I Still Go To School

on teaching, learning, travelling


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Endspurt

It is done!

Friday, students were allowed to come in casual clothes, and they brought food for everyone.

Friday, students were allowed to come in casual clothes, and they brought food for everyone.

My year of teaching English in Abidjan has officially come to a close.

We had our graduation celebration last Sunday at the big event hall of the Police School. It was a nice event, a very positive vibe going on and lots of people (over 200). For me, it was an enjoyable occasion, though it also meant saying goodbye to the kids, whom I will miss a lot.

The last couple of weeks very quite intense, having to finish the report cards, and many of the kids finally waking up to the reality of school: If you don’t do any work, it will show in your results. Some understood that when I told them, others were honestly surprised. So most of the time in class I was moving from student to student non-stop, corrected their work during break and lunchtime and handed it back the lesson after. I did not sit down for a minute!

I have learned so many things this year about being a teacher and understanding African culture! These experiences will help me in my future teaching, and remain nice memories. My point system for discipline worked out quite well I believe, at least for 70% of the class. Some improved their behavior a lot during the year, some stayed the same, but none declined, which is nice! Additionally, I could make many connections and find really good friends in my colleagues, a fact which cannot be taken for granted!

I have only 10 days left in the country, 5th of July I will be leaving 😦

With my students: Maryvonne and Yan Ting

With my students: Maryvonne and Yan Ting

With my students: Maryvonne and Roseline

With my students: Maryvonne and Roseline

My students: Grade 8 Graduates!

My students from Grade 8: Graduated!

The Highschool graduates giving their speeches, and many tears are shed

The Highschool graduates giving their speeches, and many tears are shed

Pierrick and I

Pierrick and I

With my bro Willie

With my bro Willie

With the sports teacher, Eloge

With the sports teacher, Eloge

With my bro Armand

With my bro Armand

I will try to get more and better pictures of graduation when the official photographer arrives.

Meanwhile, the rainy season has started quite dramatically, from months without any rain during the day, to an entire week of torrential rain. The effect of rain on society here is immense! Think of it equivalent to snow in London: public transport stops, few people show up to work, markets are closed. When it rains, everything stops here. To top it off, sometimes electricity breaks down, so even working inside on your computer is not possible, unless your place has a generator (not many places do).

 

Moi et mon frere Wisdom, at his home for dinner

Moi et mon frere Wisdom, at his home for dinner

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His daughter, who tried taking pictures and succeeded after some tries 🙂

I visited the home of Wisdom, a friend I made in Palmerai. He is motivated to find a good job as a driver, and always on the search, but even with an agency it’s tough. If you have a car, you can hire someone privately for about 80.000 FCFA (€122,10) a month, to drive you around at any time to any place you want. You need to be lucky to find someone who pays decently. He told me he wants to work for white people, because they pay well and on time.

Anyways, he invited me for some spaghetti africaine. I think it’s amazing how easy people can trust you here and invite you into their homes, feed you and everything. And you find many who really just want to give out of a good heart, not because they want money from you.

What will I be doing until I go back to Austria? I want to try to visit different places, but most probably within Abidjan. I hope everything works out and I can tell you after 🙂

One thing that is sure:
I have started working on a website for the school, to give it more publicity and make the information for the parents more accessible. For now I’m gathering information and pictures.

 

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The Old Gods and the New

The Old Gods

One of the many busses with "Dieu", many other have Bible verses on them. Ignore the bullet holes.

One of the many busses with “Dieu”, many other have Bible verses on them. Ignore the bullet holes.

At our school, we have kids who are Christian: Catholic, Protestant. We also have kids who are Muslim, also some with Jewish background. The dialogues are quite interesting, considering that the school provides a Christian American curriculum. Sometimes the Muslim kids complain about having to study about the Bible and Jesus. They tell me (mostly when studies are tough),

“I’m a Muslim, I don’t need to study the Bible!”

I ask them, “So then why are you at a school with a Christian curriculum?”

“My parents put me here.”

“Are your parents Muslim?”

“Of course!”

“Then they are wise people.”

As of 2008, 38,6% of Ivorians are Muslim, 32,8% Christian, and 28% African Indigenous (wiki). Generally speaking, in Westafrica, the North of the countries is majority Muslim, and the South mainly Christian. The cities, especially Abidjan, are completely mixed, though.

