Palm Sunday on Paama: after service, the kids pillaged the branches cut to decorate the church. We made palm pinwheels, watches, bows, rings, crowns and swords. A hundred biodegradable playthings.
I taught my Form One’s their first geography lesson today. I’m not sure if they learned geography in primary school, so maybe it was their first geography lesson ever.
To start, I had them draw a map of the world in their exercise books. The results were… interesting. Haha. I mean, they don’t see images constantly like kids growing up in America do… they don’t watch TV, they have limited textbooks, etc. So most of them didn’t really know what it was supposed to look like. Some of them just drew a map of Malawi, which I thought was interesting.
Anyway, one popular Peace Corps activity undertaken by volunteers is the World Map Project. I am definitely going to try and do this at my school with my new geography students. By the end of this term these kids will KNOW that America is not in Europe.
Peace Corps Health Volunteer Alisa Langfords shares with ONE a story about a young boy in her village for World Malaria Day
In the end, Justice was fine, but it turns out that he had contracted malaria. Malaria is a disease that kills nearly 650,000 people in Africa every year, most of them children under five. With limited immunities to the disease, young children are more likely to develop cerebral malaria, which can lead to severe developmental issues and even death.
But there are the “strong men” in my community who believe they have little to worry about. While Gifty and her family sleep under a bed net every night to protect against malaria, many people brush off its importance, saying it is too hot and they aren’t worried about malaria. After all, they’ve had it several times before, and they’ve survived.
But this is not always the case for the children. Many Ghanaians do not understand that if they are infected, a mosquito can bite them, and re-infect someone else, including someone vulnerable to malaria’s harsher effects. In short, Justice’s malaria came from somewhere, and it was probably an adult who didn’t use their net.
As a librarian, I was particularly tickled to hear about Peace Corps Volunteer Karri Stout’s endeavor to establish a library at a school in a small African village in Tanzania. Education and access to information are important developmental tools everywhere in the world.
Of course, this young lady wasn’t just thinking of a standard library, but a bilingual library that would serve students as well as adults living in the village of Utelewe. For the 2013 school year, the school has 342 students enrolled; a library serving this many children will improve literacy rates, and can have a far-reaching impact on their lives.
Celia Jackson, 26, is a self-professed “volunteer junkie.” The UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences Master’s International student has just received her Peace Corps assignment to Ghana and could not be more excited and pleased.
“It’s going to be amazing,” Jackson said.
If you know me in the slightest bit you know I love working with kids. I’ve been a nanny and a summer camp counselor for most of my life and absolutely love the feeling of getting to act like a child again and be ridiculously silly. For the past month, I’ve been working at an elementary school teaching 3rd and 4th graders English, and will be doing so throughout the rest of my service here in China.
The thing I’m loving the most about teaching these kids, besides getting to do the hokey pokey, sing songs, and do arts and crafts, is that they bring me a sense of familiarity. Here in China it’s hard to find many similarities between home (America) and my now, home away from home (Nan’Shan). But these little kids are the one thing that is similar and it’s refreshing. They love to ask questions, they love to help me with my Chinese, they love to dance and giggle and run around, they’re still so innocent and without a care in the world. Being around them brings me so much joy and I can’t wait to continue working with them, to play with them, and watch them grow.
"I took this photo of myself with three second grade girls in a village in Guatemala, where my site mate and I worked with the community to build a three-classroom bottle school. These girls helped us collect bottles and fill them with trash. Someday I hope these girls will be able to attend school there." - Peace Corps Health Volunteer Rebecca Dreyfuss
Students in Guyana are happy that Peace Corps Volunteer Tka Tyne helped revive their local learning center!
Peace Corps Education Volunteer Jennifer Jiggetts is currently serving in Lesotho, southern Africa and shared this photo of the Peace Corps-inspired manicure she did for Peace Corps Week early this month. We love it!
A week of food in Vanuatu, part two
i) pounded roasted breadfruit with cream of coconut
ii) oatmeal and bananas
iii) breakfast cracks for life
iv) boiled crabs
vi) crabs with taro, sweet potato and coconut milk
vii) breadfruit, roasted
viii) laplap - grated taro baked in banana leaves and topped with island cabbage and tin fish
ix) the worst thing i’ve ever eaten in Vanuatu: a heaping plate of rice topped with a stew of chicken flavored noodles, onions, peppers, tin tuna and flying fox (bat)
x) the cucumbers are huge here