Sunday, June 30, 2013

School Daze

With one week of vacay left to go, I am both savoring my last few days of freedom and gearing up for an exciting return to Msaranga.  This month off from school has not been entirely work-free as you can see from my previous entries; I've had meetings galore and tons of computer work to catch up on.  But I have always enjoyed my grassroots efforts the best, interacting with the kids in the class and the community at large.

So, while ruminating over my time at Msaranga Primary School since starting in February, I've been combing my camera for great photos that I've not yet posted.  Check out a few of the best below.

I know I've remarked on it before but I just can't get enough of  Mama T in all her cloaked glory.

Prosper is only three years old, but he comes to school with Vumi because his family are her next-door neighbors and she watches him during the day when they are working.  I taught Prosper's sister Sia for two years in nursery school (she's now in Standard Four), so Prosper says my name is not "Sarah," but rather "Sia's Teacher."

I'm not sure who this little girl is, but just like me, she "hearts" New York!

This is Mary Stephano.  I was playing around with the special effects on my camera and made the background black-and-white and kept her in color.  Isn't it pretty?

Another special effects pic of the kids praying before eating makande.  In the forefront, really giving the blessing his all, is Ian Brendan.  (With a name like that, you'd think I was working in a school in Northern Ireland or something....)

The duara: schoolyard games played in a circle with songs and dances.

Tanzanians are crazy for soccer.  If you're not a Man U super-fan, then you've got to be all about the Blues or crazy for the Gunners (big "whatever" from this American sports fan; think Yankees baseball or death) and even the kids love it.  Anyhoo, we're thinking both the duara and "football" can be used Toa Nafasi-style to teach kids principles of cooperation and communication, and to get them active and engaged in non-scholastic activities.

Just two kids under a tree....

Just four kids in the bushes....

Mama T has started an after-school tutoring program for the kids in her class who either need extra help or whose parents want them to attend in lieu of hanging around the house the rest of the day.  Predictably, it's a bit chaotic, but it's a step in the right direction.

Just wanted to give you a close-up on part of the frame above.  Notice anything....amiss?  Yes, that would be a homemade mini-machete that one of the kids brought to school and had sheathed in his waistband.  The public school system in the South Bronx ain't got nuthin' on us!!

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