Getting into the school spirit

Spending this much time with teenaged girls, and living on campus, I am really starting to feel like I am back in high school myself. Today especially.

I started the day by finding out at 7:35 that I was supposed to be teaching the 7:30 Eglish class for Form IV. Oops. Not good when the teacher is the last to arrive. (But the good news is, I finished the lesson on the use of “No sooner … than” and started the next project: CV writing! My specialty. Next two classes are CVs and application letters.)

Next, I joined the Form I sports lesson, playing in a netball tournament. This was a version of basketball the girls seem to have developed themselves. Dribbling is optional. I saw it done once. You can run with the ball. All members of a team are on the feild at once, even if that is 10 or more people. ANd once you are withing 2 steps of the net, no one is allowed to touch you. There was also much yelling in Swahili involved. I think they awarded points for that too.

I played just as well as I used to in high school. (Which those of you who know me that long know is not well at all.) At least being the new girl, and thus interesting, I was not the last picked for the team. There is a bright side to everything.

After morning classes, I went for a walk with four of the other volunteers to the shop/pub down the road. It was hot, between netball and much moving of desks and furniture all morning, and we wanted a soda.

Before I continue – let me explain the “pub.” There’s a small building/booth which sells an odd assortment of sodas, cigarettes, beer, spirits, cakes, and snacks. Next two it is a small thatched canopy under which sits a table and five wire chairs. The neighbourhood pub. Oh and there is no electricity, so the beer is warm.

We got our cokes and ginger ales, and were pleased to discover he had some ice in his cooler today, so they were chilled. Bonus. Then Laura decided to show us the bags of spirits. Booze is sold here by the bag, rather than single serving bottles like home. For a mere 400 shillings (not quite $3) you can buy a little baggie of vodka (think ketchup packets from a fast food place, but liquor). Laura discovered this store sold a pineapple cane liquor she had not seen before. So she bought one to take home. Then, halfway through or drinks, she decided she wanted to sample it. So we giggled like a bunch of girls who were cutting afternoon classes as we passed our little baggie of alcohol around the circle, and chased it with gingerale. Fun.

Back to campus for more planning and scheming. I have permission from the headmistress to start a drama club, and witnessed the oddest auditions I have ever seen. I will be working with Form III. They were called to the headmistresses office, and asked to enter one at a time. They stated their name, and were dismissed. If she thought they were suitable, she added their name to my list, if not, she didn’t. That was that. There are 14 girls in my club. They don’t know it yet.

Late afternoon, we went for a longer walk, to a nearby village where I was shopping for fabric, and two of the others were picking up skirts at the tailors. On the way home, packages tucked securely under our arms, we stepped into the ditch to avoid oncoming traffic (the road is narrow) and I slipped on the gravel, scraping my right leg from knee to ankle along a rock. It was sore, and it was (IS) ugly. SO first I regressed to high school, and later to elementary. I look like a 6 year old with a scraped knee. And shin. And foot. But thanks to my trusty NSYCC first aid kit, it is clean and infection free.

Aside from the scrape, all is well. I’m loving the teaching, looking forward to drama club, and planning a weekend trip to Zanzibar. I am excited for the next adventure : gin from a baggie, but I do miss pubs with electricity.


2 thoughts on “Getting into the school spirit

  1. Funny you should mention “netball”. A kiwi friend of mine was just mentioning that she played netball as a kid (it’s a girls’ sport, mostly), and that it seems that N. America is the only place where it isn’t played. 🙂

    Gin in a baggie sounds interesting. Warm beer, not so much. If only beer was good with ice…

  2. zanzibar! the stuff mysteries are made of. and oh Natalie, I feel the pain in the leg. did that once on a motorcycle owned by my brother!. so keep Polysporin on the job. great writing and news

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