Monday, 16 September 2013

Settling in

I'm really surprised how quickly I'm settling into the whole teaching-in-a-remote-part-of-Kenya thing.

You know the routine, right?

Alarm goes off. Climb out of the mosquito net. Check the floor and shoes for scorpions and other toxic treasures. Wash in a bowl. Wolf down some cereals. Proceed across the (always) windy, semi-desert for a little under half an hour, pass a few wandering Rendille warriors along the way and the occasional camel...and you're THERE. Primary school. Settle down in the small rectangular staff room and shake hands with anyone who's there already.

Here's the structure: eight forty-minute lessons a day for each class. Each teacher teaches only two or three subjects and they rotate around the different classes. Various tea/chai breaks. One daily mid-morning devotion for teachers, led by the school pastor. ALL the teachers have a school dinner (something very ricey or maizey) brought to them and they generally all eat it.

I'm really pleased with how the lessons are going: the children seem appreciative; there are very few discipline issues; and you pretty much teach from a textbook, so it's supremely straightforward. To the amusement of the children, I really struggle to work out what they are trying to tell me, as they speak English with a heavy Rendille accent. I keep myself amused by watching the small birds flutter around the classroom - they are in every lesson!!

One really cool thing is that I only teach about 5 lessons a day, so the rest of the time is good for chatting, marking and preparation. The staff are SUPER chilled out and are nearly all Kenyan and male. There's tons of banter. I only teach English and RE - LOTS of English and RE. I like it!!

Jesus also lived in a land of scorpions for his whole life. I love the way that he talks about scorpions in the book of Luke chapter 11:
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”



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