My first week of volunteering started in Hamburg at the Airport with unhappy goodbyes from my mother and my sister. I arrived at 10 pm that same evening in Entebbe, Uganda. David, a nice Canadian guy, picked me up at the Airport and brought me to a guesthouse in Entebbe. After breakfast the next morning, we took a car from Entebbe to Kampala. Our bus from Kampala to Kisumu in Kenya started at 2pm. The first break was after 6 hours, where we crossed the border from Uganda and Kenya. Everbody had to leave the bus for the border control. After the control we entered the bus for two more hours of driving; to reach Kisumu. In Kisumu Torsten and Lawrence, met us up at the nearby petrol station and brought us to the Korando Educational Center. There Mama Dolfine was waiting for us. I was so heartily welcomed by everybody; I felt at home after the first minute. I want to thank you all for that.
The next day (Saturday) started with a guided tour through the Center and the Dome House. After that the kids started their welcome show for me. They told me that they practiced the whole week just for my show. The show was so great. They sang and danced for me and played on the drums. It was really terrific.
When the show was finished, I had a short meeting with all teachers, to discuss the preparations for Monday – my first day at school.
After the meeting I drove with David to Kisumu to go shopping. Our first stop was the fruit market – a big hall, full of different sales booths with so many different kinds of fruits, vegetables and spices. The next stop was a supermarket; the supermarket was similar to German supermarkets.
On the way back home we got a flat tire. Three guys changed it for us and after that we drove to a petrol station to repair the bad one. They repaired our tire with seven patches – seven patches on one tire. In Germany it`s illegal to drive with a tire which is repaired with seven patches, but it is okay here in Africa. After they repaired our tire they put it back on the car, because our reserve tire was also flat.
On Sunday most Kenyans go to church for many hours. We went to town to have lunch and after lunch we drove to a nice small “Bar” on a hill. The view was fantastic.
Monday was my first day the school. I was so excited when I heard the bell ringing. My first lesson was Math in Class 5. I was sitting in the back and observed the teaching methods of the teacher. Math was followed by English, Science and Social Studies – in different classrooms. Here school starts at 8 am. Before the first lesson started, the kids had to clean the floors. After cleaning the floors all kids start singing and praying together. Then the first lesson starts. Each lesson takes one hour. The last lesson ends at 5:30 pm.
On my third day at school, I taught my first lesson on my own. It was Math in class 5 which is funny, because my first lesson that I observed in the school was also Math class 5. I taught the children, the topics of money (shillings and cents), addition and subtraction. It is so much fun to teaching the children; they also seem to be having fun and enjoying my lessons. All the children are so happy when I am teaching them, it is crazy!
Not only are the children great, but the teachers are great too. They have accepted me from the first minute I arrived – despite that I have never taught before.
I recommend everyone to try what I am doing – it is fantastic Teaching the Children in the Korando Educational Center is an experience that I will cherish forever.
– by Mareile Thies from Germany