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, March 06, 2007

So this is always the way things happen: the minute one thing in your life is going well, the other just completely blows up in your face. I began my children's class yesterday. I have one hour of class in the morning and another in the afternoon three times a week for the next 8 weeks. I very much forgot how much I LOVE little kids. I had only three little girls show up for each one of the classes, but we had such a blast. The girls in the morning were a little older and came with notebooks and pens in hand ready to absorb and write down anything I had to say. But they were so eager, and wanted to know everything. My afternoon girls were a lot younger, 6 years old as oppose to the girls in the morning who were around 9 and 10. My afternoon girls just wanted to play and sing Head Shoulders Knees and Toes the whole time. Which was fine with me, so we played and sang and basically had a grand old time. They're just so FUN!

Well on the other hand, today I gave out three faltas da disciplina, (basically a disciplinary write up) all to my one class, also known as the Spawn of Satan class, 8C. When I first let all the students in the classroom, two of the boys had begun to fight. They each had the other in a choke hold and were punching back and forth. So before all the students had even come into the room, I had kicked out two. Then as the students were coming in, a girl closed the door all the way, maliciously not allowing the other students to enter (this particular door locks from both the outside and inside if closed all the way. The only way to get out or in is to pass the key through the window to someone standing out there so they can unlock it from the outside). So there's a third student who I kicked out before class even started! I didn't give her a disciplina, however; she was just being annoying. Then, about halfway through class, while they were doing exercises, I was leaning over helping a student, when a particularly irritating student caressed my rear end to get my attention. I use the word caress, because I really can't think of another word for it. He snickered as I turned around with astonishment on my face. Well I let it slide because I thought maybe, just MAYBE, I had miss-interpreted it. Well five minutes later when I was standing in front of the class explaining the lesson he asked loudly and repeatedly if he could kiss me, In English, mind you. "Teacher can I kiss you, can I kiss you?" Yeah that was the end of that. Out he went and another falta da disciplina went with him. Well a few minutes after that I kicked the rest of the class out about 15 minutes early because I basically couldn't take it anymore. They weren't listening, no one was doing the exercises, they had no respect for me or anything I was trying to do in class.

After class I went to the director of the school, who is also my Peace Corps counterpart (basically my counterpart/helper person) and told her that it had to stop. She promised to speak to the class tomorrow. I felt sorry for her, she was clearly coming down with the flu or something. She's got a tough job and I feel sorry for her a lot, but she handles herself well, and I think from what I have heard, our school is one of the more disciplined in Cape Verde, if you can believe that. But just from hearing other volunteers' stories, I think this island has one of the better run schools. It's small and there aren't that many students. It's slightly easier to look after everyone if there aren't that many to begin with. So now I sit here trying to fill out a disciplinary report in Portuguese about my miscreant students. I'm tired.


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