Today my English class was given a test by one of the other English teachers here. I think there is a whole system going on here that I somewhat miss because of the language barrier but the more helping the students the merrier! For the last part of class we started reading a children’s book and going over new vocabulary. When the floor was opened for any vocabulary that they had heard but not understood at any point outside of class they came up with some serious words like bureaucracy, sympathetic, generosity, determination, abandoned, blossomed and inspiration. The students are so eager to learn that we have to force them to take their break. We went at least 15 minutes over class today with all of the students aware that we were going over into their break and they would have kept asking about new words if we didn’t cut them off. It blows me away everyday the difference in the students’ willingness to stay in class compared to in America. Also, the students have free periods some days and they would like to study with me during that time too. Some of them even want my email or phone number so they can practice their English more. It is really cool how enthusiastic they are. (Btw these students are probably the same age as me give or take a couple years.)
I also had sewing class today. It is being taught be another American volunteer. She doesn’t know much Swahili either so she teaches it in English. We have a translator available but when the translator asks if they understand they all say yes. I guess it is just a good thing they can figure everything out by watching her. I don’t know how well I would do if the situation was switched.
I had the afternoon free time from classes so I decided to study Swahili until my co-teacher for computers found me and asked me to teach him how to use excel. Now we have an arrangement where he is teaching me Swahili and I am teaching him excel. As the other teachers here see that I am trying to learn Swahili they are starting to talk to me more in Swahili and I have at least two people who have said they will specifically be my English teacher. My co-teacher for computers also teaches the children English and had me help today. They were so cute and kept asking me questions in Swahili. I could understand some of it so I think I will keep practicing with the kids too.
(Writing now on Friday)
Last night we went to a club called Via Via in Arusha with the group of students visiting from a university in northern Ohio. This club was all outdoors and had a great live band. We danced until one in the morning. Mama C was even out there and getting down with us, she’s a rock star! Tonight I am going to bed early so I can catch up on my sleep and get ready for Batik lessons in the morning!