Hawa, Birthday, and a Graduation

Yesterday started off with another 7:30 am English class –although we didn’t actually teach at 7:30! We had to wait for the students to come back from the milling machine (their morning chore that ran long) and ended up finishing the verb review with the IIA class rather than IIC, our scheduled group. I’m finally getting used to how flexible everything is here – nothing is ever set in stone! After tea, I headed to the primary school for the graduation ceremony for the six or seven guys graduating from the vocational school as carpenters. They convinced all 12 of us Global Volunteers to sit on the stage as VIPs, so we were trapped! But it was a relatively short ceremony (especially compared to Jubilee) and I really enjoyed seeing the dancing and singing by the primary kiddos. There was this one group of 8-10 year old boys who did a “rap performance;” it was precious, but so hilarious at the same time!

After lunch (around 4), I walked down to the secondary school and instantly ran into Othman, Simon, Frankie, Sara, and Joli, and Simba. We spent the afternoon joking around, laughing, and just having a great time. It was Joli’s last day at school (he’s a Form IV who just finished his exams)…I’m going to miss him very much. I haven’t laughed as much as I did yesterday in a long time. When I think about it, it’s surprising how much fun we can have with so little (no technology, television, movie nights, or even planned times to meet up and hang out). But maybe it’s because of the lack of other things that we really get to enjoy each other’s company. Sarafina and the other girls enjoyed playing with my hair today – she was shocked to find out that it’s real, and that it’s my natural color!

We celebrated Shannon’s birthday at dinner tonight, complete with donuts AND a birthday cake, courtesy of Mama Toni. This morning we said our final goodbyes to Michele, and then I headed off to the secondary school to proctor and exam. The two-and-a-half hour Kiswahili exam was a bit exhausting, since I had nowhere to even sit, but I survived! The students have two 3-hour exam blocks each day, starting today (Friday) and continuing through all of next week. Hopefully, we’ll start marking next week, once the exams are in English! This afternoon some of us headed to the library to continue our work, but were told (only after arriving) that it would disturb the ongoing examinations. After that very African series of events, we helped Edward transport soil for the earth boxes…he said that we’ll plant vegetables in them next week. Once we’d done our share of “dirty work” for the day, Mom and I changed clothes and went to visit the clinic doctor, Hawa, at her home. She’s a really wonderful woman – we chatted about vaccinations, her schooling, the challenges of the clinic, some of her patients cases, and congratulated her on her promotion to be director of the clinic (but shhhh! It’s not public knowledge yet!). It makes me very happy that she’s a powerful and independent woman who’s following her dreams – that’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s very empowering! Out of her medical school class, 14 were girls and 51 were guys…but all 14 girls were in the top 30 people and class ranks 1-4 were all women! I really enjoyed talking with her outside of the clinic setting, and her success definitely inspired me to work hard and really reach for my goals.


You can’t help but love these students 🙂


The rap group from the graduation


The carpentry school graduates…congrats guys!


Bye Michele…we’ll miss you!


We love Mama Toni so very much…and she feeds us well! 😀


On a mission to collect dirt with Bibi




Hawa is such an inspiration 🙂


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