Friday, 20 February 2015

Happy (late) Valentine's and Pancake Day to you all! We've been very busy recently, teaching and spending lots of time in the library. Speaking of the library, we received a visit on Wednesday from the regional director for libraries (who, it turned out, used to live in Archway- so close to where I live!) and the regional head librarian. They were very nice and complimentary of the hard work we've put into organising the library, which was good to hear, and also left us with some tips on ways to improve and sources of support. Needless to say, within about half an hour of after-school library, our careful tidying and organisation of the books had become non-existent! Having said that, it is very nice to see kids in the library- the G5s have only just started being allowed in so they're very keen to make the most of it. Even the most unlikely kids come in to just sit in the corner and read for a bit, or to carry on with some arts work from the past week so it's good to know that we can provide them with that opportunity.

Arts has been going well recently- we've been looking at various aspects of Scotland- tartans, poetry and songs. It's a very surreal sight to see a class of Namibian school children with arms crossed, jumping up and down and singing Auld Lang Syne! This week we've started trying to teach ceilidh dancing- I was slightly apprehensive but it seems to be going pretty well so far (when the class is quiet long enough to learn the dance). Wandering around the school and hostel, I keep seeing random pairs of children practising the dance together which really puts a smile on my face!

Valentine's fever took over the school in the week leading up to the big day- 'Valentine's day partners' were being requested all over the place and there was much gossip going around the school about who had asked who to be their partner. That was also the week of multiple changes to the timetable, meaning we had various classes for more lessons than we'd planned for- this proved a good opportunity to make Valentine's cards! On the day itself, I was treated to a Valentine's Day breakfast by Micaela and in the afternoon we were lucky enough to have been invited to a wedding. We'd agreed to help unwrap and lay out the food for the reception once the ceremony was over, but somehow Micaela ended up being part photographer, part caterer, and I found myself playing the bridal march on my trumpet as the bride walked in, then playing the piano as the guests left. Definitely a Valentine's Day to remember!

We had our interhouse athletics competition last Friday and the Dophins won by a mile- WOOOO! I didn't actually see much of the sports as I was running the tuck shop but the atmosphere was great- lots of chanting, singing and cheering as people ran past. We have some seriously good athletes here- hopefully they'll do the school proud at the zonal competition next Thursday. Field events are being practised at break time in the lead up to the zonals- for reasons unknown to me, I have been put in charge of discus. I don't know how to hold a discus correctly, let alone throw one, but the students are thankfully more knowledgeable than me and are working hard!

And that's about it, I think- the time is flying by as usual and we've been having the odd rain shower which makes everybody happy. It's not unusual to find teachers sitting outside just to feel the drizzle- odd for us but perfectly normal here! There have been some exciting thunderstorms and also some annoying power cuts (showering by torchlight, anyone?!) as a result of these but in a place like Namibia, every drop of rain counts! Perhaps coming back to England won't be such a challenge if we learn to appreciate the rain... doubt it, though!

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