Especially these days when you hear about groups such as Boko Haram terrorizing in the name of God, and the killing of Muslims in Central African Republic, having kids of different background, nationality, ethnicity and faith in the same class truly crosses borders. With the right sense of mediation, this kind of coeducation helps to prevent future misunderstandings and conflicts.

Quite striking when arriving from Austria is the quantitative jump of church attendance here. Sunday morning is Church Time. The pastors are like rockstars here. The Archbishop Duncan from Ghana has an own police escort plus three Escalades and a Hummer. While we were stuck in traffic, police ploughed his way through the masses. Truly a man of God, with the purse of a King (the former may be debatable). On TV you may watch some preachers putting their congregation into trance and people fainting when he touches their heads. They have definitely developed their own style of worship, with dances, drums and chanting. I would recommend to anybody to partake in a service like this, even just for the experience. As the pastors are rockstars, the service becomes a rock concert 😉

The New Gods

“And the white man comes directly after God!”

is what a friend told me recently. “Because they can do so many things that no black man can do!”

“But what is it they do?”

“They can build roads; all the companies for construction, they are not from here!”

The new God: Jack Bauer!

The new God: Jack Bauer!

 

"Thank you, mother". You may not fear God, but you better fear your mother ;)

“Thank you, mother”. You may not fear God, but you better fear your mother 😉

papa_lacoste

Lacoste, Gucci and DG are popular brands to show off your money. Of course you can buy them at the market for 2 €.

While the tourguide at the national heritage museum was mourning the disappearance of African Indigenous religions, others welcome the change and see it as development.

So I ask the questions:

  • Concerning the growing middle class, who try to copy the “European (middle class) Dream”, how will secularisation affect the local culture?
  • Is the decline of spirituality inevitably connected to the rise of wealth? Why (not) in Africa?
  • In the perspective of diversity and preservation, should indigenous religion and culture be encouraged and developed?

 


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Know Thyself

Tuesday to Thursday we had a teacher’s conference at school, the first one for me to ever participate in. It was productive, and in general everybody felt it helped them to improve their teaching and to know the students better. Also it helped to get misunderstandings out of the way and find a common goal and purpose again: to help the kids achieve the best they can and to support them on every possible level.

Wednesday was free, so our secretary, Gloria, invited me and some Japanese missionaries to visit the Museum of Civilisations Cote d’Ivoire. I was excited about finally getting some input about the history and culture of the place, for the first time NOT from the outside, but in the country itself. I vividly remember going through the Slavery Museum in Liverpool and seeing handcuffs, chains and little figurines from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. It was impressive and depressing at the same time. I felt so sorry, yet angry, for what had been done.
I was really curious how the locals would present their own history, interpreting it from their own perspective. How did they cope with their past, and what do they focus on?

Here we are in front of the building. It is part of a small botanical garden in Plateau, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Abidjan.

entrance to the museum

entrance to the museum

We got our own tour guide, who spoke a bit of English. Halfway through the tour he said he had to leave, so he was replaced by another guide, who spoke a bit less English. Both of them were enthusiastic about the African heritage and the objects displayed in the museum, but neither seemed to have studied them properly. Officially, we were not allowed to take any photos, until he asked us to take a picture together.

the group with the elephant skull and ivory, the symbol of ivory coast.

the group with the elephant skull and ivory, the symbol of ivory coast.

sneaky shot of two tribal war masks.

sneaky shot of two tribal war masks.

The mask in the center has bullets on the rim, but our tour guide dated it “yes, maybe 15th century”. The mask on the right is worn when there is a fire in the village. The mask to the left is also a war-mask, ornated with fur and skin of wild animals. It’s not necessarily the eldest or village chief who wore the mask, but someone who has gone through the required rituals.

Goddess of fertility

Goddess of fertility

There used to be a kind of polytheism. Every need you had, you carve a statue and pray to it. This one is used when a woman seems to be infertile. She needs to sleep separate from her husband for one night, with the statuette next to her. Whichever tribe you belong to, your corresponding god will be different. A Baoulé god of fertility is different from a Beté god, and you cannot use theirs. So, since I do not belong to any of the African tribes, none of the gods would help me!

currency of old

currency of old

Before the introduction of the franc by the French occupation, little objects like these, made from copper, were used for trade.

car of old

car of old

Being a king always has had it’s little comforts. This is a king’s “car”, carried by his slaves on the top of their heads. This was the only way of travelling for high-borns, no mounts such as horses or mules.

to every king, his throne

to every king, his throne

Throne with the brush symbolizing spiritual power, the sabre symbolizing military power, and the crown symbolizing political power. Everything used to be golden, but unfortunately the museum was looted during the recent civil war.

dowry for a happy marriage

dowry for a happy marriage

“If you wanted to marry, you could have as many wives as you wanted, it only depends on your pockets. It is still the same, now”

, our tour guide commented. These dowries made from copper were rather expensive. The massive thing on the left is a bracelet, btw.

