|Music teacher explaining the recording they are about to hear|
After an insomniatic night listening to howling dogs, rooters that didn't know it was the middle of the night and the footsteps of the security guard on the gravel below, I was wondering if I was going to be able to make it through a whole day. My driver Zawadi (Gill's recommendation) picked me up promptly at 9:30 to drive to Good Hope. He is a pleasant man, with a wide permanent smile and kind eyes and gladly shares about his life on the drive in. As he maneuvered the rocky, makeshift roads I asked him if he got alot of flat tires. "No" he grinned, "not since I got new tires". He dropped me by the bank machine on the way in and reluctantly took the 10,000 Tanzanian shillings I offered. "Too much Lyn. But thank you very much". (It wasn't too much!)
Today was a teaching day -- too, to, two; fast, faster, fastest; past and present tenses. I showed them pictures of fairies, knights and unicorns as promised from the day before. We discussed vocabulary, They told me words they wanted to know and/or how to spell... clever, intimidating, eager, beaver (I can explain)... I noticed Julius sitting clearly off to the side, head hung with what looked to me an angry expression. I kept trying to draw him in and get him to participate but he just shook his head.
During the first break I asked him if he was okay and he didn't respond. I asked him if he was mad and I put my hand on his shoulder. He looked up at me and said, "teacher, I am not mad - I am sad. I am sad because my sister is dead". I was dumbstruck and immediately felt foolish for the grief I had given him in class. She had passed away just two days prior. I told him I was so sorry for his loss and pain -- that I knew it must be very hard for him and his family. He simply said that it was and "thank you teacher for your kindness".
Jill sent me with three skipping ropes and I didn't make it inside without them being plucked. The giggles erupted immediately and the biggest kid of all was Oliver, Good Hope's director. I finally had to scold her into sharing with the kids. :)
The kids at Good Hope had worked with a music teacher to record a rap song and on this day, they heard it for the first time. The music teacher had Julius stand at the front of the class to perform the rap portion of the song for his classmates. He was incredible. I was blown away by his ability to do that being as shy as he is - not to mention the loss he had just suffered.
Gill and I took Oliver and Nelson, the local teacher to a local spot for a platter of beans, rice, meat and greens and banana and water melon. It only cost us 2,000 TZS each ($1.40 CAD). I couldn't finish all of the food on the platter and I felt ashamed at the waste.
Zawadi was uncharacteristically late picking us up --- he had a flat tire! I jinxed him!
Dinner with our housemates at an authentic ? Thai restaurant was delicious - hot spicy ginger beef -m eaten in the open Tanzanian air with interesting people - doesn't get much better than that.