If it doesn’t work with the kids, try the adults.





   Trying to teach at the orphanage is almost impossible. Almost none of the staff speak English, and all of the staff seem exhausted by the kids insatiable demands. These factors combined with me being a new (and fascinating white) person mean that I have little support in implementing anything. Yes, it is frustrating, but I had a pretty good idea that it would be this way prior to coming so I know flexibility is the key. I was a bit annoyed today when I was trying to redirect the kids and instruct them to take care of the materials I had brought. Even when there were staff members present, they offered no support when I was having difficulty managing the kids. As I attempted to teach a lesson many kids were running in and out, screaming and hitting each other. Since the regular staff have not set any expectations regarding behavior when I am there, it is impossible for me to correct problematic behaviors. Rather than worrying about the kids that were not focused on the lesson, I focused my attention solely on the children that were paying attention. It was frustrating, but I survived.

   After leaving the orphanage I walked over to the Carver’s Market at Mwenge where I have been trying to teach 2 of the shop-owners English. During my trip to Dar in 2011, I met Chomba, aka Rasta, and older man that sales crafts at the market. His sister Suzy is now working in the shop with him. One day while chatting with them, Suzy suggested I teach them English so that they can better communicate with their customers. I agreed. Since both of them are adults, have some pre-existing knowledge of English and truly want to learn, teaching them is less demanding.

home decor & more

teaching English brings out my inner artisy

Suzy and I at her shop in Mwenge's Carvers Market

hand-carved wooden decor