“Cause if you like it you should have put a massive bracelet on it!”. Reminds me a bit of these leg shackles, and probably had about the same effect 😉

What is marriage to you?

The other dowry is an axe, symbolizing that you will protect your new wife from any harm. Both in symbol and monetary worth, these dowries meant a lot.

Attieke and Chicken! My favourite African food!

Attieke and Chicken! My favourite African food!

After the visit, we had lunch at the museum’s restaurant, which was about the same size as the museum itself. The food was definitely not disappointing!

It was strange to see such a little place supposedly representing what has been some great empire before. Little to nothing had been said about slavery, or the times of the Ashanti empire, to which the Arkan people of Cote d’Ivoire belonged as well. It was an interesting exhibition, but there are great lacks in both the knowledge of the tourguide (everything was “maybe 15th century”) as well as the size of the exhibition. It helped to at least get a little more insight into the culture and the spiritualism of West-Africa, and to see why still today there are places where this spiritualism, Voodoo and Juju are practiced. Our tour guide even went so far to say that,

“This is Africa’s big problem, that Christianity and Islam have replaced the original religions.”

Is it really a problem? How strongly is the African identity connected with this spiritualism and the tribe mentality? Is there an ambivalence now concerning which identity to choose? Is there a future for African culture, or will people still be judged on how europeanized (= civilized) they are? Or maybe there is a need for an entirely new identity?


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It’s half-time, not break-time!

March 2nd marked the completion of my 27th year of life, and 6 months of living and teaching in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, – a perfect occasion to reflect a bit and update you on what I’ve been up to.

1. I went to visit the big Universite de Cocody (which is – guess what – named after Felix Houphouet Boigny) together with my colleague and friend Armand. It’s a huge campus, with nice gardens, lots of nature and places to relax. Having studied at a site that’s somewhat tiny and has no outsides to relax, I could really envy the students passing by. But that feeling changed quickly when hearing of all the troubles students are facing here on a daily basis.

abandoned student accomodation

abandoned student accomodation

student apartments left empty

student apartments left empty

student appartments -  "Access prohibited for students" hmmm

student apartments – “Access prohibited for students” hmmm

The spacious gardens of the campus

The spacious gardens of the campus

Lecture room for economics

Lecture room for economics

University tract for middle- and highschool teachers. They earn quite well (CFA 250.000) and are needed everywhere!

University tract for middle- and highschool teachers. They earn quite well (CFA 250.000) and are needed everywhere!

So what might be the problem? Basically since the new presidency, students cannot use the university grounds for accomodation anymore. Nobody could tell me why, but anyways the new president said so. So half the campus is actually empty and it feels like a ghosttown.

2. How’s school?
It’s been seriously intense. But let me show you a bit of the work, that my students are doing. All books are to be done by the students on their own, with teachers supporting when needed. It’s the homeschooling system, and directed towards native speakers… which most of the class actually aren’t. Some don’t even have A1 proficiency, honestly speaking.

Grammar books grade 7 (age 12-13)

they are not shy to use the proper terms. Around 5% of the kids actually understand what they mean.

The authors are not shy to use the proper terms. Around 5% of the kids actually understand what they mean.

Go on, fill out the exercise! Mind the antecedent!

Go on, fill out the exercise! Mind the antecedent!

Civics, Grade 8 (age 14)

Amercia, the land of opportunity... the ONLY one, and BEST

America, the land of opportunity… “There is more ambition in America than in any other country in the world. That is because every boy and girl has a better chance in America than in any other country in the world.”

Spelling grade 8 (age 14)

I honestly haven't seen most of these words until after highschool. Plus they serve them without any kind of context or hint.

I honestly haven’t seen most of these words until after highschool. Plus they present them without any kind of context or hint.

