Travel Journal

Larabanga - October 3-4

(Friday 12 October 2007) by Karin
Itoumabaula? (How are you?)
Sitting in a very hot internet cafe with very slow internet and loads and loads and loads of bugs. Thanks to those of you that send me messages. I will reply as soon as I have a faster connection. Pictures hopefully will follow soon too.
Kids are getting used to us and the teacher did not show up this morning. Not easy trying to teach kids that have such a limited knowledge of English and nobody that can explain them what we want. The smallest one in my class isn't even 2 years old yet. Have been trying to teach them the colors green, yellow, blue and red but with little success. If I hold up red, they all scream blue, if I hold up green, they all scream red, etc. Sometimes someone will get it right, I'm all happy and we all clap but minutes later I discover that that was just one lucky guess, as red suddenly turns green again. I keep trying though.
The afternoon is hot so I just relax, sleep, read and just before nighttime I go out for another babywalk. We are quite an attraction here. I do sometimes miss the anonymity of Brussels. Being able to go somewhere without being called, followed, touched.

Thursday, still no teacher. Kids come running up to us as soon as they see us arriving. Little ones are used to me now but still fight to hold my hand when it is circle/singing time. I wish I could grow some more fingers. Don't think I've ever been so popular in my life. I changed tactics for the english teaching part. I brought in a bag full of objects and try to teach them the names by holding them up and yelling the name of it. Proved to be successful for everything but the colors. I also decided that one break is too little. Ever tried to keep a bunch of 2 to 4 year olds in a classroom for 2 hours without them going mad (and not only them for that matter). Try to make the second playtime also a bit of teaching time by getting them to walk, clap, run, hop, skip etc. behind me while shouting the instructions. Hopefully some of those will sink in at some point. They love it. The only drawback is that I have to do the same thing and it is hot hot hot. I know, I always said I liked the heat but not to run around in. After that I can be sure that the floor in my class is filled with sleeping kids and honestly, I'm almost ready to join them. Only dust and dirt is keeping me from it. And maybe the fact that they'll probably be all over me. The kids don't seem to mind the dirt. Most of them are dirty anyway and their clothes are not worth much. Sometimes more holes then clothes. We probably wouldn't use it as rags anymore. I do feel bad and wish I could do more.
Afternoon is spent relaxing again as it really is too hot to do anything else. This evening Danielle and I did manage to sneak out the house and away without anyone seeing us. What a nice walk and talk we had.


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