Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Wrote this last month but forgot to post it- better late than never!

Lessons have been continuing as normal, although as we near the end of term the general behaviour of learners in our lessons has gone very much downhill! We’ve been working towards an art competition that’s held in Omaruru every year and this year the theme is ‘Insects and Reptiles’- this has proved difficult especially with the G3s who we realised didn’t know what reptiles were. However, we persevered through the drawings of mice, requests to draw fish and zebras and the unexpected difficulty of getting students to write their age on the back- “ma’am what if I turn 12 in June?” “what if I race in the under-13 category?”- and some really impressive work was produced. In BIS we’ve continued with our Treasure Island project and now have coffee-stained letters-in-a-bottle piling up in the library.

The latest day I chose to celebrate was the International Day of Happiness, and I did various activities with the kids both in and out of school. In school I asked my learners to write a positive message along with a smiley face on a post-it note and to leave it for someone special to find. My G7s and 5s also decorated and put together little treasure chests to fill with good thoughts. With the hostel kids, I asked “what makes you happy?” and they wrote down their answer on a blackboard. Some of the things they said were very funny; others surprisingly touching and I’ve put the photos of them holding the board into a small video. I taught them part of ‘Always Look On the Bright Side of Life’ in singing- despite the fact that none of them can whistle, they all love it and will happily “doo” away for ages!

March 21st was Independence Day, a special one as it marked 25 years since Independence. On the Friday, everyone was encouraged to come in wearing their traditional dress, and those who did looked amazing. In the afternoon there was a cultural programme, with traditional dances from the Herero, Ovambo, Damara, Tswana and Kavango cultures, along with dramas, poetry and readings from students spanning G1 to G7. It’s really lovely to see how proud people are of their backgrounds here, and the performances were extremely impressive.

We spent Easter with a few other volunteers by the sea in Swakopmund- a lovely place even in the cold and drizzle! It was a nice chance to relax and catch up with friends, and to just do something different to what we’d normally do at home. I was sad to leave but felt well-rested and ready to tackle the week of exams planned for after the weekend.

So that brings us to now- exams are going alright, although it can be a challenge getting the kids to settle down and study, especially when they’ve already done an exam that day and there’s only 1 hour left of school! Not long to go now until the holidays, then it’s back for our final term- where on earth has the time gone?!

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