Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lesson planning, Latrine guarding, and Lame stories (at least you were warned…) -Feb 9, 2011

Wow, what a short week! It’s only Wednesday, but seeing as I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon, it feels already like the weekend. I have been going down to the city on Saturdays to shop, so pushing that up to a Thursday really cuts the week down. All of the sudden, I’m actually kind of busy! The past two days have been fairly full with lesson planning, teaching, and grading. I decided to collect my first homework assignment this week. I warned the students about it at least 20 times in each class, yet still had probably a 50% completion rate. I was expecting this… we’d been warned about it by every volunteer who came to training. Still, it was hard to not get bummed at seeing the number of students who just ignored the assignment. In one of my classes, I maybe had 10 out of 40 actually try. And who knows how many of those just copied it (hmm, they all have the same wrong answers, interesting…). I was feeling like kind of a failure, but then my next class seemed to take it more seriously. My teaching day ended on a high note, too, when I actually got the students to laugh at a joke. I’d been trying so hard to get at least a smile. Finally today when I did my usual “you have to do homework to pass” lecture, I also added my usual “and you all want to pass biology don’t you? Because it’s your favorite subject?” and they finally gave me some giggles. You have no idea how good that felt.

Since I wrote a longer entry just last week, I don’t have all that much news to share. I do have some interesting stories, though:
*Bank drama: When I was down in Moatize, I decided to hit up the ATM on the way out of town. Audrey went before me with no problems. I put my card in, enter my pin, and then wait. And wait. And wait. And finally see that the ATM has frozen, with my card and pin happily inside. Great. Eventually the screen unfroze and went back to the start, but my card decided to stay in. Since the bank wasn’t opened, this prolonged my stay in Moatize an extra night so I could go to the bank the next morning. The next day, I headed over with my passport in tow, ready to fight for the card back. I’m not sure if “fight” really ended up being the correct word. I just walked in, said the machine at my card, and they handed me the card that was in the machine- no question of my name, identity, nothing. At least I got it back, although I can’t say my trust has deepened in the Mozambican banking system.
*Menina drama: I wrote before about getting a “menina” to help me with water. Well, it’s been nice… when she shows up. I usually have to go out and find her and ask her to come to my house, which is just as much of a hassle as actually getting water myself. I am perfectly capable of doing that, though, so if she doesn’t show up I just head over to the pump. One of my students apparently saw me, and approached me later in the day asking if I needed a menina in my house. I told her I already had one, but she kept asking me questions and I thought she was telling me she wanted to see my house. Thinking she was just curious, I told her she could stop by the next day to chat at my house if she wanted. Sure enough, she showed up, and I explained once again that I did not need any help around the house. She kept asking the same thing, and I could not understand what she meant. Finally, I realized she was asking to live with me. I politely turned her down.
*Latrina drama: Living close the school is great, except for the fact that my latrine also lives close to the school. The school has bathrooms (bathrooms meaning outdoor latrines), but I don’t know how clean they are. Sometimes the other teachers ask to use mine during the day, which I’m fairly okay with. I was washing clothes the other day, though, and noticed a couple students coming out of my bath house (not my latrine). I asked them why they were in the bath house and not the latrine, and she told me that she only had to pee. Great. She didn’t poo in my bath house (that’s only the goats), she only peed where I shower… so much better.

Well, my life just isn’t that exciting, I’m sorry to say. I’m glad things are fairly easy and peaceful right now, but I do wish I had some funnier stories. Ah well, there’s always next week. J
Tomorrow I will head down to the city in order to catch the early morning bus down to Chimoio for the weekend. Fast internet, Shoprite, potential packages to pick up, Indian food, pizza, friends… the only thing that could get me more excited was if a Dairy Queen magically popped up in the middle of Chimoio with the limited edition Tag-A-Long blizzard toppings fully stocked. If wishes were fishes, right? Anyway, the song for the post is “Little Secrets” by Passion Pit. I’ve had this on my iPod for a while and just still can’t get enough of it. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. If wishes were fishes :) that and the Passion Pit song made my day! Thanks, Hgo :)