Thursday, June 23:
Today was another great day and I feel so blessed to have these children in my life. It is definitely getting hard for me with the ED struggle because I’m getting so pale and the wardrobe is out of my comfort zone. It’s definitely been a good challenge though and the second that I step off that bus at the school I completely forget about my appearance or weight.
Katie and I decided to teach math today with flashcards and beads. We started with easy multiplication flashcards, and it was the same students answering the questions so then I started writing harder ones on the board like “20 x 13” and we would call people up to answer them who hadn’t been raising their hands. We did this for about 45 minutes and the kids really love math. Then, we pulled out the bags of beads and all hell broke loose haha! We didn’t count, but we knew we made a rough estimate of about 1500 beads so we were planning on giving about 10ish to each student. However, since there aren’t desks and the children just sit on the floor, they always move around and you lose track of who you have handed to and who you haven’t. Kids were hiding beads in their pockets saying they hadn’t gotten any but my boys Chisisi and Edward had my back and were telling me which ones were lying haha! After everyone got their beads, we wrote a list on the board of things they had to do with their beads. For example, make a square with your beads, make the first letter of your name with your beads, place them in size from smallest to biggest, make a circle with your beads, exc. The kids really liked it and were really engaged. After that, we pulled out the string and let them all make bracelets. There were kids who had like 30 beads and others who only had like 5, so we would go around giving handfuls to those that didn’t have many. Again, people would start hiding their beads! Definitely a huge challenge of teaching 100 plus students who don’t have desks or speak English. However, they all absolutely loved it and were showing off their bracelets to everyone! Whenever one of them smiles, I swear my heart breaks. Onida had never seen beads before so we told her to make a bracelet too and she absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to leave all my skirts and extra school supplies with her. She’s beautiful inside and out.
Then we had break and I brought the jump rope and soccer ball again today, which is always so much easier because then there’s not hundreds of students in a circle around you, waiting for you to entertain them. Half of the kids were playing soccer, half were jump roping and then only a few were surrounding me haha! They were all having so much fun so we gave them a really long break including songs (Eminem is their new favorite), dancing and games. Before we knew it, it was noon and time for us to go, however, I knew my seven little boys would be over to see me at MIE. Sure enough, as we were walking over to the Demonstration School, my seven little nuggets came running over screaming “Kelsey!” (pronounced Kessie).
We all walked over together, holding hands, and all the girls were taking pictures saying how jealous they were that I was so close with my class. It really did make me feel so blessed.
On the walk over, I gave them a soda, goldfish and a granola bar and they all shared it pretty equally. I then took out the soccer ball, and we played volleyball at the top of the hill for a good 30 minutes until Willie came with the bus! They were all hugging me and asking to take pictures with me, and I almost started to cry when thinking about how truly attached I am getting to them. I want to do something with these children in my future, and I am determined to make their futures brighter. It honestly keeps me up at night when I think about all I want to do for these children, but don’t know if I can. If it was easy, I swear to God I’d bring all seven of them home to the United States with me. (Don’t worry mom, I know that’s not possible.) Their smiles are completely contagious, and they warm my heart every morning without fail. As exhausting as the days are, I wish I could just play with them all day because after we leave the schools, we just go around town and then come back to the Lodge. I guess it’s a good thing, for me, that we don’t stay any longer because I’m already crushed when I have to leave them every day. Tomorrow I think I’m going to bring in my jar of peanut butter since I’ve been eating the Malawain peanut butter. Peanut butter is so filling and so good for you, so I’m going to give it to my seven little boys when they walk with me again tomorrow, and tell them to bring some to their families. Hopefully they won’t go hungry over the weekend now. I don’t have spoons to give them, but the jars still completely filled so they can just dig in.
Tomorrow Katie and I are bringing in 20 50-piece puzzles because the children don’t know what puzzles are. I think they’ll have a ball with them, as well as work how to learn together and how to visualize something in their heads. We are also going to try to take their pictures so that we can get them developed and they can make a “passport” next week, but I know once we pull out the cameras their all going to come running. We have “human body” worksheets, so I think one of us will work on those with them and the other one of us will call students out one by one to take their picture outside. We’ll see if it works, but I hope it does because that’d be such a cute keepsake for them to have. Well, that’s all for now. Nothing but the children on my mind! Peace, love, Malawi.
So, a quick humor relief. Tonight I ate a bug, on complete accident, and it was absolutely terrifying. So, the power went out (casual) while me and Katie were munching on my trail mix. As I was typing on my computer I felt what I thought was a peanut on my lap and, normally, took a bite out of it. I quickly realized it was definitely not a peanut and whatever it was tasted kind of peppermint-y at first, but then started burning. I thought maybe it was a piece of sugar cane that somebody had dropped on my bed (no other explanation). I spit it out of my month and quickly shined my computer on what I had just put in my mouth, I screamed at the top of my lungs after I saw the dead bug lying on my lap. I ran into the bathroom to rinse my mouth out, still screaming and mouth still on fire, while Katie and Jameson are laughing hysterically. Within minutes I think everybody at Annie’s had heard I ate a stinkbug. Glad somebody got a kick out of it, and glad I know now that I could never be on Fear Factor!