Today was a total win. It is a national holiday, so we didn't have classes, but we had to go into school this morning to do some organizing and have a couple meetings. Most of it was boring, but we had grade level meetings with the local teachers and volunteers, as well as the head teacher and volunteer coordinator and that went really well. The local teachers here can be hard to connect with and the head teacher especially comes across very harshly, which is really off-putting. I haven't been very sure about him as of yet. But today in our meetings, we actually had a good discussion and I started to feel that, even though he tends to come across very condescendingly, his heart and his intentions really are with the children. He really does just want the best for them. It's unfortunate the way he comes across, but it was nice to catch a glimpse of what is behind the gruff exterior. I am looking forward more to working with him in the coming months.
The other thing that was great about our meeting was that both the head teacher and the local teacher had really positive things to say about how I am doing in the classroom. The local teacher commonly sits in the room and marks papers while I am teaching and the head teacher will pop his head in occasionally, so it was nice to have positive feedback from people who actually see what I am doing. It's doubly great because I actually feel like I'm doing a good job.
After our school excursion, I went to what amounts to the largest thrift store I will probably ever find. It is an outdoor market full of secondhand clothes. If you have ever wondered what happens to things that you donate to thrift stores, you can rest assured that if it doesn't end up in a store back home, it's probably here in Africa. We found all kinds of ancient "treasures" punctuated by few diamonds in the rough. I had a great time digging through it all - I can't wait to wash and wear my new vintage dress!
As if that weren't enough of a good day, I met up with a friend of a friend at her hotel on the beach and ended my day with an absolutely lovely dinner. The hotel was gorgeous, the view beautiful, the company wonderful and the food delicious. We were even treated to an amazing acrobatic show before I headed home. All in all, an incredibly relaxing, peaceful evening. Thanks to the friends that made it possible.
And now I think it is time for me to get some sleep. The house has gone to bed (I can't believe I'm the last one up) and apparently Western breakfast is happening tomorrow morning. Word on the street is that there are pancakes something British that involves bacon and buns, so I better get ready. I am sending positive thoughts your way in hopes that y'all are having an equally wonderful moment in your lives!