Sunday, October 6, 2013

Term one comes to an end.

First term is over, and what a great way to end it!

First of all, I would like to spend a moment to thank a group of people without whom my second month would have been impossible.  A HUGE thank you goes to Pat and Connie Keller, Matthew Patterson, Rick and Deb Blanchard, David and Lynn Fox, Pitt Covert, Carrie Lafollette, Nancy Preston, Shannon Tippit, Bill and Doris Lucas, and Press Stephens and the Foundation for the Episcopal Church in Wyoming.

This week was the last week of term 1 at CAMS.  It went by so fast, but it is good to have a little break.  We are off now for two weeks!  I am going to spend the break relaxing and getting myself ready to change classrooms next term.  I will be taking over the classroom of the Standard 2 (first grade in the States) teacher, who is taking an extended break from half-way through the 2nd term until half-way through the 3rd term.  I’m really excited for the move as I have a special love for first graders.  I will miss working with my Standard 4 and Standard 6 kids, but at least in a school as small as CAMS, I will be sure to still see them every day!

I am also going to be taking a little trip during the first part of my break.  Another teacher at CAMS and I will be flying to Arusha tomorrow morning, then we are going on a 4-day safari!  I am SO excited.  Another new teacher at the school told me a few weeks ago that he was interested in doing a safari, but didn’t plan one this break because he is still trying to get over the thought that he’s “here as a missionary, and missionaries aren’t supposed to have fun.”  My theory is first of all that if I go home and am telling people about the year I spent in Tanzania and they ask about the animals, I had better have something to tell them about.  Secondly, I get a unique chance to see God’s creations half-way across the world, and appreciate them that much more.  Thirdly, we are spending a day in a Maasai village, which will help me better understand one part of the culture in Tanzania, and finally, everyone else here has gone on one, so why shouldn’t I?  Really, I don’t need these excuses, but it’s sure nice to have them. J

Apart from looking forward to my coming school break, I have had quite a busy week.  As you can imagine, the end of term and a two week break is exciting not only for staff, but also for students.  At CAMS, this was marked by two big events.

On Wednesday night, the students in the secondary school planned a movie night and dance.  Teachers were invited as well.  It was a lot of fun!  Principal WJ and some of the prefects introduced the movie we were watching by acting out the major plot lines.  They covered the main points of the movie in about 2 minutes.  We watched a great movie called Africa United, which is about a group of kids who are traveling to South Africa by themselves to be a part of the World Cup soccer game.  It was a really good movie!  

I think I would have enjoyed it before I came, but now I can have a new appreciation for the cultural things that I saw.  For example, in one scene one of the characters finds cell service only after floating to the center of a very large lake in a boat.  While I am grateful for the cell phone and internet service I have, it isn’t always reliable.  I can easily imagine needing to sail across a lake to get service.  At times, I can have great service at school, but as soon as I walk across the street and enter my house, my internet decides to take a holiday. 

The movie showed other aspects of African culture.  The children often traveled by dala dala, a type of small bus that you can ride for a very small price.  The one trip I have taken by dala dala was typical of most that I have seen.  There are seats for about 20 people, but since they charge so little for a ride, they pack many more than that inside.  I’m pretty sure there were easily 30 people.  I was lucky enough to get on before it filled up, so I had a real seat, but several people were standing.  Our ride was very short, so I can’t imagine riding in one across countries like the kids in the movie!

It was fun to watch the movie with the Tanzanian students who have a different sense of humor than Americans.  I began to watch the movie with a new appreciation for what they saw as funny.  I never would have laughed at the boy riding in the back of a truck in a box of mangoes, but the room was rolling!  They also cheered for small victories in the movie.  It was almost an interactive way to watch.  I loved it!



During the middle of the movie, we took a break for snacks and to celebrate a couple of birthdays.  One of the prefects organized a bake sale in order to raise the money to buy some new volley balls for the school.  Teachers and students brought things to sell.  We had two tables loaded with good things to eat! She raised about 70,000 Tanzanian Shillings, which is enough to buy two new, good quality volley balls.  There were also 2 birthday cakes.  One of the girls was celebrating her sweet 16 and another one was turning 13.  Only at CAMS would a school party turn into a double birthday party!

