Interacting with the children had a huge impact on Matt. I remember how animated he was when recalling the events at the school. I think it made him really appreciate the things that we take for granted – textbooks, pens, pencils, paper. These things really are such a fundamental part of being at school, and yet we all grumble when the white board doesn’t work properly or laptops aren’t available – I wonder what we would do if we didn’t even have those more basic things …
Day 10 – July 25th
“For breakfast this morning Peter served us a massive bowl filled with fruit: pineapple, green bananas and green oranges.
After looking through the accounts with Callum, I was presented with a maths textbook and pointed in the direction of a 10-year-old who took me to his class.
The class gave me a standing ovation when I walked in and were clearly very excited. The first topic I had to teach them was the addition and subtraction of distances. Every so often the wind would pick up and blow through the glassless windows, knocking all of the children’s books on to the floor. We really need to get some windows if we can afford them.
As I was teaching from the board and the class were doing an exercise, I noticed that some of them weren’t writing. It soon became apparent that they didn’t have exercise books or any paper to write on, so I ripped a few pages out of my notebook and gave them to the ones who had nothing. My first stub of chalk ran out quickly, and two small girls very slowly almost crawled to the door, watching me closely for any sign of disapproval, and then sprinted from the door to fetch me more chalk. At one point Craig came in and took some pictures of the class, and they all crowded round to see and cheered.
I picked up on a lad near the back of the class who was doodling instead of working; on closer inspection it was a picture of me! So I went back to the front of the class and drew a picture of him and his friends, trading the two pictures. Even though I introduced myself as Matt, they refused to call me anything but teacher.
During break, I came back to our sleeping area with a few others for some bananas. We then discovered that Adam had never had a banana before, which we soon amended. We arranged for a local artisan to give us a quote for some windows and I was tasked with haggling for an affordable price which was as always time consuming albeit fun. We needed to find out the schedule for the rest of the week so I asked the headmaster if we were allowed to work on Sunday as it is a Christian school to which he replied, “God will understand.”
School finished at 3.10 for games and today we started off with volleyball where we were absolutely caned. It was then 10-a-side football, although at one point they had about 50 players and when we questioned their sports teacher he turned around and shouted, “they realise we are more than ten, go!” Today we were less fortunate in the football, losing 4-2.
After dinner, we were visited by two prefects close to our age: Joshua and Jeremiah. We talked about Masai customs and I explained a little about England, giving them some English coins to remember us by. They promised to return on Saturday morning to teach us how to dance and sing the Masai way.
As the sky went completely dark, we watched the stars come out, and realised we could see the Milky Way. There was even a shooting star which I caught a glimpse of. After this Chris, Gavan and I sang lullabies to Josh and Simran for a while, then went to bed, where I am now.”