Sunday, June 22, 2014

Form 4 graduation and a farewell at church

I have one week of school left.  One more week with my students. 

Any teacher will tell you that the end of the school year is the most stressful time.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been assessing my students, writing reports to send home to parents, creating the profiles that follow them throughout their time at CAMS, and trying to maintain some sort of control over the 24 personalities in my class.  All of this is on top of regular school activities and special end of year events and while I have been extremely busy, it would have made for some very uninteresting blog posts.    

This week marked the end of CAMS for several students.  The Form 4’s celebrated their graduation with a ceremony for families on Friday during the school day.   They also joined with their friends for a separate ceremony and celebration in the evening.  As a primary teacher, I didn’t attend the graduation in the morning and had the chance to eat dinner with the family of one of my students, so I didn’t go to the evening celebration.  The festivities took place in the school library, so I heard all the fun as I went to bed early on Friday night.  I was exhausted and even the music, singing, and cheering from across the fence couldn’t keep me awake!
The girls after the ceremony in the morning

Fun in the evening!
Can't even tell it's really a library!
 *Thanks to Maria for letting me steal the pictures!*
Outside of school time, I’m taking every opportunity to spend time with my friends here in Dodoma.  Many of them are also leaving at the end of the term next weekend, but most of them are returning after the one-month break from school.  I was also asked to speak in church this morning about what brought me to Dodoma to teach at CAMS.  I have told that story here before, so I won’t recount it in its entirety here.  I will, however leave you with the end of my talk:

Here I am standing in front of you today, getting ready to head back to the life I had before.  I am not the same person who landed in Tanzania one year ago.  I have met people from all around the world, taught the most diverse collection of students I have ever experienced, and made some fantastic friends.  I thank God every day for each opportunity I have been given, and for the gift that life in Dodoma has been. 

I would like to leave you with just a few truths I’ve experienced from the past year.

1.       I have a fantastic support system, both here and in the US. 

2.       Every day is a huge gift!  Very few of my friends have ever travelled outside the USA.  I was given an amazing opportunity and I was sure to make the most of each moment.

3.       God can be found everywhere, even when you don’t think to look for Him.  He was definitely here before I came, and He will be here long after I’m gone.

4.       Children have the biggest prayer power of anyone, and their faith is without question.

5.       Finally, Dodoma feels like home and it will feel that way for a very long time. 

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