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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Settling Into the GVI Life

By 6 years ago
Categories Uncategorized

It seems like yesterday I was complaining about the cold, and embarking on my 32 hour plane journey to Kenya! The past two weeks have just flown by. I’m having an absolutely incredible time here. I’m teaching standard five at a community primary school in one of the slums surrounding Mombasa. I’ve never had so much fun and felt so rewarded in my life. They call me ”Madame Jennifer’.’ It is hard work getting 56, 11-13 year olds to quiet down, stop speaking Swahili, and do their work, but I’m finding ways to get them to cooperate, sometimes resorting to bribery. For instance last week, one of the boys said he had some dvds. So I told the class that we could watch a movie on Friday if they behaved and finished all their lessons. The boy told me he had movies such as The Lion King, and Finding Nemo. When the time came to play the movie, the boy handed over three bootleg dvds, packed with around 100 different movies, all of which were 80’s Japanese kung-fu films dubbed over in Swahili! I was like Dragon Wars it is! The kids and I found it hilarious.

Today I was out in the market closer to Mombasa and there was a man in a wheelchair begging me for money. He kept saying, ”Please help me! Help my children!” So I asked this man where he lives, and he pointed toward the slum I work in. I asked him if his children were in school. He said they were and told me the name of the school they go to. Then I told him that I help his children everyday and I teach at their school. His face lite up as he told me their names and I said I knew them. He thanked me and off I went, reassured that this is where I should be.

GVI Volunteer Jenn