I started teaching this week- rather… I started showing up for the times that classes should take place. This was not the case for everyone. Although the official commencement of schools in Cameroon is September 3rd, there are many that don’t make it until the following week, due to lack of money to enroll, for instance. It’s both tragic and irritating. I ended up with a classroom half full of not only 6ieme students, but with others who would have otherwise been standing around outside. I tried to do fun things- singing the alphabet, repeating dialogues, learning vocabulary playing hangman, playing ‘toss Rover’, a beanie that my friend Angel gave me, as they listed off the greetings they have learned. I was somewhat impressed with the enthusiasm of my youngsters. I hope that this enthusiasm will last. A student even came up to me after the first day and asked if I would sit with him as he read his book with various phrases designed to help students learn English…his name? Ousmanu, pernounced like ‘EsSmanu’, of course I was hearing, Its Ma Sminu! What a smile that brought to my face. I was feeling somewhat useless until I saw one of the teachers hit a student, hard on the back, for no real reason. How disturbing. He was upset because students other than 6ieme were in my class, not sure why. But then I was glad to be there. Maybe I can teach teachers and students alike a new kind of love… Janice did say I was an Indigo child… a kind of love that doesn’t involve that kind of abuse.
I’m off to Nkongsamba to celebrate Tim getting electricity and his TV… then we are doing Mexican food. Yummmm.