Friday 14-06-2013

Today Alice and I woke up at 5:55, but instead of waking up in the freezing cold, it was actually relatively warm in our room. That’s right – we now have a heater! Well, truth be told, we’ve always had a heater, but it’s labeled “air conditioner,” and yesterday Xenia told us that hers can provide heat, so we tried ours out, too.

Anyway, it was really nice waking up in relative warmth, especially since Alice, who keeps the remote that controls the heater by her bed, just so happened to wake up around 5 and turned on the heat. Waking up in warm darkness is so much better than waking up in cold darkness. We then headed off to breakfast, followed by a quick staff meeting.

I had the first couple of blocks free, so I did some final planning for my two classes of the day – form 2 maths and then form 3 maths. During fourth period, I taught form 2 maths, and it went pretty well. They were working on finding the area of compound shapes (i.e. dividing a pentagon into a square and a triangle and adding those two areas together). Even though they had been doing areas of different shapes with relative ease this whole past week, this concept seemed a bit trickier. I do think they finally got the hang of it near the end of class, after we did a couple more examples together on the board.

After that, I went straight to Daniel and my (whoops, I mean Mr. and Ms. Ki/Kee’s) form 3 maths class. Today we were reinforcing the concept of substitution for solving simultaneous equations (and were promptly told that here, they pronounce it “sim-ultaneous,” while apparently we pronounce it “wrongly” as “sigh-multantaneous). Then, at the end of the class, we put the kids into groups of three, and had them compete to see who could solve a simultaneous equation first. Turns out that this was a perfect method – they all were really into the whole competition thing, and I think we got a lot more done than if we had just been going through the steps with them on the board.

After that it was time for lunch, and then we had a little bit of time to rest. Jennifer, Daniel and I went to Choppies, and I got milk (YAY! Since our fridge is now working) some apples (variety from a constant diet of pears, and they were 5 pula cheaper) and sliced bread from the bakery next door. We quickly headed back home, and then Jennifer and I were off to Latin American Dance.

Latin American dance was quite the experience. For starters, it was taught by a feisty twenty-something, who wasn’t part of the MaP faculty – I assume they hire some outside people to run certain SPEs. She also forgot her music, and let me tell you, it is rather difficult trying to do Latin American dance without the music. Also, to be perfectly honest, her moves were kind of slutty. Here she was, teaching 13-16 year old girls, and she has them doing a bunch of provocative moves. In addition, she kept changing her steps, and adding in random off-beats to make it go along with the music in her head. All in all, it was quite the experience, but not an SPE that I think Jennifer nor I will be heading back to anytime soon.

Earlier in the afternoon, we had ordered a cab to pick us up at 5:30, thinking we’d get to Bull and Bush (a restaurant) around 6. Well the cab, running on classic African Time, arrived around 6:05, had to take two trips (since it could only hold four people, and we’re six total), so by the time everyone got to B&B, it was around 6:30. We were planning on meeting another group of Harvard students (who are working at an AIDS clinic in Gabs) at 6, and we were so worried we’d be late. Turns out they wouldn’t arrive until around 7:30!
It was a little uncomfortable, since we had already ordered our food before they arrived, so for the first 20 minutes that they were there, we (the six MaP interns) were nomming and not really providing much conversation. Regardless, it was nice to see some new faces, and compare and contrast the work that we’re doing in Gabs. In addition, the hamburger that I had was delicious! Bikey even got a milkshake, which I think I might get if we come back next time.

After that, we called the cab again, and they said they’d be at B&B around 9:45, fifteen minutes from when we called. We ended up trying to play a game of pool, and eventually just sat in the restaurant, which had by then started undergoing its transition into a nightclub. A DJ had already arrived, and was blasting music, and some older girls had already started dancing.

We did finally get a cab home around 10. It was a long day, but it was nice to get outside of MaP’s gates, explore the city a bit and see some new faces.

TGT: 1) delicious hamburger at B&B 2) successful teaching/getting the kids excited in competition during F3 maths 3) waking up to a warm room this morning

Until next time,
~JK

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