Monday, July 23, 2012

The Beginning of Goodbyes

Day 31
In the morning, we all trek to the primary school for English Club. When we reach the school, a few students are lingering in the courtyard, but the school is otherwise a ghost town. Most students are enjoying their break after exams last week, but 14 students still show up for English Club.
We wind them up with singing and Simon Says. Then, we break off into small groups and do a vocabulary contest. Each group has to list as many items as they can from a topic. When I write the topic “Animals” on the board, their eyes light up and they start to write furiously. Without an eraser, I’m forced to erase the board with my hand, which leaves my hands dusty and my pants smeared with white powder.
We’re amazed with the students’ knowledge. When we do verbs, one group comes up with over thirty verbs in two minutes. We also work on forming questions, which is initially very difficult to explain until Teddy helps us by translating. Before finishing the class, we take a small break and head to the courtyard where Big Dog teaches us a dance.
In a circle on the dusty ground, we hop around following Bog Dog’s lead. As dust puffs into the air, we giggle and pressure Big Dog to continue so Teddy and Olivier can film the spectacle. Then we head inside and finish up the lesson. Before we leave, we thank the students for being dedicated, and we mingle around the room giving hugs. Their small fingers wrap around us like appreciation. 

Then the students sing us a song:

We are the young women and men of Rwanda
We are marching with this
The path to education is singing and dancing with joy
we are uniting together for a better Rwanda
WE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE!

At our final English Club lesson with the Health Center, we ask questions of the students to assess our English lessons. Then, they thank us for our time, presenting Tim with a love basket, and us students with woven sandals. Some of the students stand up to thank specific people. Hassan thanks Tim for visiting him at his home and teaching him English, Isa thanks Lauren for taking the time to know him, and Claude thanks Brooke and Filimon who he is Facebook friends with. It’s difficult to say goodbye, especially when our students tell us they wish we could stay.
On a brighter note, we have the best dinner in the world! THE KENYAN CHEF, RONALD, MAKES US BROCHETTES FOR DINNER! Yes, brochettes! At first, we all get one, some of us none, and our faces are glum. But moments later, another mountain of brochettes appears. The crispy meat flakes and crunches in our mouths. Then, we wash it down with smooth pinkish fruit salad. We will never hear a goat’s cry the same way again.

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