Well, I'm a teacher now! School began on wednesday and so far it is going really well! The students are all great and are a little more advanced than they usually are at the beginning of this course which is a HUGE blessing to me because, in case you didn't know.... teaching is HARD! (I'll be honest I didn't know!) I have six students, two guys and 4 ladies all between 25 and 40. They are all very eager to learn and I am really impressed with their willingness to stop speaking Swahili and only use English.
As usual, after a week full of moments in which I thought "ah! I'll have to post THAT on the blog!" I am sitting here in the internet cafe and can't think of a single one! grrr....so I'll give Allison what she asked for (besides the fame of having now been named on my blog which is what most people aspire to) and tell a little about a typical day. I'm usually up by 6:30 (ok 6:45) which may not seem like much to some but to a girl who works in the theatre where you don't have to show up until 5pm this is a BIG deal. After breakfast, Regina, the other teacher, and I get togehter for 1/2 hour to pray for the day and the students and then class starts at 8. A couple of days during the week, we do music. We teach the students English worship songs and let's just say that I am the best musican in the room.... now I think that should be a pretty good indication as to the quality of these times.....its horrifying...but they're learning so.... We're in class until one with a 1/2 hour tea break at eleven where I try to sneak off to a corner with someone who is not my student and practice some Swahili. We have a no Swahili rule in the school and if you are caught speaking it you have to wear a sign that says "Please remind me to speak English"
We have lunch at one. Almost always Ugali (that solid cream of wheat stuff), greens, and these horrible little "small fish" that are dried and then cooked whole in some oil and tomato sauce. I skip the fish.
After lunch we have a couple of hours of work in the afternoon which is a bit nicer now that it isn't cooking or cleaning or slashing ("mowing the lawn" with a sharp stick that you swing back and forth) but now grading papers and preparing for tomorrow's class and then the students come back and I help them with homework or we play games, anything to keep them talking...
Dinner is at 6 and I'm almost always in bed by 10!...pretty strange for someone who is still sitting through the second act then in her normal life. After a saltwater shower (imagine never getting any cleaner than you are after a day at the beach) I tuck the mosquito net in tight trusting it to keep out not just the mosquitoes but also the geckoes, fireflies, ants-- and what I'm pretty sure was a rat the other night-- that also call my room their home.
Now that's all assuming that the power hasn't gone out which it does oh probably 3 times a week, that we haven't run out of water in the tank. We've been having a lot of rain lately so I try to catch and keep at least one 5 gallon bucket of rainwater which is good for showering and washing clothes which is all done by hand. I explained the idea of a laundromat to one of my students the other day and she was amazed!
On weekends I am free and I come into town to that cafe that I wrote of before, to the internet and to the market to buy some vegetables to add to my mostly rice/bread/ugali/beans diet. It's a very different life than I am used to in New York but strangley very easy to adapt to. I'm anxious to get into a theatre and to enjoy a good latte again but for now I am enjoying every moment!
And to all who swore that I would come back with some handsome african husband.....It could happen....but I wouldn't count on it. There is one guy here who is staff at the sister base in Morogoro who every time we meet he always finds a way to bring up the topic of marraige and my future husband and his future wife... it's a little ridiculous actually. And I am SO not interested...
1 month ago