Monday, May 23, 2011

East Africa Daya 6: Microscopes!

My main task for today was to draft a post for the "official" Daraja blog. I spent a good part of today in the office, sitting at Jenni's desk, writing my post.


Check out the post here! (It's not up yet but will be here when it's published.)

When I'd finished the post I did some planning for my main research project. I did not get to begin the actual research today because Andy and I had some trouble connecting my netbook to the internet. It looks like this will require service at the internet store in Nanyuki later this week.

When I was at breakfast this AM I learned that Teacher Charles would be running a Biology lab class today, utilizing the microscopes. He invited me to attend class. So I took a break to observe the lab today. Here's the lesson the class covered:


In this photo Teacher Charles is refreshing the students' memories regarding how to use the microscopes. One student told me that this was the first time that they had used the microscopes this year. I happened to be on campus for the event - sweet!


After viewing the pond water and organisms underneath the three microscopes Teacher Charles had the students illustrate what they saw on the blackboard. The students had some difficulty depicting what Teacher Charles was looking for, and had to keep erasing and re-drawing the organisms. There was a lot of activity in the classroom, so when I thought that I heard the word "Obama", I assumed that I was hearing things. But then I distinctly overheard one student tell another, in regards to their attempts at the blackboard that "Obama says 'Yes we can'" :) The student was perfectly serious - it was too cute.


It rained this afternoon for a while. My second Africa rain! I watched it through the window next to Jenni's desk, while working on my projects. I saw the Daraja cows hanging out in front of my banda and ventured outside to snap this photo.


I asked and was told that the students would be playing their scheduled sports outside in the afternoon, even if the rain did not stop. I asked and was told that the students do not have raincoats. I thought of Frost Valley and our indoor play areas. When the rain cleared up I snapped some photos of Jenni and Jason's three dogs - Rasta Jane, Ajax, and Tusker. I had seen photos of Tusker on the Daraja website before I decided to come to Daraja - knowing that there was a dog on campus was a definite "plus":)


Towards the end of the day I attended the Form 1 (freshmen) WISH Class, again led by Vice Principal Victoria, and attended by several other female teachers, Maria, and Pamela. This one was my favorite WISH class thus far. The students were given a worksheet to complete individually that asked them to describe themselves.

Afterwards Victoria invited the students to share what they had written with the class. Some highlights for me were the student who said that she wants to start an orphanage, another who said that she wants to travel to other countries and help people around the world, another who said that she wants to be a lawyer so that she can address corruption in her government, another who dreams of being a surgeon, and another an accountant. Many of these students talked about their desire to make sure that their siblings receive an education, and identified themselves as WISH ladies. The student who dreams of being a lawyer also said that she wants to be a WISH lady who will be a leader in her country. I wish I had written down her exact wording.

Another student said that she wants to be a doctor, and everything she said reaffirmed that she believed that she could do it. I got to talk with this student after dinner tonight, and asked her what kind of doctor she wants to be - she said a cancer doctor. I asked her why, and she said that she had Hotchkins when she was 11 years old, and would have died if the medicine hadn't worked because her parents couldn't afford the surgery. She was in the hospital for over a month, and her parents had to sell some of their land to pay her medical fees.

Just before dinner, fourteen students competed for a chance to represent Daraja at an area-wide school competition in Nanyuki this Saturday (which I will be attending.) Leila, who had allowed me to shadow her earlier this week, recited a poem that I know she'd been practicing for the past three days. Before the competition began I took this photo with her.


I brought a copy of The Blue Sweater to the event, because Pamela wants to read it. A student siting next to her picked it up off of the table and was very interested in it. I had to tell her that she would get to read it later as part of her studies at Daraja, but you can see that she was very into the book! In the background you can see the students listening to, encouraging, and cheering for their friends who were competing in the contest.


We were running behind schedule tonight and so the sun set just as we were finishing up dinner - no run again tonight.

1 comment:

  1. I think you should email President Obama. I think he'd be proud.


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