Day 435: blackouts and edumacation

By lara,


Tonight was computer night. We went to go work on the kids’ blog and to do some hero book work with the older kids. Unlike the youngest kids, the secondary students seem to actually get a lot of meaning out of this art therapy project (in which the kids write a book about their life and their goals with them as the hero of the story), as they do not produce answers to questions like “who is a hero?” with drawings of soccer balls. Not that eight-year-old Edwin’s explanation of his logic wasn’t entertaining.


But as always seems to be the case when Claire and I preplan anything, the power went out and we had to leave the computer room after 9 impromptu tutorials on how to save files quickly.


With new volunteers here (again! So many mzungu!) the blackout was a great excuse to show them around the place when everything’s a little more haphazard. Or so we thought…despite the black out, all the students were lined up at tables studying diligently by a single kerosene light in the center of the large study rooms. It was impressive. We were quite disruptive to the whole process when we walked in, but with no power, it’s more fun to be around people. So we tutored.


Kate helped with social science and got quite the introduction to the kids’ education system. The first page of the chapter was on amebic dystentery, while the second page explored the rings of Saturn. The kids immediately began talking about how Saturn was the devil…Kate began trying to understand how rings suggested the devil until she realized that to them “Saturn” and “Satan” (pronounced “sat-on”) sounded similar. Confusion was running a bit high on both sides.


I was off teaching Science about cross-pollination…something I could not have been less prepared for, while Renee did multiple choice with the 8 year olds:


Q. When we share, we get ____”


A) happy

B) sad

C) diseases


The unanimous consensus by this serious little group was “C.” When asked where the diseases come from, we had more unison: “mos-quee-toes!”


Another productive night.


1 comment:

Rae! said...

What you guys are doing id great!! Yes I saw your article in the Runner's World and I have to say you are just doing a great service.I am going to put your blog link on mine.

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