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Kate, volunteering experience - Week 6

Updated: Apr 27

This week was a sad one - on Monday my Grandpa died. It wasn't a shock, we knew last week he'd taken a turn for the worst, so at least the family was prepared for it. It's strange being so far away at a time like this. I wish I could go home and give everyone a hug. People here have been lovely about it though. I took the day off school on Tuesday and in the afternoon four of the staff came round to the cottage to see me and say they were sorry about the news. Little things like that mean a lot!

In fact lots of random stuff makes me feel a bit more of a belonging. Even just being friendly with the lady I buy eggs from, or bumping into kids and teachers from school when they're out and about on a weekend.

Things at school have been pretty normal. I have come up with some better ways to teach past and present tense. It's hard to think up fun ideas when the resources are limited. Anything that needs colours, glue, scissors, or even too much paper, is off the cards. All we've got to work with is a chalkboard and some children. I've made up a game that involves lots of standing up and sitting down! But the key is not to get them so excited that they forget all the grammar!

The laptop I've brought (donated by Dad's work) is proving very useful. In fact it's the only computer that decides to work most of the time. The other ones are really in their last les and now hardly ever switch on. So unfortunately the afternoon computer classes have had to shrink to about 6 pupils, all of them crowded round the one screen.

Out of the older girls I've been teaching, only two have been coming regularly each Wednesday and Friday. But those two, Agness and Brenda, are making real progress. We're all less shy now, and I'm enjoying working with them. Soon in going to write them a big list of tasks to test them on what they've learnt so far.

The weather here is getting nicer by the day (by that I mean cooler). Its the start of the winter months now, and the temperature has gone down to about 24 degrees in the day time, which I find just right! And at night and in the early mornings, it can even be verging on chilly, which makes me rather miss having the luxury of a warm shower! A warm shower is something that I will be glad to get back to, along with toast (sadly no toaster). Although I suppose I ought to count myself lucky I even have running water and electricity. And enough food. That's more than most people have round these parts.

This morning the choir made its debut and sang two songs in assembly (there's a school assembly every Monday and Friday, bright and early at 7am). As of this week we now have a new set of children for the choir, because apparently the original choir have been stolen to do netball/football training! So we had to start again from scratch - but with a bit more practise these others should be just as good. And it's nice because it gives me a chance to get to know a few children who I don't teach, like some of the younger ones from Standard 4.

Here are a few of this week's pictures. Actually, in a way they're thanks to my lovely Grandpa, who was a great photo enthusiast, and who helped me choose and buy this camera before I came. So it's with him in my mind that I'm capturing the moments of my time here.

Evening on the lakeshore

Weekend boat trip to 'Bird Island'

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