To sum up, it’s an understatement to say the books are bad. They seem like they aren’t even made for kids! There is nothing on actual writing of coherent texts, no reading exercises connected with the new vocab, no examples. There are barely any illustrations either. The only mark counting on the final grade is a multiple choice test in the end of each unit, or in the case of spelling it is to spell all 20 words of the unit correctly. Many pass the grammar test with 100%, but have not a clue what an action verb is.

So much for the academic side of the school. I will be writing more about student behavior and local teaching culture in my next post.

3. How’s Africa? Are you African yet?
So I’ve been here half a year. I can truly say it’s been a very good decision to come here, and that both professionally as a teacher as well as personally I have learned a lot and now see things from a different angle as well.

Some examples…

  • Colonialism has ended in the 60s, but the phantom continues within people’s mentality. Whites are seen as superior. Even among blacks there is racism against those with a darker skin.
  • There is such a great diversity between the countries and tribes in Africa. By now I can differentiate between some of the tribes, like the Malenke and Baoulé. Abidjan is so different from Accra, and probably other cities have a different feeling as well.
  • Everything is about relationships and being social. Strangers call each other “older brother/sister”, “mama”, “friend”.
  • Kids imitate their peers and elder, in the good and bad ways. In a way a classroom is a miniature of society, reflecting cultures and norms, but without the adult ability of adequacy. They speak out freely what their parents think and do at home. If they get beaten at home, they often beat their schoolmates in class. This is how they think respect works, by physical superiority.
  • Teaching takes your entire self. If you are distracted by other things in your personal life, or overwhelmed by how different things are, or distracted by the heat –  you will fail miserably.
  • Teaching is a FULL TIME JOB, even in my free time, everything focusses on how to improve my teaching and on preparing lessons, revising my policies for classroom behavior, classroom English, and so on. I sometimes don’t even feel I am living in Africa, but I am living at school. I leave the house every day at 6am and come back at 6pm.

I will be staying in Abidjan until the beginning of July, so there’s still much to learn and to see. I will keep you updated 🙂


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Chronicles of a Goat

I’ve made a new friend: Panda! But actually, it’s a goat.

When we first met in the backyard at home, he was screaming and baaaahh-ing all the time. I just patted his head, and he immediately calmed down and laid on the ground.

Here he's already relaxing again

Here he’s already relaxing again

I found out the following day that Panda was a gift to Papa Aka, the dad of my homestay family. So for those who don’t know what to get me for my birthday… a goat would be pretty cool!

There he’s out on the front yard munching fresh grass and some hay as well.

There he’s out on the front yard munching fresh grass and some hay as well.

He recognized me!

He recognized me!

and the next day…

*****THE END*****

yummy!

yummy!

To avoid any misunderstanding, I absolutely do not enjoy animal cruelty. Unfortunately it’s not a dimension considered much here in Africa. The killing of a goat requires a specialist who cuts the throat of the animal with one clean cut while it’s still alive. It looks (and sounds) horrible, makes you think twice if you really want to eat delicious goat soup.

One kid told me with a glowing smile, “Goat-meat is the beeeest!!” Probably it’s my cultural setup that taught me not to see a goat as meat, but as a cute animal in a zoo or a farm animal for milk and cheese.

If you’re interested in how they prepare the goats, I recommend watching the documentary “Workingman’s Death” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhpNeG2MlaA


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The Emperor’s New City

This weekend I finally had the opportunity to get out of Abidjan and explore Yamoussoukro. Despite Abidjan being the main venue and biggest city of Cote d’Ivoire with a population of almost 5 million, Yamoussoukro with just about 250.000 people is the political capital of the nation. It is located 230km North of Abidjan, and easily reached via a recently completed, modern highway.

The upgraded highway from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro. Official limit 120 km/h, but 190 was also ok hehe

The upgraded highway from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro. Official limit 120 km/h, but 190 was also ok hehe

Beware, there is only one single gas station between the two cities. Concerning food, it’s easier, as the nearby villages are selling their goods like fruit and vegetables and also water and soft drinks right at the curb. We took the car, which is much faster than public transport. The official speed limit is 120km/h, but there are barely any speed controls. 😉

Here we just passed the entrance to Yamoussoukro. Left and right of this majestic street you can see the city.

Welcome to Yamoussoukro

Welcome to Yamoussoukro

After we arrived at our Hotel, “Concorde”, we met with our local friend, Roger, who took me on a tour on his motorbike. We stopped at the side of the road. We were in the city centre. Here we have the town’s hall, the prefecture, and, just around the corner, the engineering universities.

my tourguide explaining the place while we're motor-biking through the empty streets.

my tourguide explaining the place while we’re motor-biking through the empty streets.

