Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Teaching Romance to Mkwiro Teenagers!

Jules joined us as a teaching volunteer and describes her first encounter with Mwkiro's standard 8...

"School holidays are over in Mkwiro and it’s time for my first lesson: Standard 8, who Adam our Community Officer, has described as ‘notoriously unresponsive’... they are the oldest year at the primary school, aged 14-17 and by all accounts far too cool for school!

We line up in front of the class and 25 faces stare back, sizing us up. These guys aren’t quite like the kids who sing “Jambo, Jambo, Jambo” at us as we walk through the village. I’m given my tutor group of 6 students, and as I go to join them I hear Adam mutter “Watch them, they’re dangerous”. Oh dear! I sit down and listen to Adam announce the theme for the lesson – Romance! This shouldn’t be too bad, seeing as some of the Standard 8 girls have been known to send love letters to Faridi, our Askari (guard) on base.

We start off with a warmer game of Consequences, where each student adds another line of a story. It turns out that this is a great tool for teenagers to flirt… “Ali and Fatuma met in the classroom. He said to her, “will you go out with me”; she said to him “I love you” and the consequence was they kissed”. Plenty of giggling and nudging all round!

Consquences is followed by a lesson on Personal Ads. We start off with some examples from The Times. A few boys pocket the numbers of some “slim, attractive females, 25, GSOH” – I wonder if any of them will get calls from Mkwiro! Then it’s time for them to have a go at writing their own, using lots of adjectives to describe them and what they are looking for in a boyfriend/girlfriend. Once they have finished, Mr Adam read some of them out to the class for the students to guess who had written them. They ranged from the sweet – “pretty, polite girl WLTM nice boy that lets her eat happily and sleep peacefully”, to the fanciful – “Well-known musician from Dubai, 30s”, to the downright bizarre – “WLTM woman with tall fingers and big hips”!

By the end of the class everyone is in hysterics, and a few matches have been made. Turns out Standard 8 aren’t so tough after all."