Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 3

Thursday June 16:
Well, today has been amazing from beginning to end.   We woke up at the normal 7:30 am time and went down to the restaurant for breakfast.  I had a tomato and peppers omelet and a small croissant with their delicious home-made honey.  We then all piled into our “home-away-from-home” bus, and headed towards the schools.  We stopped at all three schools, the one that Tech is teaching at, the one that NC A&T is teaching at, and the one that Radford is teaching at so we could get an idea of where everyone would be.  The first stop was at Radford’s school, called Malemia, and this was definitely the poorest of all three schools.  As we pulled up, our faces dropped and we were all in awe.  The children swarmed the bus, just as I had seen pictures of, and we all got off and played with them.  We then followed them into their classrooms where they sung the ABC’s for us, and several traditional Malawian teaching songs.  The students were then called for lunch, their one and only meal of the day, where they stood in line and had porridge poured into their cups.  If they didn’t have cups, they didn’t get any.  It was the most heart-breaking, yet heart-warming thing because all of the kids were still so happy and so excited for this one, small meal.  The children who didn’t have cups were offered food from their friends, and the older students almost always gave away their lunch to the younger ones.  Katie even saw two sisters pour their porridge into one cup and put it in their bag to save for dinner later for their family. 
After an hour at that school, we headed to Domasi Government, the school we will be teaching at! I honestly don’t think I have ever been so excited, nervous and overwhelmed with joy in my entire life.  We pulled up and went into all the classrooms again, standard 1-6 grade.  The rooms were completely bare, on wooden dirt floors, and the children all sat piled in on the floor.  Right before we left, Katie and I went into the 6th grade classroom because we heard singing.  Honestly, it was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.  Part of the class was singing “Hallelujah” and the other half of the class was singing “Jesus walks in the light.”  Katie and I both held back tears, and my body was completely numb.  How could children that have absolutely nothing still be so happy, secure and faithful? It was extremely emotional.  We were then assigned our classes before we left, and Katie and I will be working with a new teacher helping to teach standard 5!  We didn’t care who we got assigned, and even though standard 1-3 children are the cutest, they know almost zero English.  Katie and I will be helping children who know the basic English vocabulary, so our teaching will be of vital importance to increase their knowledge.
After another hour, we then headed to the last school that NC A&T will be teaching at, the Demonstration Government school.  The school was way more advanced than the first two, and each classroom was equipped with lesson plans, desks and school supplies.  Because this school is slightly more advanced, A&T students will be working with them on using technology, sewing and raising chicken farms.  The children in all three schools were beautiful, and I now understand how truly impossible it is going to be to leave them, especially once I get so close to my 5th graders!
Overall, today I finally realized how much of a difference me being here will make; one person can make a difference, and together we are changing these children’s futures.  I am going now to do another money exchange, but the Internet is getting fixed so I will be updating again soon. Peace, love, Malawi. 

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