Sunday, 4 May 2008

Training teachers at last

May 2nd

Up early and off first to the Post Office (no letters and still no Guardian Weekly – what’s happening?), then to the District Office. Somebody has removed all my piles of census forms. And some outstanding schools have brought their returns in, but they’ve been taken along with all the rest. Why can’t they leave “my” stuff alone!

Then off to Gitarama primary school to do the first of our English INSET sessions with staff from Nyamabuye secteur. We’re supposed to start at eight; we eventually begin at half past and the last member arrives well after nine.

It all seems to go very well. We split up for some of the time; Cathie takes the infant teachers and me the juniors. We’re helping them with how to build up vocabulary using games and songs; we show them how working in pairs can be so much more productive than listening to the teacher all the time, and give them tips on how to retain class control if their fifty-five children are all speaking at the same time. At the end of the morning we give each person a rice sack, neatly hemmed courtesy of the VSO budget, and some templates and they spend nearly an hour copying two pictures to use as indestructible resources for their classroom walls. Then the training is done.

It’s now half past one and the heat in the tin-roofed classroom is unbearable, so we shuffle off to “Tranquillité” for some lunch.

During the afternoon it becomes very clear to me that my tummy bug is not, unfortunately, over, and the rest of the day collapses into me feeling wretched, huddled in our flat, and off to the loo every so often. I can’t concentrate on any official work, but at least I manage to make up a CD of photos to send to Sophie for our French twin school at St James.

The other thing I manage to get done in the evening is to finally go through all the Cumbia music I downloaded before I came out to Rwanda. I’ve deleted more than a third of all of it – the tracks which I find annoying -and what’s left is bearable. Sounds really funny now to hear things in Spanish after 4 months of French and Kinya.

Tonight is Sue Crook’s farewell party in Kigali before she flies back to England, but there’s absolutely no way I can be there.

Best thing about today – both Cathie and I are heaving a sigh of relief that we’ve got at least one training session out of the way. Eleven more to go.
Worst thing about today – being unwell – again. No post, again. And give me back my census forms or I’ll tear the District Office apart on Monday (if I’m well enough).

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