Today felt like five, so we must have seen and done quite a bit! We had our first walk to the school which is about 2 miles from our village. Everyone was ready early and we all set out. This was the first chance the volunteers had to be in the local villages so I could see they enjoyed seeing all the children and local people greeting them along the way. The walk was more treacherous than some had expected. We had to cross the bridge in order to get to the school and i had not mentioned this to the volunteers. Turns out it was a good thing i didn’t because one of the teachers (Natalie) is terrified of crossing over a bridge. When we got to the edge of the bridge she felt that she didn’t have a choice so she just wobbled across carefully along with everyone else ( heart pounding knees shaking) When the day was done it was great to hear her say how proud of herself she was. She even mentioned that if she had known about the bridge prior to the trip she may not have come. Natalie was even able to say that she felt her fear had been faced and no other bridge would ever be an issue The bridge ended up being a highlight and i always love when things like that happen.
Upon arriving at the school the teachers learned that it was a school for grades 1 through 7 and there were 4,000 students. That alone was overwhelming, but then to find out there were only 23 teachers to serve those 4,000 students the volunteers became awestruck! As we toured the classrooms it was incredible to see sometimes over 200 students seated on the floor, eyes looking at the teacher and quietly learning. We were invited to visit each classroom and our teachers could pick a class to stay in observe as they saw fit. This seemed to work out well. Everyone found a spot and Scott and I tried to make rounds and check up on everyone. Eventually I picked a class of younger children and taught a nice round of duck duck goose I am not a teacher so what I have to give in this realm is limited, but the kids and I did have fun we had some laughs and stumbles as we all played inside the concrete classroom.
It did rain a bit today which was interesting since this time of year that is rare. Not long after the rain stopped the sun was out and we all were able to shed our sweatshirts again.
Once we arrived back in our village we sat and ate lunch. The teachers were eager to have a meeting to discus their plan for the next day. Since today they had observed, tomorrow they would have the chance to take over for the Malawian teachers and actually teach a lesson. The group sat and planned for over 2 hours! I could tell they were excited at the opportunity. Listening to them plan was so cool. These 13 teachers have so much passion for their work and I can imagine tomorrow will be a big day for all of them.
After their meeting we all got cleaned up and gathered to play a game Sara had brought. This gave us some good laughs and also helped bring all of us together. It’s early in the trip but this group seems to be getting along well and I think the experience has been great thus far! We all went to bed early as the teachers had to gear up for their big day in the classrooms