Salama na Upendo

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

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How am I so blessed to have three amazing days with my kids in a row??? I do not know. They are so precious. They want to learn and be loved. And I have not been able to stop myself from falling in love with them all. Even those that get under my skin haha. My heart has grown so much because of these little Tanzanians. They will never know the impact that they have had on me no matter how much I try and show them.

I feel like another week and a half with them is not enough. Today as they sang their national anthem and said their prayers I was amazed to think that next week is my last with them. I feel like I have so much left to teach them. If I could stay to see them through life then maybe I would be satisfied. But I know that extending for another week, or month or year would never be enough. A lot of CCS volunteers decide to extend their programs once the end draws near. I think it is because there is always more to do, you never feel finished here. There is always more to learn, see, and teach. It is hard to leave and be satisfied because you just want to know that they will be ok and well taken care of.


I was able to continue with my teaching of "You are My Sunshine" to the school today. The more we sing it the better they get. They could actually sing the tune with most of the words today :) Not that all the kids got it but a lot of them did, especially the older ones. Even after the morning, some of my pre-2' were singing it during Math class. They also kept pointing at the sky saying Jua (sun) and drew suns on their papers. I want to get the song translated so that I know they understand exactly what it means to be someone's sunshine.


My Math lesson went extremely well today. I wrote out 15 work sheets by hand last night(there are photocopiers in town but could not get to one), 10 questions each. Each question contained a specific number of shapes, which they had to count, to find the right number value out of three different choices listed. They had to circle the correct answer. I wanted to make sure that they all understood the value of numbers before we introduce addition and subtraction to them, which Mary said they hadn't been learning. I know they are ready because they all got 10 out of 10. SO PROUD!!


One downer for the day: some of kids weren't allowed to eat again for the second day in a row. It was harder to deal with today. Yesterday I went with those whose parents could afford the food fees, to help them with the porridge. But today I stayed behind in the classroom with those whose parents can not afford to pay for the porridge at school. There is probably about 10 of the kids who were called out of class to receive a meal. The rest were left with me. I felt horrible for them. I'm sure they are aware of what is happening because they use to participate in porridge every day and now aren't allowed. Mama Mwanga told me yesterday that it is to teach the parents a lesson that they can not expect things for free. She hopes the kids will go home to their parents and complain so the parents will pay their fees.

I wanted to distract them, and myself, from the realities of life. We sang songs like the hokey pokey, head, shoulders, knees, and toes, and Old McDonald had a farm. I was dieing to do something a little more entertaining but since the school has absolutely no supplies (ie. reading books or inside games) and the kids weren't allowed outside I was all we had to work with. So I tried my best. It broke my heart. I kept a big smile on my face.

How unfair is it that these little ones are deprived like that? I wanted to tell Mama Mwanga that I didn't think it was right when we could easily pay for it. It makes me think about their home lives and what they must be like for them if their parents can't even afford the basic necessities like food. Do they have food at home or do they go without there as well? How often are they hungry? Or am I just jumping to the worst conclusions?

This is one change since the break that I am really not happy with. However, there have been other, more positive, changes. The kids are given a longer recess time which I am really enjoying. The break between lessons increases their attention spans. Plus it is great getting to watch them play and have fun. I've also noticed that the office is in much better order. It use to take at least 20 minutes just to get the children's work books all in order and handed out. It seems they have become more organized and efficient in this area of the school and I am very thankful for that. I was planning on mentioning something once the break was over and I got back to the school. I was going to spend a day after class but now I don't have too :)

Thanks for reading xoxo


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