This is a guide for my family and friends about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, Africa. I teach English as foreign language to high school students in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. Also as a disclaimer, the comments expressed here are solely of the author and do not represent the United States Peace Corps, the American Government, or any other governing body.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Well, it's been a good week. I know it's only Tuesday, but things are going well. As I mentioned before, Leland and I have found ourselves in a routine that is fitting an actual life style. Of course, that's all about to be turned up-side-down once we have to move again in a week and half, but for now, this is life. The Peace Corps staff were great when they were here over the past weekend and we were treated to several free meals, which is always a plus and even better that Leland and I know nearly every restaurant in town by now. I am continuing to make progress with my students, I hope. And today I had a tiny breakthrough with my 11th graders. As I am still having difficulty coming up with things to teach them, and on top of that creative ways to teach, coming up with something that they will actually enjoy proves a daily challenge. They are all only slightly younger than I am, one girl is 21 years old. She's older than Natasha. Scary thought. While I am still their teacher, I always get the feeling that they don't really respect me. They are young enough to still be my students, but too old to want to talk to me, or treat me like a person they can view as a type of friend. I do not want them to get too confortable with me by any means, but to feel free enough in the classroom to participate and have a good laugh, or something. Anyway, today I was teaching a rather mundane topic, the present continuous, when it dawned on me to try and play a game. I had played hangman with my eighth graders who are always up for some competition. But I just wanted my 11th graders to say something in class. Well it worked. There are only 12 of them, so I split them into two teams of six, and let them go at it. Competition is an inherent emotion ingrained in any human being. I guess I should have seen this before. Hangman is a surprisingly useful game as they learn to spell the vocabulary words at the same time as learning them. And you can focus it to whatever topic you are teaching at the time. For example, today we kept it to verbs translated in present coninuous. The more creative, the more your team wins (or rather forces the other team to lose). Great game, highly recommend it.

On another note, it was Eid yesterday so I tried my hand at cooking kababs. Keep in mind that I had no recipe nor had I made them before ever in my life. But considering I didn't have any cilantro, I think they came out quite nicely. We managed to find ground cumin which was incredible. So we will continue with the cooking experiements, as that seems to be a hobby I have found to occupy my time. I have found that cooking is one of my favorite things to do. And not as expensive as trying to get into windsurfing or snorkeling. I do have to say that our food supply is in no means meager. Our Medical Officer was here over the weekend and I took her to the outdoor market where I buy all our vegetables (fruit tends to be extremely expensive). She was amazed at the variety of veggies we had. She said we have more than on Santiago sometimes, or even Sal, another very touristy island. So cooking tends to be my occupation when not lesson planning or reading. If you have anything interesting you think I should try, let me know!!


Blogger Muneera said...

Hi Nadia,

I must be the only avid reader of your blogs from the start and not have commented so far! I so much wanted to - but am ashamed to say did not know how to. Your writing is so, so good, keep it coming. If you made it into a book, it would be a popular page-turner.

EID MUBARAK TO YOU for Tuesday 24th. So you made some kebabs...great. Would you like to make some chicken curry? Or you may already have that recipe. Let me know. A lot of what you write reminds me of my childhood in East Africa - perhaps same as your dad and all our family. Nadia, I am your biggest fan. Really want to come and visit you soon - whenever possible.

You are so brave. We are so very proud of you. Love, Muneera

25 October, 2006 11:05


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