Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Work Day 1

Well my first day started out a little rough. I woke with a bit of a belly ache and didn't feel like eating much for breakfast. I had some toast and a boiled egg. We headed out to the Anajali School in on the out-skirts of the Kibera Slums. We were greated warmly by the schools head master Wellington, who proudly introduced us to each of his 11 classes. The first three are preschoolers and they were all in the same class. Then there were classes 1 through 8. Each class had a song or poem prepared for us. It was so great to see them singing and dancing with such enthusiasm. Unfortunately around class 5 I started to feel the effects of my belly-ache and small breakfast. I got weak and faint all of a sudden and had to ask to be excused. I was escorted back to the head master's home where I could put my head down and rest for a bit. I was still able to hear the greeting song from the 8th class which was absolutely beautiful. After our introduction we had some time to plan before we went into the classes. For our first day we went into the first 6 classes and talked about Canada. The children in the 5th level were taking social studdies and had lots of questions about Canada's industry and resources. They directed the discussion which was so refreshing to see. The children here seem so keen to learn and are aware of how lucky they are to have a chance to go to school. Schools in Kenya are free, but the parents have to purchase uniforms and supplies in order for their children to attend. Many parents struggle to feed their children let alone pay for school supplies. Because of my weakened condition I spent much of the afternoon in the Library with the school's library teacher Sam. We cataloged many of the books that we had brought with us to the school for their library. Sam and I had a good chat about Canada and the climate differenced. He was just so thrilled with all the wonderful books. We've managed to fill another three shelves plus we'll be bringing more today. I've also volunteered to show Wellington how to use his computer. So I'm not sure how much time I'll actually get to spend with the kids. I'm not too disappointed though. As many of you know I'm a little awkward around them. I would like to spend some time with them though. They are so wonderful and friendly. As we left last night we were overwhelmed by a chorus of "How are you!"s from dozens of children who were playing just out side the school compound.

I'm feeling much better this morning I think I should be able to eat a proper breakfast and thus be more helpful today.

1 comment:

Caty said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better. The kids sound so cute. I think it would be great to work with kids who are happy to have the chance to learn. Everyone here (kids and adults) take so much for granted. It's great that they appreciate the opportunities given to them.

I hear you... kids are weird, of course you'd feel awkward around them. Ugh. Children. ;) Just kidding. I think the secret to talking to kids is to ask them about stuff first. If they like school, do they have a favorite sport or game. Things like that. Once they see that you're willing to listen to them they'll go on forever and you don't really have to talk to them - just listen.