Trip Start Aug 13, 2006
16Trip End Nov 13, 2006
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"It's Friday Night, and I'm ready to party!
After a long, but good week at the preschool, I am heading back into the city tomorrow to hang out with my long lost friends.
Bagamoyo is such a different place than the city. So many things make me really feel like I am in Africa, more than the city already has. For starters, everyone, and I mean everyone uses the term "shikamoo", which is a greeting used for anyone older or in a higher position than yourself. This was hardly used in the city, and I never heard it from my kids there, but here, I feel respected and old all at the same time
I will post pictures soon, but I teach games to about 45 kids ages 4-7 under a large tree a little ways up from the school. There are no streets here, just sand pathways between houses. Definitely a step back in time and culture. So often my "classroom" runneth over into the "street". But you'd be amazed at how adept the kids are at running out of the path of a speeding motorcyle/bike/car. I enjoy my class immensely. We are sidled up against a house, and often the elderly women yell "mwalimu (teacher), shikamoo!!" when I arrive. That is a great honor coming from the women in the town, as I am respected, and considered welcome there.
I split the class up into 3 groups. 2 groups before porridge (the smaller ones, and half of the older ones), and one in the afternoon (the rest of my bigger kids). I see each group for about a half hour. Which is almost perfect. I teach them a new game everyday
Tembo, Tembo, Simba (Elephant, Elephant, Lion) - aka Duck Duck Goose
*They loved this game!! It was probably the easiest one I taught, and the learned it quickly, and remembered it well*
Doggie Doggie, where's your bone?
*This game was a little more difficult, trying to explain to them, that they had to guess, WITHOUT peeking, who had the bone, was quite a interesting experiences. I would tell them to close their eyes, all of them. Instead, they would cover their faces with their hands, and peek out between their fingers. It was so hard not to laugh!! They were adorable! Then they would tell each other who had the bone, after peeking! I used my cell phone as the bone, so now every time they see it, they yell "mfupa!" (bone)*
Red Light Green Light
*I applaud gym teachers, they have it got it down
*This was the most difficult game to teach. Since I don't know body parts in kiswahili, and they DEFINITELY don't know it English, it became and interesting match. Wasseri (a teacher who helps me during games), was there to help, but he had never heard of the game, so I had to explain it to him first, and make sure he understood, and then he would translate it to the kids. Of course, you can't have a class without a couple kids who just make teaching difficult/interesting. I had 3 boys, that would never stand in line, nor listen, and everytime I came even close to them, they would run around in circles, laughing, and pretty much telling me in swahili that "you can't catch me!!" Little pissers!, Of course, I have 15 other kids to worry about, but these 3 would come up behind me and poke me or yell, and then take off, just being kids, but of course, at the most inconvient time. I love them to death though, again, they've touched my heart, and I want so much to just make living for them easier*
One side note: being a mzungu is not a great thing all the time, I actually have guys interrupting my class to call me a mzungu
So a little more about Bagamoyo...
On Monday, Kristin and Douglas took us to "TopTop", which is a smaller version of Kariakoo. It's a market that happens every Monday, and you can buy everything, from mattress, to clothes, to pots and pans, and everything in between. I loved it!! It was a flea market with much better prices, more expensive than DAR, but without the hassle of people screaming in your face. At one end of the market, there are just piles and piles of used clothes. Kristin and I were digging through them, and I have expected to find clothes that I had donated in the pile. I found a pink checked dress (too small- but great for material), in the pile, which I got for 50 cents
Here in Tanzania, you can get a thermos for about 4,000 shilling ($3), and they actually are quite good, they keep drinks hot for up to 10 hours. They're so cheap, and effective at the same time, what a steal!! If you want one, let me know ;).
The rest of the week was spent at school, I work 4 hours (8-12), and it's a half hour walk in the heat to my placement, so by 12:30, I've been up for 6 hours, (and if you know me- I am not, not, not, not, not a fan of mornings), but if I go to bed around 8ish, I actually don't mind so much. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaHHHHHHH, I'm turning over to the dark side of "work life", dum dum dum dummmmmmmmmm!!
But I'm off to Millenium, a "swanky" hotel near our house to celebrate our first week, and Jeff's last night (he was only here a week). So I will update later.