Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lokossa - And all the rest... - August/September 2007

As is evident in my catch-up entries, I've been as busy as the internet has been sporadic. After nearly nine weeks I am now a mere two days away from being officially sworn-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

It has been quite the ride.

Just two days after returning from post visit, we started "model school." This was where we'd finally get to put into practice all the educational theories/strategies/nonsense we'd been learning about the last four weeks. Basically, they brought in several hundred real-life Beninese children, bribing them with presents at the end, for free summer English classes. This meant there were approximately 60 in each class and I had just one day (coming off of a week of no sleep) to plan to teach such a class the wonders of English salutations.

I got through it, and the next four weeks, with highlight days where I felt like the best darn teacher ever and a few really, really bad days where I was ready to throw in the towel. So basically, a very realistic look at how my actual teaching experience will be.

By the end, despite the good practice, both us teachers and most especially the students were ready for it to be over. We finished up last Friday and have been functioning like normal, well-slept individuals ever since.

I can't believe training is over and in less than a week I'll be alone in my little village, but I can tell you one thing (okay, really two): I'm ready and I'm excited.


Gaby said...

So glad to read your blog Kate :) Great job with the descriptions and details, very vivid. Very funny for me, you probably not so much though.

I miss you! Good luck with your post (and let me know where I can mail you stuff, whether it's still the same address or not.)

Paul said...

It's so great to hear what's going on down there! Your reactions to teaching sound quite similar to my own. After some classes I'm just so happy because I feel such a sense of belonging and accomplishment. And then there are other days where I really wonder why I would ever subject myself to such psychological torture. Ah well. Keep in touch and have a great time down there. You are missed.

Annie said...

I'm still waiting to see your PC disclaimer message.

Also, question about the shower: does it ever get cold enough to need warm water? I'm assuming that you don't have a heating system... and I'm jealous if you're able to take showers. I would hurt someone for a warm shower right now.

loehrke said...

My wife and I just discovered your blog today. We were so excited to read your descriptions of your adventures and experience. Carly talks a lot about you and you have really helped her in Benin.
Your taxi adventure sounded scary to us and we were so glad that she had a friend with her. It sounds like you won't be too far from her post.....hope you two get to keep in touch.
Please know that you have two more fans back here who think you're a hero and the BEST.
With great affection, Mark Loehrke (Carly's Dad...duh!!)

Andrea said...

We miss you at IRC-Atlanta. Your blog is hilarious. I'm so happy for you and wish you all the best during the next phase of your adventure.

Gordon and Helen said...

Dear Kate,
We have checked and checked your blog for updates and then today voila there they were. How wonderful to hear about all your adventures and we are on the edge of our seats anxiously awaiting the next entry. They say that a true writer never has any bad or good experiences in her is all material :-) Can't wait until the next episode!
And, most importantly...take it from two old teachers but we know you are doing a wonderful job of teaching and changing young lives in your new village! Even on the days you think you were awful.
Love, Uncle Gordon and Aunt Helen

Lera said...

Kaaaatie pooh!
You're wonderful and awesome in countless ways and I love you so very much!:)

mom said...

Kate, it makes me happy to read your vibrant descriptive account. Your sense of adventure and sense of humor both shine through. I can't wait to hear about your first week of teaching. Your package is in the mail and Emilie is bringing GRE books etc. She is very excited about seeing you; how I wish I could be there too. love, mom

bathmate said...

fine work


bathmate said...

Thanks for your lovely posting. I really enjoyed it.