Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Things that Concern Me

*Learners think alcohol abuse will destroy their lungs
*Advice learners give to parents: Parents should beat their kids so they don't do bad things
*How empty the fridge is getting
*That my allergies have finally kicked in
*How my dog has decided to act like a puppy again and jump all over me
*How my dog can't play fetch (waste of a perfectly good tennis ball)
*How many confiscated sticks I have in the corner of my classroom
*How some of those sticks are actually wire or medal rods
*How some of those sticks are teacher's
*How my learners are failing English
*How my learners think that 2 x 2 = 22 (seriously)
*That half my holiday plans consist of preparing for the next school year
*The amount of girls that have dropped out due to pregnancy
*That I'm gaining weight
*My lack of nail polish options
*How my Chaco tan isn't as awesome as I want it to be
*How the new 'eco-friendly' coffee I bought tastes too eco-friendly (read: dirt)
*The fact that I drink the coffee anyways
*How one of my friends is being treated at her school
*The lack of rain and the consequence to farmers in Namibia
*My lack of interest in learning the local language
*The fact that the increasing temperature forces me to keep the windows upon at night, allowing all the kinds of creepy crawlies (spiders, scorpions, snakes, pretty much all animals whose name begins with s-) to enter my room
*That my mosquito net is not thoroughly tucked into my bed and said creepy crawlies will attack me while I am sleeping
*That the failure of my kids finally shows my failure as their teacher
*That the learners aren't stressed over final exams
*How much the learners sleep
*How I've watched all media on my computer and have to start re-watching everything
*That my school is expected to start using an online program to store data (learner info, timetable, conduct forms, etc) yet the Ministry of Education still hasn't gotten us internet
*What's going to happen to my dog while I'm gone for the month
*That I have too much free time to write lists like these

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lots to Update

Hey all,

So I seem to have forgotten to update what's going on in my life.  Not much besides school has happened since my sister visited in May.  During the August holiday I helped the new volunteers for a bit, then relaxed at a lake (yes there are lakes in Namibia!) for a few days.

To bring you up to speed on the goings on at school, I'll provide you with a few random poems I wrote as well as some amazing pictures of amazing kids at our recent cultural festival.

40 Minutes

Good Morning
Morning Miss
Chat Talk Chat
Sleep Draw Hit
Silence Now!
Giggle, Glare
Blah Blah Blah
Rip and Tear
Silence Please
Stare and Sleep
Blah Blah Blah
counting sheep
Where's you pen?
Stolen Miss
And this was when?
cough and shift
I don't care
Blah Blah Blah
learners sing
ring ring ring
sit and sigh
Thank God!  Goodbye!


I tell them when it's due
They tell it back to me
I write it on the board
So all my kids can see

I then repeat the due date
I give them time in class
They tell me yes yes yes
They understand enmass

The date it's due comes round
I ask for finished work
'Aye Miss!  You did not say!"
Frustration starts to lurk

Extensions are then given
So marks can be put in
I tell them seven more times
They nod with happy grins

The time again arrives
When late work must be given
"Aye Miss!  You did not say!"
They played instead, were livin'

A third and final date is said
Loud and clear for all
The time, it comes, they say 'aye'
I have reached my wall

Nor more missus nice girl
No more happy teacher
"In my class and get to work!"
I've become a life skills preacher

And still they look me in the eye
They say it won't be done
"Give me zeros. I don't care.
While we all have some fun."

What to do, oh what to do
A teacher's big ordeal
Force them in to finish work
or fail while my stress heals

But as a teacher, teaching
And trying to do well
I sit and stress and worry
Though success? I cannot tell

Am I helping all my kids?
Am I helping them enough?
This job of mine I always love
Though almost all is tough

I hope and pray they see it
How much I want their success
But getting them to understand
Is the beginning of my test

And some fun pictures from the cultural festival we had last weekend.   Here's a little background.  Every year the Erongo region picks a school to host this festival.  Learners of all ages create something (song, dance, drama) to describe their culture in the form of a competition.  My school was blessed to host it this year.  Early Saturday morning tents went up and kids got dressed in their traditional garbs.  I borrowed a friend's Herero dress and shocked everyone in attendance by wearing it for part of the day.  The kids were sooo excited!  I've never been so respected by them.  Maybe I should wear one everyday!  I wasn't even allowed to carry the camera case!  On the other hand it's incredibly hot and during this summer weather I don't know how people wear it all day, every day!

Me and all of my fabulous kids!

This little one isn't sure whether she likes me or if I frighten her.

My housemate and adopted mother in her traditional Nama dress.  I love this woman!!!


Reenactment of a traditional Herero wedding

Boys acting like little men doing their Herero marching



Items used at a Herero wedding

Some of my special learners.

My favorite running buddies!



Sorry I don't have explanations for all of the pictures.  I really only know about my own Herero culture.  They are all still beautiful though!