Another school year has begun for myself and my 400 giddy students bouncing around the hallways. Today, I spent far too much time asking students to directions my next classroom. Lucky for me, they didn't seem to mind. Being the brand new american I still have 'celebrity' status and can clear a path through the hallways just by grinning. With such status coming a lot of work. My counterpart, director, and I have already got several special events, seminars, and clubs planned for this semester. I am thrilled and inspired by the energy of these women.
This past week, my counterpart, myself and one student went to a PEPFAR training in Kyiv. We spent a week learning about HIV/AIDS in Ukraine, what we can do to inform about communities about prevention and treatment alongside other volunteers and Ukrainians. It was great. I learned so much about this subject and how Ukrainians view this problem within their own culture. The CPs and students present were open, compassionate, and motivated to create change in their communities. We were made to meet several people living with HIV and hear their stories in addition to receiving information about the issue.
The training ended Friday afternoon and my group zipped right home to rest up for our Saturday. On Saturday, four PCVs showed up to help myself and a neighboring PCV, Sara, host a Living Library at our schools. Since we are about 10 km apart it was easy to pull off. Sara's session was first. She had a great turn out of 11th formers at 9am. We each shared photos, stories, videos, etc of our home states or cities. We traveled back to my town to eat a fabulous lunch with tea and sweets at my school. (I am very spoiled by everyone I work with.) I was extremely worried about the outcome of the Living Library at my school since I'm the new teacher. I didn't want my first event to be a bust. So I convinced myself if only 10 students showed up I would declare the day victorious. Well, I had 45 students show up! After a few hours of listening and reading and asking questions, they didn't want to leave. I was giddy with glee. I am so grateful to have supportive friends who show up to help me when ever I ask, to be surrounded by kids who DESIRE to LEARN, and fellow teachers who get just as excited as me about planning events then just as excited as the students when the event happening.
I read this quote recently written by another PCV, "Those days when you want to be exactly where you are and are wanted in return." His words sum up my existence this week.
Enjoy some photos!
|PC Director, my student, my counterpart, and me|
|Amy showing everyone exactly how tall the Rocky Mountains are.|
|Pete had a fancy powerpoint about Cincy.|
|Sara and her students learning all about Seattle.|
|Pointing out the largest cave system on earth. It surrounded a tiny town home to my favorite university.|
|Florida according to Sara.|
|Caitlin giving her presentation for the 7th time on a Saturday.|
What a trooper!
|I did not know this many would come.|
|"Be a native in this painted yard"|