Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Now we are into our second week, and still meeting new people. The schedule is posted but my motto is “go with the flow.” Like this morning, we toured the Primary School with Mr. Kwaya, the headmaster and Mr. Joseph. This is a school with an enrollment of 400 students and 9 teachers. We visited first with the teachers in a “faculty” room, then individual classrooms. The staff was sitting behind piles of student notebooks, which they were correcting. Inside the classrooms students stood at attention responding in unison to Mr. Kwaya’s directions, their faces expressing sheer joy. I was very surprised to see them quickly volunteer when I asked, “What is your favorite subject?” Otherwise, they would hide their faces in their hands.
It was interesting comparing the two schools. In the primary school there were posters on the wall, CPR chart, parts of the body. Also, some books in the rooms. The most interesting teaching aid was small broken twigs and rocks used for counting.
At noon I went to Form 3 math. This class is new for me, but I do know some of the students from activities during the weekend. Because Mr. Evans did not show up, I engaged the students in conversation. From this discussion, I got a vague idea as to what they were doing in math, so I proceeded without a book on my own. My most creative idea was playing Hangman using geometric forms. Finally, at 12:35, Mr. Evans arrived.
In the afternoon, Mr. Mheni took us on a walk to another village. Along the way we met many local people. All seemed very happy to se us. On the way back Mr. Mheni treated us to cokes at a sit down restaurant. I was amazed that the proprietor could make change. We all appreciated Mr. Mheni’s genuine hospitality. Spending the afternoon with Mr. Mheni helped me to get to know him better and to learn more about this area and the school.
Personal observation: I have yet to see one behavior problem inside or outside the classroom.

Thought For The Day:
“Whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition: to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.” (Emerson)