Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Biggest Accomplishment Ever

This past weekend I made the always-desired squeaking noise when I handwashed three bathtubs full of laundry!!! Only took almost a solid year. Actually I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it again, but still very proud. There’s nothing like the sight of your clothes turning the water black and hearing that magical squeak. It came after adding a TON of laundry detergent powder… so why do my clothes still not smell so clean?

On a different note… A couple things that have been going on at school -- So the Ministry of Education has a program called Window of Hope, which basically helps boost self-esteem and address the emotions of learners in the presence of HIV/AIDS. I volunteered to be one of the facilitators of this program for a group of the Grade 6s, and I have loved it so far! Some of the sessions we’ve had involved topics such as ‘why I am special,’ ‘why friends are important,’ ‘why our family is important,’ and ‘how to cope with anger.’ We did lots of talking, played games, I read some stories, and we sang awesome songs! Our Term 2 session just wrapped up yesterday with a party – and don’t forget the handing out of certificates! It is not legitimate unless you receive a certificate at the end of it = reason why I now have a certificate for skydiving in Swakopmund and going in the hot air balloon in Sosussvlei. I brought some American snacks from my secret hoard, which the kids LOVED, and they brought some traditional food and various cooldrink/lekkers. I got to try traditional owambo bread, which is made with mahangu. 

Most of my Window of Hope group at our party!
Also, the past few days I underwent the torturous process of marking the previously mentioned exams. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the essays I received. Given the prompts, many of my learners displayed really great creativity! I thought I would share with you one of the essays from one of my favorite/also smartest learners – his name is Ghiovanni and what he wrote literally made me laugh out loud, partly because it was so different from the rest of the answers to this question, but also because its hilarious! I’ve corrected most of the spelling/punctuation here it so it can be read more easily.

Prompt: The old woman has been in hospital for 2 months now. She takes her tablets three times a day. One day she refuses to drink her tablets. Write a funny story about it.

One day Grandma Phumzy striked the lottery. Guess what happened? She won 1.3 million. She was so happy she laughed and laughed and laughed. At the same time she felt a very anxious pain in the stomach. Grandma Phumzy didn’t know it was wind in her stomach that let her pain. She fell to the ground and phoned the doctor. The ambulance came in ten minutes. They hurried back to the hospital. The doctor said “Grandma Phumzy you were drinking too many fizzy drinks and the gas aimed straight at the stomach and when you laugh the gas will hurt you.” It was true she bought many fizzy drinks because she loved them. The doctor gave her tablets, she drank them three times a day and then decided she wouldn’t drink them anymore. The doctor asked why and she replied “the tablets make me puff a lot.” The doctor laughed and said “the tablets are made to make someone puff.”

*embarrassingly enough I did not realize what puffing was until a learner explained it to me using some quality gestures. This is a huge cause of disruption in my class “Miss this one is puffing!!!” is guaranteed to simultaneously start a fight, cause 10 learners to cover their faces with their shirts, and start general disorder around the room as kids start pushing chairs around to get the windows opened.

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