14 August 2008

Winding down

Model school will be over soon. Next week is all review, tests, and reclamations, so I'm pretty much done teaching class until I go to site.

Not much to report otherwise. I'm on the hunt for good gifts to give my host family that reflect how truly awesome they've been. Oh, and speaking of that DOES remind me of something worth recounting...

A couple years ago, my host dad set up an organization that gives sensibilisations on things like HIV/AIDS, female circumcision, and autres choses comme çà (other things like that - this is one of the more common franglais-ed phrases among volunteers, so I thought I'd use it). So we set up a chance for stagiares to have a sensibilisation on excision (that's what female circumcision is called here). It went really well, we learned a lot, and the GEE stagiares in particular were happy about it, I think, because apparently they'd expected to have more on that topic in their training than they'd actually received. My host dad gave a really great talk, which included some rather disturbing models. I was very proud to be a part of their family that day.

A couple more additions to my wishlist - my safety razor (natch, that one is for mom and dad), and books on how to sail and how to maintain sailboats. While I can't practice sailing here, I can at least get the book-learning done: How to read charts, what to look for when buying a boat, etc. I don't need books in general, because there's a great reading library for volunteers. But for this specific topic, I could use your help.

07 August 2008

New shout out

So I don't have very much new to say, other than that teaching in French gets a little easier each day. Oh, here's a story from model school:

Preparing lessons in French takes FOREVER. There are constantly new words in the book I need to look up, plus I want to try to re-word everything, PLUS I need to try to be aware of any new words my students might throw at me. At least, that was my outlook the first few days of model school. But after spending 5 hours to prepare the first 2 hours worth of lessons (lessons that in English I could have taught if someone had handed me the book as I walked into the classroom), I kind of relaxed my standards for myself. Which leads us to what happened two days ago, when I was talking about evaporation and I wanted to say that over time water disappears. But I completely forgot the word. Now, every other day, I've kept my dictionary with me, though I've never used it - if you once let the students here realize you're fallible, discipline immediately becomes a problem. So that day, I let the PCVF who was observing my class use it. So naturally that was the day I needed it. So I had to go to the back of the class where she was sitting to look up "disappear" (it's "disparaître," by the way) as my students looked on. So I told them that I was sorry, I know the science, not the French, but if they'd like I could easily teach the lesson in English. That got a chuckle, so I was able to play it off, but it was pretty stressful all the same. Some of my students, by the way, said they WOULD like me to teach in English, but I don't know if that's a comment on the interest in English or their disinterest in Physics/Chemistry.

But that story is not why I'm posting today. I'm posting today to recognize my awesome friend Sally who sent me a package full of goodies! I got it Sally! On the downside, that means you don't get to lie about what was in it, but on the upside I can't imagine why you would - it's great! I am now officially a fan of Propel Fitness water.

It took a month, but it made my day!