Barrie Adleberg
Digital Play Designer
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Imitunu

Imitunu means "wide open eyes" in Kinyarwanda.

VERY STRANGE!

Friday, January 8, 2010 

Last night I decided to skip dinner at the dinning hall and my friend and fellow volunteer, Micaela, and I boiled spaghetti in an electric kettle. This experiment turned out to be a supreme success! We dressed our warm noodles in a cream of mushroom-condensed-soup sauce and the meal was accompanied by a fresh pineapple I bought for 60 cents at the market.  I was unbelievably satisfied as we sat, ate, and worked on our English lesson plans for the day ahead. 

We teach 4 hours of ESL every morning. Yes, you are right, I was hired to teach Art! This is, however, a temporary station until the kids start school on January 18th. After the 1st day, I was counting down the hours! 8 am-10 am I teach one class and 10 am-12 pm I'm in another… with no breaks :/ This schedule is particularly exhausting for us because, in class, I speak louder to project to the room, more slowly, and enunciate my words with extreme precision to relay as clear a message as possible.  I was suffering from severe migraines by lunch and realized I needed a more engaging game plan so as to split the airtime with the kids. So, I consulted John, Paul, George, and Ringo…

The song "Penny Lane" is packed with great vocabulary about careers! They mention a banker, barber, nurse, and a fireman! We sang the song together, went over words they didn't understand and then each student was instructed to share with the class what job they wish to pursue after they finish school. This was followed-up by homework to write a short essay about, "When I am…" In my class we have aspiring doctors, government ministers, a music producer, and even a President! Glad I'm rubbing elbows now :) The kids loved the lesson, and had never heard of the Beatles before! As we sang together the song took on new life. They even made hand movements to correspond with the lyrics and when the words "very strange" came (which happens twice in the song) they would jump up and scratch their heads with exaggeration and scream, "VERRRYYY STRANGEEEE!" 

Tomorrow we are learning weather, the months of the year, and seasons through The Temptation's "My Girl"! 

Barrie AdlebergComment