Volunteering in Tanzania travel blog

Tomorrow is my last day at the school and is a half day. I am looking forward to moving on but I will miss the teaching in that I feel I have become more valuable as time has gone on and can better determine what is going well and what areas could use some help.

The reading method might be tedious, but it is cheap and effective so now I am looking for ideas to help problem solving, critical thinking and world view. I guess that is a tall order for five year olds in a place without much for resources. As I have mentioned, story time is a big hit. Yesterday afternoon I went to a different book store and picked up a few more story books in Swahili. A couple of them were duplicates so the director wanted to take them to the other school that is close. Of course I don't mind, but the children there are learning English and with lots of pictures, they probably could understand the stories in English. The books are all set locally so I am not sure why there are more story books in English than Swahili. The teaching is really about trying to figure out ways to enhance what they are doing given all the limitations.

One thing that totally flopped was having the children do a maze. I photocopied it from one of the books someone sent along but not only did the children not understand, the teacher and the director didn't understand either. The mouse needed the fastest way to the mushrooms bypassing cheese and grapes. Cheese doesn't exist here except in high end supermarkets and I haven't seen any grapes or mushrooms either so that might have been one problem. I tried to explain the concept of a maze. They are always indulgent with anything I do, but I could see the point was totally lost on them.

The call to prayer has just started. I like the sound of the call to prayer and of course I can't understand the words. However, I am not going to miss the first call to prayer which happens about 5:30 am. It inevitably wakes me up.

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