Valerie Snijman: From South Africa to Winnemucca

Valerie Snijman: From South Africa to Winnemucca

By Chloe Rusconi Posted December 17, 2008

“I am not afraid of anything, I have been in some scary situations in South Africa, but ever since I was a child I was not afraid of anything,” said Valerie Snijman, an aide at Lowry.

She was in a private library in South Africa when the janitor let a man inside. He told her that he needed a lift and some money. She told him that her money was at her house and she lived 72 miles away. He wanted her to go to her house to get money but she kept her head and kept cool. By doing so, she was able to talk him out of it.

Mrs. Val is what the students call her at Lowry. Three and a half years is how long she has been a teacher, two at Lowry. “I was eager to see students getting on and improving t hemselves, ” said Mrs. Val on why she became an aide.

She would like to see students in uniforms if she had to change something about Lowry. In South African schools the students all wore uniforms because it makes everyone equal.

Mrs. Val was born in Durban, South Africa, which sits on the east coast. It is a big city, much bigger than Winnemucca.

“I don’t miss South Africa at all, I’ve been back three times, I love Winnemucca, I only miss the ocean,” Ms. Val said.

She came to the United States thirteen years ago. She and her husband were on a mission for their church and came to live with her son-in-law in Winnemucca. The most important thing in her life is her church. It keeps her grounded.

She doesn’t own a television because she says it is a time waster. Her favorite thing to do is read books; she likes to read about anthropology. One of her habits is eating potato chips, especially the crinkled kind. In ten years she sees herself retired, and maybe traveling. She would like to go to Ireland because her ancestors are from Ireland.

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