HAPPY WESTERN NEW YEAR to everyone ! – New year doesn’t come around here until September so Western new year is a very low key affair ( nonexistent here in Nazret but there are events etc at the posh hotels in Addis ) however we are all currently looking forward to Christmas ( 7th January ) so we will have some festivities at this time ! The schools Christmas party is a big deal here and takes place on Thursday morning before the Christmas holiday of Thursday afternoon and Friday ( and back to school at usual on Monday ! )
Things here ( as per usual ) are very busy – we had a wonderful week last week with our latest volunteer – Inge ( from Holland ) who not only bought huge bags of school supplies and a much needed laptop but also worked incredibly hard teaching English to the pupils- which both parties thoroughly enjoyed ! It really was great to have a volunteer once again since we haven’t had anyone since the summer.
Our other visitor this month was Tamin ( from www.everythingexceptthe horn.com ) who came with her enormous versatile land cruiser complete with fold away roof rack tent ! It was great to see someone so full of enthusiasm for Africa and she was full of good ideas. The main idea that we have taken up is that of getting online fundraisers ! – We went through the United Nations site ( www.onlinevolunteering.org ) and had an absolutely amazing response and have a team of people now working alongside us – it is so wonderful that people can simply volunteer their time and energy to helping us out and we are incredibly excited about the prospect of working with them !
We had such a wonderful response with the fundraising that we have now put advertisements for art , computer and music lesson plan writers ( all areas that we know and believe are vital but we lack the time and knowledge to address them properly ! ) – so hoping that there are more people with open hearts out there willing to help us to make such a difference !
Our grade 4 teacher sadly left this week after being with us for about 6 years ! – although she didn’t really want to leave , with a family to support, she needed the additional salary that another job in a nearing town could offer so she said her final goodbyes with a coffee ceremony and plenty of tears ! Our new teacher is a male – something good in an all female teaching environment and willing to learn the new and wonderful things that go on in English Alive.
Our weekly Friday afternoon training session was dedicated to introducing him to the workings of the school and it was all very eye opening – he wrote a list of things that this school does differently and he is not sure why and the teachers then answered - part of his list was as follows :
Ø why don’t pupils sit in rows ?
Ø why do pupils sit on the carpet ?
Ø what is phonics ?
Ø why don’t you hit the children ?
Ø why do pupils go to the library ?
It really brought home to us how different English Alive really is and how, although we aren’t yet at an international standard, we are heads and shoulders above the rest – offering pupils a chance not only to go to school but to educate them as a whole individual person.