Class 2 – You’re gonna love ’em…
So, two and a half days of our trip were spent in three different schools (nursery, primary, and older) – the morning at one, the afternoon at another – allowing us the opportunity to return to work with the same students and classes on two different days.
After recess that first day at the primary school, the students went in to their classes and we held a brief planning meeting. After having spent an hour or so with the kids, it had become clear that these students didn’t know English super well (not the case with the students at the older school). They knew the basics for introductory conversation, but that seemed to be the extent of it. There were 60-70 kiddos in each class; the plan was that 3-4 of us would go in to each class and lead/teach for an hour and a half. AN HOUR AND A HALF WITH SCORES OF STUDENTS WHO BARELY SPOKE ENGLISH! Are you sensing that the teacher in me began to secretly hyperventilate?
It was amazing! The teachers stayed in with us to help translate when we needed it, and the kids did seem to understand more than I initially thought. We had two activities planned (God keeps His promises – Noah and the rainbow (they see lots o’ rainbows), and God is my sun and my shield – Psalm 84:11) and we had plenty to do.
Felix, the teacher of Class 2, was a great teacher, and I don’t throw that compliment around lightly. It was sooooo apparent that he loves his 60-70 charges, and they respect him. There were no behavior problems. Like none. Zilch. I honestly never saw any kids out of line the entire trip, but if Class 2 got a little too excited about what we were doing, Felix could bring them back instantly.
When James came in the room at the end of our time, Felix quietly asked if we would be returning. When James informed him that we would be back the next day and he shared that with the kids, they stood and clapped and cheered wildly. They taught us to say “See you tomorrow” in Swahili (Tuoanane kesho) and repeated it over and over as we made our way to the bus (which is the closest I will ever come to feeling like a rockstar. Each time we left a school, there were ten or so little people walking with each of us, holding our hands, shaking our hands, holding our arms and others popping over quickly to say goodbye or thank you. We literally had to make our way through the crowd of school children. I loved it!).
While in Class 2, we met a sweet fella named Hassan. Hassan is a small gent and was always more bundled up than his classmates – wearing a toboggan and a jacket at all times. Hassan has AIDS and will probably not live to be older than nine. His parents abandoned him, and he is in the care of his grandfather. Felix told us that he misses a lot of school when his health is poor, but he was well during our visit. They try to love on him good and are believing that God is going to give him new life. Will you ask God for that on behalf of this sweet little friend? He is in the blue jacket and red hat…
Adonai, I love you so so much too!