Friday, October 19, 2007

Although I gave been gone from my home for one week and the actual journey began then, today is the first day that I felt I had finally arrived. The flights, the ground travel and all the distance we covered ended on Monday evening. Then we began to meet people and plan and interact with the local people in Ipalamwa. We even observed and assisted in the class rooms yesterday. But today I went into full gear.
My classes are English classes, and the students are so eager to learn. Perhaps it is because they realize that whether they ever reach college or university level classes, language is something they can always use. At any rate, it is certainly great to teach students that are so eager and courteous and well behaved. The teacher I am working with is equally enthusiastic. He has indicated that he is hoping to use the strategies I am using after I leave.
Bill, Roger and Yasmin have also started teaching. Their classes are in civics, mathematics and computers. Yasmin’s schedule seems to be fairly well set. Bill and Roger are still working out these scheduling problems. I suspect by Monday everything will fall into place.
About noon today I had the opportunity to visit the clinic that is connected to our rooms and dining area. The young doctor, or clinician, as he explained to me, spent some time talking to me and showing me his office and work spaces. I was shocked at some of the things he told me. The clinic gets no funds from any source other than what the patients can afford to pay. There is no money for medicine or supplies. He and the nurse might not get a salary for months at a time. And yet he stays and hopes for an improvement in the current situation. The high I was feeling from my teaching experience was partially gone due to the medical situation in the village.
When evening came we were once again headed for Mama Toni’s kitchen to help with last minute details in preparation for dinner. When all was ready, we ate as if we had not had any food all day, or at least I did. And I think Mohammed did also. I’m not sure about the others. I was too busy eating to notice. The beg treat tonight was homemade doughnuts. Delicious.
After dinner we had a very brief meeting to discuss tomorrow’s activities. We played Boogle for a short period of time; but it was not a late night. We are headed for another long day tomorrow and rest and sleep are a must. And now, I am of to sleep.

Thought For The Day:

“I encourage you to ride this strange wind that is blowing through you; to ride it to wherever it will carry you. The work is changing in front of your eyes. Move forward, all dreams continue in the beyond.” (Y. Nestlen)