’s capsules are buried. He digs a hole between the hall and the parking lot, then all Grade 1’s place their capsules inside and he closes it up again. 6 years later, in Grade 7, children have a special ceremony where they exhume their capsules themselves. Mr Ndima opens the hole and extracts each capsule one by one.
The excitement when a child retrieves his/her time capsule cannot be described. “Stunning children, teachers and school! Thank you for a special ritual that will never be forgotten” says parent Karin Steyn.
A lot happens in 6 years and we are often surprised at the news items trending at the time and the reasonable price of groceries back then! We sometimes discover secret letters to a friend or teacher. “It was very interesting to see how children reacted when they saw what they put in their time capsules. Most of us couldn’t remember if we added a toy or not and some of us even found old coins that we completely forgot about.” – Melodie Viljoen, Grade 7 pupil.
Time capsules remain a very special and emotional ceremony for Grade 7 pupils who will soon leave our nurturing environment for High School, but we are sure they will find comfort in strong friendships formed during their time at Orban School.