I asked him where all the people were… and the cars, and buildings. I felt like the young boy exposing the Emperor’s New Clothes. He responded they were there, everywhere.

Orange is the most powerful and omnipresent company in Cote d'Ivoire

Orange is the most powerful and omnipresent company in Cote d’Ivoire

the city center, with the prefecture on the right. The prefect's hous is right next to it, and the grounds are the same size.

the city center, with the prefecture on the right. The prefect’s hous is right next to it, and the grounds are the same size.

Here we are in front of La Basilique, said to be the largest church building in the world. We got a tour by a friendly guide who kept saying, “Now please excuse me, let’s continue there…” when he was moving on to the next point of information. I don’t know if I can trust the measures he was explaining, for example the cross in the middle of the altar being 2.5 metres when it was clearly shorter than I.

Foreigner students get a special deal of paying quadruple price, yay!

Foreigner students get a special deal of paying quadruple price, yay!

The Basilique. Looks tiny, but it's like an optical illusion because there are no other buildings round

The Basilique. Looks medium sizes, but it’s like an optical illusion because there are no other buildings round

at one of the 12 stained glass windows, which are also the gates into the main dome

at one of the 12 stained glass windows, which are also the gates into the main dome

inside the main dome

inside the main dome

the tour guide insisted on taking a picture like this. so i complied...

the tour guide insisted on taking a picture like this. so i complied…

exterior with gardens designed by some French guy

exterior with gardens designed by some French guy

tour guide pointing at the top of the dome: it's not made from gold, but copper, but it weighs 120 tons and was lifted by hydraulic pumps.

tour guide pointing at the top of the dome (above the roof) : it’s not made from gold, but copper, but it weighs 120 tons and was lifted by hydraulic pumps. The cross’s top is 158m above ground.

30 metres above ground, a view into the dome. 7000 can be seated here, and 11000 additionally standing, so the tour guide said. Inside of each column of the altar there are 40 speakers

30 metres above ground, a view into the dome. 7000 can be seated here, and 11000 additionally standing, so the tour guide said. Inside of each of the four columns of the altar there are 40 speakers

spot the tour guide in white shirt in the back on the left. Gives you an idea about the size of the building

spot the tour guide in white shirt in the back on the left. Gives you an idea about the size of the building

Roger and his bike in front of the main entrance of the Basilique

Roger on his bike in front of the main entrance of the Basilique

We passed the main spots of the city: The Hotel President, Maison Houphouet, the town’s hall, the Peace Foundation, and the prefect’s office. Roger and Mr. Doumbia know the prefect very well, so we visited him at home to present Abraham, the birthday boy.

The artificial lakes in front of Houphouet's house. Spot the crocodile in the center of the picture. There are loads and they have eaten two of their care-takers already... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXNuYyYV_X4

The artificial lakes in front of Houphouet’s house. Spot the crocodile in the center of the picture. There are loads and they have eaten two of their care-takers already…

If you’re up for it, watch the video of the crocodile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXNuYyYV_X4

Refreshing coconut drink on the way back home.

Refreshing coconut drink on the way back home.

the Peace Foundation building, which is now mainly used for research and conferences.

the Peace Foundation building, which is now mainly used for research and conferences.

some good salad :) i was actually happy about something light to eat, but it was just the first course

some good salad 🙂 i was actually happy about something light to eat, but it was just the first course

Birthday Boy Abraham and I, having some couscous and chicken

Birthday Boy Abraham and I, having some couscous and chicken

When we passed by the Hotel President, we happened to bump into the Minister of Construction (Amon Tanoh) with his police escort. Roger knows him, so we also just shook hands and went our ways.

Hotel President. The top restaurant was supposed to rotate, but due to forseen maintenance problems it wasn't built that way.

Hotel President. The top restaurant was supposed to rotate, but due to forseen maintenance problems it wasn’t built that way.

