Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Team Journal ~ January 26

January 26, 2011

Written by: Volunteer Carol

Quote for the Day: “If I am through learning, I’m through.” ~ Coach John Wooden

After a cold shower my brains freeze and I volunteer to write the GV Journal of the day. Breakfast is lovely with the addition of light, delicious pancakes.

Edward makes sure we know what our assignments are and we walk to school at 8:00. Each of us follows our given assignment and most of us appear at 10:10 for Tea in the Teacher Lounge seemingly in great shape. Personally, it is a pleasure to sit down, drink tea, eat fried dough, and gather my strength and wits for the next couple of hours of helping out.

Connie Randolf and I helped out in Form I English classes between 8:15 and 10:10. Each class had between 70-80 students. The kids behaved excellently. The teacher was a good teacher, but looked like he was flying by the seat of his pants. It turned out that the computer teacher was filling in for an absent English teacher.

At tea when asked for comments I said, “I am truly impressed with all of you, (teachers) and your students for being so well behaved. I give all of you so much credit for the wonderful job you are doing.”

After tea, Connie and I go into another Form I English class. It is much smaller, only about 45-50 students. The young man teaching the class looks like one of the students. He is wearing a white t-shirt and he doesn’t seem to know anything about the lesson. He checks his cell phone and after 20 minutes he leaves. He says, “I am a From VI chemistry teacher and have to go there now.” Connie and I don’t know what to do, so we go to the 2nd Headmaster. After a short conversation with him we go back to the class and together Connie and I teach the class. We finish off the morning in a Form II class, orally giving them a Practice Final exam.

I trudge up the hill looking forward to Nesia’s lunch and I am not disappointed.

At lunch I give my team members a slip of paper and ask them for the highlights of their day for this report. Here they are:

Don III – Mirrored Mr. Sakoki, math instructor, in Forms II and IV. He helped with an introduction to Trigonometry. He also had a long conversation in Spanish with one of the local Roman Catholic Franciscan priests.

Katie – The best part of today was students’ insatiable curiosity and friendliness. They have a hunger to know me and America, and I had a great cultural exchange when some students overcame their fear of ‘wasungu’ (fear of white people and Americans). They ate ugali and beans with me and some of the teachers. It was a moment of great community.

Mickey - I typed a history synopsis of World War I in the morning. In the afternoon I pulled weeds in the garden and then went to the secondary school to teach Spanish.

Don I – I taught in Form II Chemistry. It is old fashioned and the teacher spoke in Swahili. I did a fruitless search for the Periodic Tables in the library and the Chemistry Lab. I discussed cleaning the solar cells with the headmaster. I also tutored Form III and Form IV Chemistry students.

Connie – Helped Adriane teach English through a mapping exercise to large classes to many children with no pencils or unsharpened ones and no sharpener. A class with a Chemistry teacher filling in for English was not so successful. A small group for conversational English was much more fun. Don III acting as my faithful lantern holder so I could write this journal entry by the warmth of the fireplace was nice.

Carol- My small group for conversational English was great fun. I showed them pictures of my family, we talked about the animals they have seen, and just enjoyed each other.

Edward personally invited us to a special treat after teaching. He took us to Ashanti Kentucky where we enjoyed a drink of our choice and quiet conversation.

Nesia out did herself with dinner. We had perfectly steamed rice with a mixture of green beans, carrots, tomatoes and onion to put over it. There was also chicken, lovely bitter greens and guacamole. Mango for dessert was perfect.

A short meeting to make sure we know what our duties are for tomorrow finish off the formal day.

As I sit here writing this, the others sit around the table and discuss lesson plans for tomorrow. It reminds me of days around the dining room table doing homework with my sons. I smile thinking how full our days are and what a wonderful experience this is. I would say we’re not through!