“This is Africa” – a saying stolen from the movie Blood Diamond that I’ve already started using to help remind myself when things get challenging.
Today was our first day of practice teaching and it was definitely a test in flexibility, as only three learners showed up! WorldTeach had advertised free holiday classes in the paper and on the radio and expected a much bigger turn out. While we spent most of the morning playing games, we estimated that the kids were about 3-4 grade levels behind Canadian standards.
The oldest student, Lucas, offered to take us to his ‘settlement’ after class to recruit kids for the rest of the week. So, we drove there and got out all together – it was a little shanti town. While I’ve heard about them, I’ve never seen or imagined anything like it. Straight out of a World Vision commercial, maybe worse because it was so urban. Little kids with extended bellies running around with bare feet, dirt/sand roads, tiny little tin buildings with plastic sheets on top to keep the rain out and big families sitting on the dirt eating out of a common bowl. This is Africa. Wasn’t at all prepared for it and can’t stop thinking about it. While we got a lot of stares, most people were eager to greet us and appeared receptive to the offer of free holiday classes. Telling them there would be games, candy (called ‘sweets’) and a certificate given at the end (certificates of any kind are very popular here), appeared to entice them. Hopefully, more students will show up tomorrow. The problem is the kids from this area don’t speak English very well which will make tomorrow’s lessons even more exciting if they show up.
Going to bed tonight extremely appreciative of what I have and looking forward to what tomorrow holds!