Teaching has been going well this week- the process can be frustrating at times but I really love my students which makes it all worth it! We have about two more weeks of classes before exams start. The second term was supposed to end the 13th of next month but Rwanda decided to add an extra week. Of course they made this decision after we had already made plans for Tanzania but I luckily have an amazing headmistress who gave me permission to miss marking week. Marking week is actually rather awful since it is the time when we grade the kid’s exams and then compile and calculate scores for each class- I am not terribly sad that I will be gone for this event! I don’t mind marking my exams (I am really lucky to only have 93 exams to grade) but the worst part is my job as a “class tutor” for S2A. It is a major pain to collect scores for all 16 subjects for each student, add up the points, calculate a percentage, and then figure out the class rank for each student. None of this involves difficult math but it is tedious and all done with my phone calculator (which is not incredibly sophisticated) so it will be wonderful to spend marking week lounging on a beach in Tanzania!
Here are some highlights from the past week or so:
-Last Wednesday I went with one of my students, Divine, to visit her mother in the hospital. It was a very interesting experience and even though it was slightly awkward at times I am happy I decided to go. We took a small bus to the hospital (about 30 minutes away) and had some tea and bread with her mother. There are no chairs in the patient rooms so you sit on other patient’s beds. It felt a bit uncomfortable to just plop down on the bed of a stranger but I managed to move the woman’s catheter tubing out of the way first- getting tangled up in that would have increased the awkwardness and probably would have not helped me make friends!
– On Friday my friend Heather came to visit. She arrived Friday afternoon and we put her things in my room and headed over to the school to play volleyball with some of my teachers and students. We all played volleyball together at first and then split up to play both volleyball and soccer. I practiced volleyball with some of the female students who are too intimidated to play with the boys while Heather joined a group of boys to play a version of keep away. One person was in the middle of the circle trying to touch the ball before it could get passed to another person, and if they succeeded then the passer had to replace them in the middle. I happened to look over just in time to see Heather kick the ball between the student’s legs as he attempted to block her and the entire group starting cheering- it was a wonderful moment!
– We attracted a massive group of primary school children who came to watch and a few of the brave joined in to play. It was probably a nice way to end their day since they spent the afternoon doing manual labor. I am not really sure what they were up to but we saw them carrying bricks on their heads all afternoon- not a super fun way to spend a day.
– After playing Heather joined me for my adult education class. I had eight students in class- a significant increase from last week (when I had one student) so I was very happy!
– We did a craft project where the students made a small autobiography book and then presented it to the class. I think their favorite part was the stickers and crayons and they were very cute when they were deliberating over which butterfly sticker they wanted on their cover page.
– After class we returned home to cook some macaroni and cheese for dinner (to be shared with the nuns) and also made a cake that was delicious!
– The next morning we went to Kigali to get a bus to the town of Nyanza where we celebrated our friend Alyssa’s birthday. There was lots of music and dancing and it was wonderful to spend time with friends.
I think those are the major events- I should really go work on my lesson plans before it gets too late! The top photograph is Zach reading on Monday (I love how his little feet hang off the chair) and the bottom photograph is David and his friend Barakoma painting during library time.