This week will be my eighth week in Rwanda, my first full week of model school, and I will be celebrating my 23rd birthday on Wednesday! We started model school last week and it was quite the experience. Walking into a classroom of 40 students is pretty intimidating and it took all of my courage not to just walk out when they all sat there staring at me. Luckily my partner and I had decided to teach together for the first three days because our original lesson plan was an epic failure and it took both of us working frantically for two hours to come up with activities on the fly. We had planned our first topic to be on introductions but the activities we had planned turned out to be too complicated for students who are conditioned from a young age to only copy notes for a majority of the class period. The next few days were better since we had a better idea of what level activities we could use but it was still a challenge. It was really interesting because our students had a really hard time conversing in English, but at one point when we asked them to generate a list of words for each letter in the alphabet we saw words like immunity, virus, solar energy, and ambidextrous. I think main challenge in Rwanda is that students know all the vocabulary but they don’t know how to use them together to speak. This presents a unique challenge when trying to lesson plan, especially since the classes are so large which makes oral activities tricky to orchestrate. Another note on model school is that I always finish the day completely coated in chalk and I now find myself planning outfits based on what would look best covered in chalk dust. I have dreams about white boards. Oh how my life has changed over the course of 8 short weeks!