Friday June 16:
Well, last night was a lot of fun but I was definitely exhausted when we had to wake up this morning! After we all ate last night at 5, we went to Bebe and Allison’s room (next to us) and all played cards and drank. There were about 15 of us and we all stayed in there until about midnight when we decided to instead start a dance party. By the end, it was just me, Katie, Anna, Katlin, Bebe and Allison. It was hysterical! I really did get to know everyone better tonight even through a stupid card game and “never have I ever”. I am definitely starting to get very close to these people.
This morning we woke up at the standard time, got breakfast and made our sandwiches for later. We dropped off the Radford and NC A&T people at their schools and then got dropped off at ours. Katie and I got to meet the teacher we will be working with in Standard 5, Onida. She is young and so sweet and the children really seem to love her. The 5th grade classes were combined today because the other teacher was out, so she was teaching 200 children. Katie and I got extremely overwhelmed, but then we were informed that we will only be teaching around 70 of them. I realized how difficult this really is going to be, but all of us are going to help eachother come up with lesson plans since we’re all teaching between the grades of standard 4 and standard 6 or 7.
I cannot wait for Monday when I can start to get to know my 70 students, and Katie and I will probably put together the bags to handout on Tuesday. We are going to try to get notebooks for each bag (we have 100 bags) and then add bubbles, pens, paper and crayons to each. Dr. Kelly also said we are allowed to give away clothes/shoes to certain students, even though it might be nearly impossible since students surround us at all times. Dr. Kelly also gave us alot of ideas for places and people to donate to, so we have so many options. Even if I just gave the donation money to the school we are working at, I would feel like I made a huge difference. Beforehand I wanted to donate something specific, but now I realize that anything, to anyone, would be of huge, significance importance.
We stayed at the schools from 9 am to about 12:30 pm, and then we walked to the attached “Domasi College” that usually schools teachers in training. We were there for about an hour and learned some basic history on Malawi and ate our lunch (since we can’t eat them around the children since they don’t get a meal at their school). On our way out, three students came up to our bus (without shoes on) and started talking to all of us. They were absolutely adorable, and one of the boys names was Gerard who Dr. Kelly and the other teachers remember from previous years. He kept asking people to take him back to America with them, and it really made me cry. Then, Anna gave them 4 of her fruit snack packs and Gerard came up to her, grabbed her hand and said, “You is my friend.” We both got really teary, and then the bus pulled away.
We went to the town afterwards to get waters and walk around, and also stopped in the Internet café since the Internet here is still down. However, the Lodge promised us that the Internet would be working by 8 am tomorrow morning. I am trying not to get my hopes up but that would be super considering I want to post all of these daily updates on my blog and upload my pictures! Afterwards we headed back to the Lodge, showered and ate dinner; grilled cheese and “chips” again for me! Simion planned an amazing trip for us tomorrow which we are all so excited about because we had no plans! We will be leaving at 9 am and going horse-back riding in the mountains behind the lodge! Talk about once in a lifetime experience, horse-back riding in the mountains of Malawi, Africa. If all goes as planned, I will come back and upload everything! Talk to you, actually, tomorrow. Peace, love, Malawi.