Friday 05-07-2013

I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get up today at 6:30, after going to bed around midnight last night/this morning. I had a nice breakfast of toast with PB and toast with honey and an apple, and Alice and I headed to the staff meeting.

As soon as it was over, I went with Laverick to try and find some 3d shapes in some of the maths offices. While walking, we were discussing how I bungee jumped over the long weekend and he told me, “Oh, I wish I’d known you were going to jump.” Confused, I asked him why, and he replied saying, “I would have sent you the video of the cord breaking before your trip!” Such a charmer. Later, he told me that he was going to go parachute jumping in the near future, and I promised him I’d send him failed videos of people trying to do that (cuz this is a two-way street!)

We were actually able to find some very helpful 3d shapes in many of the different maths offices (apparently every classroom has a supplies office attached to it). Then, it was time for maths during the first period of the day (but hey, better to have the kids first block on Friday than last block on Friday!) While we did spend a lot of time at the board, we were able to get through finding the volume of cuboids, prisms and cylinders. Overall it was a pretty good class, and we were able to give the kids plenty of warning for their test next Friday.

Then I had a few free periods (since were weren’t needed for the form 6 discussion period). I ended up planning out my schedule for the next two cycles (basically our last two cycles here, although we do have day one of another cycle on our last Friday here). I also was able to flip through some books about living in Tuscany and France, since there were (shockingly) no kids who wanted to get tutored in the library last block on a Friday.

Then it was time for lunch, which was braai (barbequed) chicken and potatoes. The potatoes really smelled like onion rings (or some other very familiar smell that I couldn’t quite place). After lunch, we had a bit of downtime until 3.

At 3, we all met above the library to discuss breaking up the proctoring of the SAT and our college night. We decided that three interns would proctor the SAT tomorrow (Saturday) and that the other three interns would proctor it in two weekends from now. I pushed for doing it next weekend, because I hope we’ll be able to administer an ACT that weekend, too. Ms. Jobson (the college counselor here) made the great point, though, that we could only administer the ACT to the MaP scholars, because the closest place for Botswanan students to take the ACT is in Zimbabwe (but the MaP scholars could take the ACT at their respective American prep schools). Regardless, I hope that in two weekends many of the MaP scholars will want to at least try the ACT.

I then went for a run, which felt really good today because it was two things that it never is in Bots – cloudy and windy. The wind was particularly strange, since it’s one of those things that you don’t notice was missing until you are introduced to it again.

I showered (and washed some clothes) and soon it was time for dinner. Pizza and salad (i.e. salad and PB and J for Julia!) We then went back to the annex and I had some cheerios in a mug (my specialty!)

Before we went to dinner, we noticed that something was happening at the Maitisong (the auditorium/theatre on campus) and Alice and I decided to check it out. Turns out it was a Presidents Day celebration with free admission. We all agreed we wanted to check it out after dinner tonight.

So we headed to the auditorium, but learned that the first half of the show was Setswana poetry. We (except Alice, who stayed in the theatre) decided we’d come back around 7:30, when we were told that the music would start.

By the time 7:30 rolled around, we were back in the theatre. Someone even managed to give us second-row seats. We patiently sat and waited for the music to begin.

Out came a man and a woman dressed in tribal clothing, the man telling some kind of story (maybe, it might have been jokes, too, for all I know since it was ALL in Setswana). The woman, on the other hand, was making this incredibly high-pitched almost yodeling sound. They took about ten minutes, and then we thought the music would surely be starting.

Wrong. Out comes ANOTHER male/female pair, almost identical to the last one, although this time the woman has a microphone (so she is literally doing this shrill yodeling sound into an objet that makes it shriller and louder). Then came out yet another duo.

And then the curtains closed. Turns out this was the start of a 30-minute intermission. When everyone finally got settled back into their seats, multiple people made announcements (still in Setswana, mind you) and then finally the choirs started singing. They were good, but by now it was 9:30 and we were all in pretty grumpy moods, having understood literally nothing the past two hours.

We ended up leaving after just two choirs, and none of us could believe that we had stayed there that long. Jennifer and I ended up laughing on the walk back home, and I told her we’re laughing to keep ourselves from crying. She agreed. Felicity, one of the TAs, then came to Alice and my room and we had a nice chat with her.

TGT: 1) going for a run in ideal conditions 2) yummy chicken/potatoes for lunch 3) toast with honey for breakfast

Until next time,
~JK

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