Monday, January 30, 2012


1- Yes, Elena LOVES making lists (this post is in her honor).

2- We started our Physical Education/English class. The first day was rather hectic to say the least. We don't have a classroom big enough to fit all the students from both Primary 1 and Primary 2 (grades 1&2). We thought it would be no problem to gather the boys on the basketball court for the first class. We quickly discovered that discipline is practically nonexistent outside the walls of a classroom. It took us about 15 minutes to get everyone gathered together and mildly quiet. After attempting to teach them a simple one-on-one game, we realized that much of what we were trying to teach them went straight over their heads. All they wanted to do was play football (soccer) and many of them were refusing to participate because we weren't playing what they wanted. The next day we decided to make the dining hall our class meeting place. Although this was certainly not a classroom, it was far more fit for the class than the open outdoors. We arranged a few rows of benches in one part of the dining hall to allow the boys to have an orderly way to sit. We hoped this would remind them more of a classroom setting than the basketball court did. In the dining hall we went over some english vocabulary words that related to the rules we created as a class, and to the games we played that day. With the help of one of the classroom teachers, we were able to make it clear to the boys that we would not be playing football until we could see that the class could listen and follow directions. We also told them that if they don't participate in the activities we are doing now, they would not be able to participate when we do play football. After this pep-talk, they were more into the new games we were teaching them. We also taught them how to respond when we want their attention. We give two whistles for everyone to stop what they are doing, then we add "1, 2, 3, eye's on me." This is a classic command we learned in elementary school that always works, and the students are very quiet after responding with "1, 2, eye's on you." The following day we walked by one of their classrooms before the teacher had arrived, and we heard all the boys yelling "1, 2, eye's on you!" We accomplished the task of gaining attention when attention gaining is needed. Tag is a whole new battle that we have begun to tackle. We're still trying to help them understand that you don't want to be tagged, and that it's not okay to "puppy-guard."

3- We have Vermont Turkey posters hanging on our walls. Elena found them in the store room at EDD. 

4- I've been playing a guitar that I'm borrowing from the center to feed my addictive habits.

5- Our gate door is extremely difficult to close and open. When we got back from out weekend get-away in Uganda, our final task was to enter our house gate. With an audience of men at the end of the road, I attempt to unlock the gate. Once I believe I've unlocked the gate, I begin to shoulder check the gate door. I finally realize that maybe the key didn't actually work, and sure enough, the door is still locked. With the audience growing, I attempt to unlock the broken lock again. I finally get it, but the struggle isn't over. The only way I can physically get this gate open is to brace my balance on either side of the door and kick the door open. After a few kicks, the food flies open, and we are home. I hope the audience got a good laugh.

6- Our water keeps shutting off. We don't know why, but it likes to happen when we are in dire need to bathe. Not to worry, we have plenty of clean water to drink.

7- We don't have a dining room table yet, but I'm getting used to eating in a luxurious cushioned chair and coffee table. That makes this room really awkward.

8- I have a cockroach graveyard in the corner of my room. I'm hoping it will scare the others away... so far it's not working.

9- Sometimes in the morning (around 6:00 or 7:00) large crows enjoy hanging out on our roof. We have a metal roof, so their footsteps are very loud. For a while I thought it was someone on our roof trying to steal the roofing. I finally went outside, only to see a few giant black crows picking at our roof. I threw a rock at them and slept for another hour or so.

10- Tomorrow I get my new Rwandan clothing back from the seamstress! I'll be sure to post some pictures!

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