Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait!

193 !!!!!!!! – The number of current students ! and our highest number ever  – so close to 200 – which psychologically would be amazing !  It is wonderful nonetheless to have so many children at the school  and really see the difference that we are making to so many lives !
          With Dawit and me now based here in Nazret, we can totally devote ourselves to the school – a dream that we have had for the past 4 years, when we were stuck in Addis due to financial restraints. It is wonderful to be able to able to wake up in the morning and think only of the school instead of other jobs .
Busy cleaning the sleeping mattresses for the KG children
     At the moment, a huge part of the process is teacher training. To try to upgrade everyone’s knowledge, then I am focussing on team teaching on a daily basis, working alongside teachers to guide and assist, showing them inventive ways to make activities from a textbook which is very limited in content !  In addition, Friday afternoons the school is closed for teacher training afternoons, where educational videos of Western schools  are shown and discussed and practical workshops take place.
      This is a hard schedule for the teachers, with a very steep learning curve, however they are all approaching it with enthusiasm and laughter , well aware that previous techniques of copying and rote learning weren’t really that effective !
         The visit by the major airline last week went amazingly well – at long last all that suffering of trying to learn the basics of fundraising and the meaning of the current buzz words, has paid off, with us now being able to talk intellectually with fundraising people  and explain our purposes and goals with written plans and  strategies!
We have just finished putting up the new shade-essential in the heat of Nazaret!
     There is a 99 % chance that we will receive the classroom enhancement grant applied for , now waiting for the final confirmation ! This is incredibly exciting since except for a very small grant about five years ago, we have received no formal funding !
So, all in all, life just seems to be on the up and up – everyday is full of new and exciting things, from having to take shelter from a lost wild camel careering down the road to watching the excited faces of children as they grasp a new concept and realise that they can do !  - What more could you want in life ?!
Ciaran-our Irish volunteer giving a workshop on basic computer skills for our English Alive Teachers.

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