A “bad” day for teaching
Here at Karongwe it’s not all about the animals; every Wednesday we go into the local school in The Oaks to teach the grade 7’s (12 – 13 years old) about the environment and wildlife. This Wednesday however, we were not the only combi to arrive at 8:30. There was a convoy of other combis with music blaring and kids hanging out the windows screaming and shouting. As we entered the classroom we were informed by the class that we’d come on a bad day as it was their inter-school sports day; little did they know that it would in fact be our best community day at the school to date.
We attempted to start the lesson with a recap on the prior week’s environmental impacts lecture; they are all so keen that they had retained a large amount of knowledge from the previous week and were very eager to answer questions we had asked. By the end of the recap we had lost around half of the class to various sports teachers and those that were left were lacking concentration due to the excitement of the day’s games. After the recap we decided to call it a day to left the kids go and enjoy their sports day. They were reluctant to let us leave and wanted us to watch their netball and football matches.
The netball match was first so we warmed up with them, although they did introduce a few new rules they don’t exist in international netball. Obviously being in Africa there is no sticking to time scales and we had to wait a while for the match to start but it was definitely worth the wait. Diphuti (our school) were up first, against the local school. The entire school came up to the fence to cheer them on with their song translating as “if Diphuti lose it will rain so much it floods” which we found quite amusing. We were given VIP seats inside the fence at the back of the court with the teachers here we joined in with cheering Diphuti on. The atmosphere was incredible; far exceeding what used to happen at my school netball matches at school that’s for sure. The quality of netball was also better than when I was their age and Diphuti smashed it winning an easy 11-0.
After watching the girls play, the boys were keen for us to watch them play football so we headed over to the football pitch. The Diphuti boys kept claiming they were playing next again, this is Africa, and so the schedule kept changing. After another team went on instead of them for a second time running for their 40 minute games we decided to head for some lunch before heading back to the pitch in the hope Diphuti would finally be playing. We arrived back to see the previous match finish and…..2 different school go on; neither of whom were Diphuti! Instead we headed to the crèche in The Oaks which is not far from the school. This is the crèche that GVI had worked on for three years previously to build two decent classrooms, paint and decorate them, build a flushing toilet and a play area. This gave us a great view of what we are aiming towards at the crèche in The Willows that we work at on Friday mornings. The kids were adorable and so keen for us to play with them. I made the mistake of picking one kid up and spinning him round which resulted in a hoard of about 10 others wanting the same; I was shattered by the end!
At around 2pm we headed back to the school again and Diphuti were finally going on (only two hours later than initially planned!) The atmosphere here was even better than at the netball; every time Diphuti scored the entire school ran onto the pitch cheering. This happened quite a few times as Diphuti won 5-0!
From being told we had come to the school on a bad day we all had an absolutely amazing day watching the kids play sport and be happy; it far exceeded all of our expectations and was much better than teaching them about mammals.
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