Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Never a Dull Moment

Life here is starting to get interesting.  There has been some political unrest due to tensions between Kenya and Somalia.  This week there were 2 bombings in Nairobi.  According to the media, the bombings are not linked to the Al Shibab unrest, though personally I think it seems rather coincidental.  At any rate, we have been encouraged not to go to Nairobi, nor to go too far from our home here in Mombasa.  Which is not a big deal, because we spend most of our time here anyway.  It has, however, added a level of excitement to our lives.  As far as I can tell, things are a little crazy, though that's actually a pretty normal state for Kenya and we are not in any immediate danger, though we should probably be cautious.  Just in case anyone was worried.

On top of that, we got a brand new schedule at school, which includes me teaching another grade level.  Woot!  They had asked me about teaching Standard 7 as well as Standard 6 last week, but no one had gotten back to me to tell me that I was for sure doing it until Sunday night at like 8pm when Katie brought us our new timetables.  And, sure enough, on Monday morning I had 3 blocks of English with Standard 7 right off the bat.  After my time here, I will be able to take anything that happens in a public school in stride.  There were a lot of last minute changes in the States, but nothing like here.  They make big changes and expect them to happen an hour after you've been told.  It's ridiculous.  I still haven't gotten any books for Standard 7 and I've been teaching it for almost a week. 

I also discovered yesterday that I don't really have any curriculum to follow for Standard 6 or 7 at this point.  Neither standard has had a volunteer for a long time, so GVI doesn't have the curriculum prepared for them.  Which means I get to make it up as I go.  The good news is, I know that I am perfectly capable of doing this and doing it well.  I also know that the kids are getting quality English instruction.  The bad news is that it's a bit more work and a bit more stressful right now. 

On a more positive note, I was talking to one of my students yesterday and she asked me how many weeks I would stay.  When I told her I would stay at least until March, her eyes just got huge.  She couldn't believe I would be with them for so long.  She told me that it was good, which was nice to hear.  I think that the kids are so used to people coming and going so quickly that it is nice for them to know that they have some consistency for awhile.  And I'm glad to be here with them for a long time.  (Don't tell, but right now Standard 6 is my favorite.  Standard 7 is making me a little crazy so far.  I'm still working out how to crack them.) 

Hopefully this is all the excitement for the week, but it's only Wednesday and, of course, T.I.A. (This is Africa).

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