 Cake number one...
                                                  ...and two!

After the movie, it was time for the dance.  One of the students discovered a way to turn a PowerPoint presentation into a strobing dance light, so in between Zumba videos, the computer and projector turned the room into a disco hall.  There is such a great culture at CAMS and the dance was much different from my high school experience.  The students were willing and eager to dance with the teachers and staff.  The staff was as excited to be there as the students were.  All in all, it was a great night.



Friday was the last day of term, and was a short day. Students were able to go home at noon, and staff followed shortly after.  During the day, we had an event that the students had been looking forward to all year: Sports Day!  Students dress up in their house colors and compete in different athletic events to earn points for their team.  It’s great because the secondary students compete with the primary students and they all cheer each other on. It’s great fun!
Here are a couple of the guards preparing the soccer field for the races.  They are adding the powdered paint to the field to make the lanes for the races.

For me, the morning started off running on of the stations for the primary school kids.  I was in charge of “coits,” which is basically a ring toss that the primary students do instead of discus.  They also competed in long jump and a bean bag toss (instead of shot put.)  The secondary students started with a series of running races, then we switched, so that while the primary students were racing, the secondary students competed in long jump and shot put.  They had done discus on Thursday morning to save time on Friday.


After a short break, the relay races began, then some silly and fun races.  These races were great ways for house members of different ages to work together.  There were secondary school kids racing on a team with primary students, and those teammates watching cheered enthusiastically!  In the end, the points were tallied up and a winner was announced in each age group, and an overall team was announced as winner.  My team, red, won second place and the green team took first in overall points.  Blue team took 3rd and the yellow team came in last.  It was fun to cheer on each other and send playful banter back and forth between teams.  The secondary students and teachers really got the most out of the banter, I think!

After school was out, some of the secondary students stuck around school to take place in a soccer tournament.  I watched a little of the last match and it looked like everyone was having a lot of fun.  This week gave me a chance to get to know some of the secondary students, whom I hardly ever see.  There really are some great people at CAMS!

Here are some other pictures from the two events.  Enjoy!

Maria getting her face stuffed with cake.  Apparently the tradition here is that the birthday girl gets to cut the cake then put a piece in your mouth.  It was really very tasty!

Staff and students waiting patiently for the movie to begin.

ZUMBA!!  Yes, even the boys got into it!

Nothing like the Funky Chicken!!

Getting into it! 

It was actually difficult to get a good picture.  The dust flying around combined with the strobe lights and the darkness of the room made more than half my pictures come out really blurry.  My camera didn't know what to focus on!

Alice was loving the Zumba!

Staff members enjoying themselves.

Getting their dance on!
Thursday's discus with the 13 and older's.

 Such concentration on his face!
Lobbing it as far out as he can.  LOVE this picture!

Enjoying cheering on teammates!

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.  I'd like to point out that ALL THREE OF THEM ARE FROM RED.  :)
The main event on Friday:

 Run like the wind!

Waiting to hear the results

My red team.  Waiting to cheer on their teammates.

Catching some air!

Green was just announced as the winner.  I think they're excited.

Some secondary students resting between events.

Cool picture.  Wish I could take credit for this one.

The female teachers and parents.

Tallying the points.  Everyone who participated got at least one point.

Waiting for the results.  These are team captains waiting with the Principal.

Colored clothes pins were passed around in secret.  All in good fun! 
*A special thanks to Maria Taylor and whoever posted the pictures on the CAMS Facebook page for the pictures of Sports Day!! 
Let me know what you think of my posts.  I love getting comments!  Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
I'll see you in a week or so, after my safari.  (Did I mention I'm going on safari?  I'm kinda excited!)

1 comment:

  1. Heidi - these pictures are AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing them and your experiences this first term. Can't wait to hear about your next post - since I'm sure it will include your safari! Love ya! - Mom