Teaching the crazy standard 3's at Nyota

By 5 years ago
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Madam Sandra and the crazy standard 3’s

“Sister, bring back a lion and an elephant for us!”, shouted my little brothers a couple of days before my departure to Africa. I told them “Sure!” with great enthusiasm, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I’m sorry little brothers, I’ve let you down!

Volunteer Sandra’s first time in front of the classroom
My journey to Africa was long, boring and scary. I’ve never travell\ed by myself before, especially on such a long trip, and I was on my way to Nairobi from Amsterdam when I realised, I am actually going to be in Africa in a couple of hours. Finally the plane landed in Mombasa and wow, I did not expect the weather to be this hot and humid. I had a hard time breathing for a couple of minutes and I thought to myself, well this is a great start! The next thing I noticed, and still notice right now, are the crazy drivers. There are no rules, no streetlights, crosswalks and there are many potholes, therefore all the motorcyclists, cars, tuk tuks, trucks, and even pedestrians don’t really care. It almost seems like survival of the fittest… I’ve been lucky so far, haven’t gotten ran over yet and I hope it stays that way!

Spontaneous frogs race by standard 3!

 The real work started on the Monday. I was taken on a tour around the two schools, Olives Rehabilitation Centre and Nyota Ing’arayo. It was quite the walk, my feet were sore by the end and the extreme heat definitely did not help at all. But all that didn’t matter because I got to see all the kids and their smiling, bright faces. They all greeted me with such joy and excitement and that put a really big smile on my face too. It got me really excited to actually start teaching these kids, spending time with them and hopefully to make a difference in their lives. 

Sandra helping Carolyne with her English work
I was put at Nyota Ing’arayo school and had the honour of teaching the little standard 3’s! After the teacher’s training on Monday I went straight to teaching the kids by myself the day after. I was super nervous and did not know what to expect, but when I entered the classroom early that morning to teach English, all the kid’s faces just lit up and that took away a lot of my nerves and worries. 

Standard 3 in the classroom
My first P.E. class was an experience. Everyday when we have P.E. all the kids just come up to me and ask me the exact same question: “P.E. today madam? P.E.?”, “Football madam! We play football!!!”. I’ve never seen kids play football with such intensity and vigor! It was quite frightening and I didn’t want to get involved in the middle of that. They smack, hit, and yell at each other, some kids trip and fall straight to the ground but they just get back up and chase the ball like nothing happened. I would’ve cried like a baby if that happened to me. It makes me happy to see them free like that though, to see them laugh and cheer after every goal and run around like they have no worries or troubles. 

The kids playing their beloved game of football
I sit at the sides and watch the kids play during their break and I can’t help to think how much those little kids remind me of my brothers at home and how they are so similar but yet so very different. Kids here, they have worn out skipping ropes, they roll tyres, play with rocks and they play more football with the one ball the school has. They run around and chase each other with broken flip flops and torn shoes but I can see that they are happy right at that moment just by looking at their smiling faces. Within the two and a half weeks I’ve been here, the kids have taught me so much, and with only a week and a half left I hope to learn even more and make a difference in their lives. 

By volunteer Sandra Park