On top of the Hotel you have a nice view of the whole place.

view from the restaurant at Hotel President

view from the restaurant at Hotel President

In the far back you can see the Hotel Parliamentaire, and new government building, plus a road in the making. It was decided by parliament in 1983 to relocate the entire administration plus embassies and therefore also UN offices to Yamoussoukro. Seems like bit by bit it’s even happening, with 21 years delay…

So… what’s the deal? Why is there this skeleton of a city, with 6 lane streets, a Basilica bigger than Vatican’s St. Peter, and more trees than people? Well, I was told that Yamoussoukro was the home village of the late president Felix Houphouet Boigny. He is affectionately referred to as “Pere de la nation”, the father of the nation. His vision was to create a city in the center of the country. He himself created the design of the street system, with Washington D.C. as a point of orientation. He, being the heir of a family of Kings, also had the Basilica built by 11.000 workers in just three years. When asked about the building expenses, Houphouet responded, “If heaven gives you something, you don’t ask for how much it had cost.” Estimates are around $300 million.

President Boigny had a vision for Cote d’Ivoire. He built three engineering schools and universities in Yamoussoukro to improve the agricultural sector. Yamoussoukro was to become the new center of the country, and attract people from the villages and Abidjan to move there. But that just never happened. While Abidjan and Bouaké are growing and industrializing, Yamoussoukro merely carries a title without much meaning.

Can it be that, despite their love for Boigny, his people could not catch his vision?


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The early bird catches the flight

And time flies bye; it really does. So I thought in the early morning hours the airport would be nice and quiet. Surprise! 5:30 am – endless waiting lines!

Endless waiting lines at Vienna Airport. Very similar situation in Hamburg and Paris

Endless waiting lines at Vienna Airport. Very similar situation in Hamburg and Paris

Silly internet spots. Once again it proved useful to have multiple email accounts and get 15 minutes free couple of times ;)

Silly internet spots in CDG, Paris. Once again it proved useful to have multiple email accounts and get 15 minutes free couple of times 😉

My journey took me from Vienna (free Wifi) via Hamburg (free Wifi) to Paris (expensive wifi! Why??), and finally to Abidjan (super cheap wifi). The journey lasted round 25 hours. When I arrived at the exit at Abidjan airport (like every place of importance named after Felix Houphouet Boigny), immediately a flock of helpers spotted the solo white boy and offered me taxis, SIM cards, a hotel and to change my Euros to CFA. The taxi driver wanted to charge me CFA 10.000 for a journey that I paid 3000 when I took it before. Then I knew I was back in Cote d’Ivoire.
When I finally got back to the house in Riviera Palmerai, I was immediately welcomed by my host family with hugs and African hugs. What are African hugs? Not sure if that’s what they are called, but they are similar to the in-air-kisses left and right, only without the kissing and you only touch each other’s foreheads on the sides with your temples.
I really felt like I was back home – at my second home! After some breakfast and a 4 hours “power-nap” (I couldn’t sleep during the journey) I made my way to Jina School! I’ve been told that we were getting a new classroom and another floor. The building was planned to be finished in a week, but… it doesn’t look like it will be done by that time.

Inspecting the work. The change is much bigger than I had expected

Inspecting the work. The change is much bigger than I had expected

Here’s the wooden frame. They use a wood they call “piemont” (pepper), which smells spicy when dry. It’s cheap, because foreign markets are not interested in it. So the classroom for high school will be larger, and on the second floor there will be office space. It’s a much needed extension, as the classroom was already uncomfortably packed.

Building material at the basketball field.

the floor and sides of the new classroom and offices.

the floor and sides of the new classroom and offices.

Here’s my classroom. Seems like I will not be able to teach here this week…

Well... my classroom turned into a storage room!

Well… my classroom turned into a storage room!

I wanted to activate mobile data on my mobile phone, but they let you purchase the internet on the mobile without telling you that you have to activate it first in a shop. My unlimited Internet USB stick seems to have a limit after all, so it’s not working either. “Cyber Cafés” are closed on Sundays. Am I addicted or is it normal to miss something that you are so used to and depending on?
Gloria, our secretary at the school, had a birthday party, which I was invited to and I attended. It was nice, with much singing and cake and sweets and dancing.


This time I brought five laptops to school, all donated to me by family and friends (Thank you all!!).

yay, laptops for the school!

yay, laptops for the school!

I really would like to test Moodle in combination with the home schooling system. I think it will be a perfect match. How much effort and financial investment would it take to transform an analogue into a digital classroom? Is there a market for blended learning in Africa? The shipping of the books from the US takes 3 months, and it’s expensive. I will look further into it after talking to the headmistress.

So I will start teaching again on Monday, in small spurts, as the building is still going on. It will be nice to see my students again 🙂