Saturday, June 2, 2012

last school visit island-side

I loved doing teacher training.  Whenever anyone asked me about it I would always respond it was my heart.  And it is; to work together, learn from, train, encourage, and support teachers.  Of course there are different challenges everywhere but I know how difficult their jobs are whether they teach in Africa or Chicago.  I am so going to miss spending the day at local schools touring classrooms, hearing about the programs, the struggles, the successes, and singing and being silly with these beautiful watoto.  This cold (ok so that is a relative term) and rainy morning we spent at a local government nursery school.
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super creative ideas made from local materials.......my favorite was a "duka" (store) where the kids can play that they are buying items available in every duka on the island and ask "how much?" etc. Oh, also I giggled when I saw the cheap, shady local single serve gin boxes re-purposed for a matching color game.....nothing goes to waste.
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the second year nursery class
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teaching some silly songs and learning some great Kiswahili ones
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my little assistant
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The Mama in charge of cooking the "school lunch" of uji (porridge)
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serving it up to each class (I love the woman's henna)......Evy made sure she got some
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The teachers share that there are many challenges the they face; some systemic, some cultural, and some because teaching well is wicked hard.  It is overwhelming and easy to just give up even trying.  But every time we spent time with teachers and students we knew it was time well spent.  At the end of every visit to a school we gave some parting words telling the kids how important it is to thank our parents for sending us to school and to thank our teachers every day for the work they do (the teachers loved this part).  Not everyone has the opportunity to go to school and in this part of the world they know that is very true.  It is blessing and above all we thank God for providing everything in our lives.  These kids and teachers are in my prayers as they continue to learn and love and grow together,
RoxanneSignature

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