Joy and Frustration


I have made an effort to keep this blog relatively positive, but I also want to tell the truth. Here is the truth- sometimes this job is a lot harder than I imagined. Don’t get me wrong, this is a truly amazing experience and I love my life in Rwanda but lately teaching has been a bit of a struggle. This week the students have been extremely disobedient and unruly and when you add in all of the unplanned changes to the school schedule it has been pretty stressful. I am not really sure why the kids are so crazy this week but I can at least take solace in the fact that the local teachers have been struggling to control the kids this week as well. Maybe the excessive rain has something to do with it but they refuse to listen and I have never been more tempted to kick them out of class and into the pouring rain. My school doesn’t endorse corporal punishment like some schools here but they do kick students out into the rain. I have always felt really bad for those students until this week. Today I really wanted to send all my students to stand in the rain (and possibly some light hail) until they felt a sufficient amount of remorse for being so horrible. I of course did not resort to this method but it was sure tempting!

It has also been stressful because I discovered that one of my kids has epilepsy and I am pretty sure he doesn’t have medication for it. Today I saw another student helping him across the field, in the pouring rain in the middle of a class. It turns out he had a seizure during class and I now have two concerns. I am primarily worried about his health but I am also worried he is going to have an episode in my class. I like to think of myself as a pretty calm person during medical emergencies but the thought of my student convulsing on the floor of the classroom is slightly (extremely) terrifying!

Overall I really do love my students and I would like to believe (or else I wouldn’t be here) that I am making some sort of positive impact on them even if they don’t always listen and drive me crazy most of the time! 🙂


So, in an effort to make this a little more positive, here is some of that joy that was promised to you in the title!

– The nuns continue to be fantastic and I would be lost without them. They are currently rehearsing their favorite song from the movie Sister Act (I will follow Him) and I think it might have the makings for the best YouTube video ever…

– I have decided to participate in Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) this year as camp counselor. This camp bring girls from diverse rural villages together for a week of fun leadership and team building exercises while educating the girls on issues like healthy lifestyle choices, sexual education, and family planning. The goal of the program is to empower the girls and encourage them to embrace the idea that they can be leaders in their community while also building confidence and self-esteem. I will bring a Rwandan counterpart; most likely the social worker from the orphanage, and hopefully between 5 and 10 of my girls from Senior 2 will be selected as campers.

– I have been invited to visit my host parents this weekend and I am looking forward to seeing my parents and Thierry (and all the cute kiddos that live in that village)

– The other English teacher has an adorable baby and I can visit, whenever I want, for quality baby-holding therapy

– I am looking forward to my upcoming vacation in Tanzania- a week on the beach sounds pretty good right about now!

I think that is about all for now. I hope everyone back home is doing well- sending you all lots of love!


One response »

  1. SUZI! I enjoy your blog very much and I think you do an excellent job keeping it positive despite the many ups and downs. Also, when is your vacation to Tanzania? I will be there June 5-13. It would be super stellar if our paths happened to cross and I could see you because I miss you BUCKETS 🙂

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