Woah…today was the last day of our first, three-week volunteer session. I’m shocked that we’ve already been here for three weeks. We’ve been so busy that the time has flown by. It’s strange, because we accomplish so much in a single day (making the time feel long), but I still feel like I left home a few days ago. Yesterday I finished the reading comprehension lesson with the Form II students and assigned them an exercise on skimming a dictionary. Apparently that’s a topic that is commonly on their exams…hopefully I taught it well enough and they’ll all be successful! After a delicious spaghetti lunch, we took a relaxing siesta and worked with Moses in the early afternoon. We’re making great progress and it’s looking beautiful. I’m excited to see how much we get done with the 8 new volunteers! Simba invited me to the football ground to play some volleyball, and then asked me if I’d referee the Form III v. Form V game. It was fun to watch all the guys play…they don’t play with any strict rules (other than 3 touches per side) but most of them are actually pretty good. It was really cool to see how a sport can act as a universal language – even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying, it was easy to communicate with them because we all were playing the same sport! After the game was over, I spent the evening just hanging out and talking.
Today was my last day teaching with Mr. Kihoo…I started a lesson on tenses, to help the students to stat reviewing and studying for their national examinations at the end of November. He’s a wonderful teacher and have really enjoyed working with him. Even though I won’t be directly working with him for the next few weeks, I’ll still see him around. This afternoon we skipped our siesta in order to attend a wedding sendoff, which was a HUGE celebration! Since the bride is from Pommern and the groom lives in a different village, the wedding is in his village tomorrow. But this party was for the bride and her friends, since she’ll be living in her husband’s village once she’s married. Like all Tanzanian parties, there was loud music, dancing, singing, and just an overwhelming sense of joy. Even though these people don’t have a lot, they find the joy in all the small things that they do have, and often are joyous for others good fortune. It’s incredible how happy the people are here…all the time! Definitely something that I’m going to try to bring back to the States with me. Since the party was at the secondary school, Simba saw us hanging around and told me that I had to come play in their pick-up volleyball game. I swear, I had more fun playing on this dusty dirt court with a bunch of guys that in a lot of other (much more serious) games I’ve played in before. They were shocked to find out that I could actually play, and loved that I served overhand (they kept telling me to “smash”)! I don’t think that they girls here play volleyball with the guys, so they were definitely skeptical at first, but warmed up to me quickly. We rushed back after the 4th or 5th game when the bell rang for evening prayer. We listened to Joseph while he preached, and then I hung with Simba, Joli, and Simon after the flag ceremony. I had to promise to come find them if we’re back early enough on Monday, and they wished us safe travels for our safari. I’m very excited to go to Ruaha…it’s supposed to be one of the best parks in the country. Our cameras are charged up and we’re packed and ready to go! Pommern…we’ll be back soon! Ruaha…here we come!
Taking a break from working on the library with Simon and Simba
It’s impossible to not be friends with the girls here…they’re so friendly and welcoming!