Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stiggbucks

It is raining outside. Actually, it’s not just raining, it’s pouring. It has been pouring like this since late in the night. It’s Saturday morning and I am lying in my bed listening to the sounds of the rain beating on the tin roof (isn’t that a line from a song?). Anyways…

It has been a long week. When my students arrived, I first did some assessment testing to find out their level of English. I was shocked to discover that of the seventeen students who have arrived so far, almost half of them cannot even write the alphabet! One is cross-eyed and I think perhaps cannot even read or write in Swahili. Over half have only a seventh grade education. Two have had some university. One has completed seminary. Five are girls. One is Massai. Four are Koreans. The rest are Tanzanians. The youngest is 17. The oldest is 52. And most have never talked to a white Western woman, much less had one for a teacher. After the first couple days they have started to warm up to me, but some still give me absolutely no response and stare at me like I’m some kind of a freak!

I have decided to split my class in two because half of the class is lacking even basic literacy skills and the other half can already speak some English. This means a lot more work, but it will be better in the long run.

Finally I am adjusting to life here and getting used to the power outages and the lack of water for days at a time. There is another American girl, named Megan, who is doing a DTS here. It’s nice having someone else who understands – who can watch American movies with you and “ooh and aah” over the sight of real houses and grocery stores and parking lots and civilization. Last night, I went to the home of one of the Korean missionaries, and we cooked ramen noodles and watched Korean movies. Between Megan and the Koreans and a lot of long conversations with God, I am staying sane.

The rain is letting up now, so I’m going to take a cold shower (if there’s water) and go into town for some Stiggbucks Coffee - not quite the same as Starbucks, but it’ll do. Bye!

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