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, January 21, 2012

A day in the life of a community volunteer

I had a very relaxed morning today, waking up early and taking my time with breakfast and starting the day. The house was mostly empty after the conservation volunteers left for the forest and other community volunteers went to teach, so things were peaceful and quiet. Another volunteer and I sat outside to plan a lesson about Social Values for a Standard 8 class at Shimoni Primary.  We came up with good ideas for the lesson and I felt confident with the material.  This was good, since it would be my first time lead teaching a class!

I was on lunch duty for community today. I got an early start on it since I had class and then we would be eating lunch. I really wanted to go swimming, since I have been in Shimoni 5 days and hadn’t yet been in the water. High tide, which is the best time to go, was at 2pm so I wanted to get lunch out of the way and have time to swim during the break.  I cooked an eggplant and sweet potato curry. I love cooking, and it’s a fun challenge to work with limited ingredients and kitchen gadgets.  After cooking, I headed to Shimoni Primary with 3 other volunteers for my class. Two of us were leading the same class, which was split into two parts, and the other two were assisting. I was confident and excited to finally be in charge, and the class went really well! The kids were very well behaved and really engaged in the lesson.  There were about 40 students in the class. I didn’t have quite as much material in my lesson plan as I should have. It was only a 35 minute class, but since the students grasped the material well everything went fairly quickly. The assistant helped me to improvise a little, so everything was fine.  They had to write sentences using the new words, which included “respect”, “obedience” and “politeness”.  I was really surprised when some of the students wrote sentences about me, “Madam Dana”!

After class, the students were all walking home, so the other volunteers and I were surrounded in a sea of orange and blue uniforms. Somehow I ended up walking amidst a group of girls, and talking to them in English and Swahili. It has been great to practice my Swahili, which is a little rusty but coming back very quickly since I learned it 4 ½ years ago.  The girls were fun to walk with and one even offered to carry my water bottle. Like everyone else in the village, they are incredibly welcoming and make me feel right at home.
After enjoying the curry I had made for lunch back at the volunteer house, a few other volunteers and I headed down to go swimming. The beach at Reef Hotel was beautiful, and the water was really high and great for swimming. It was so nice to finally get in the ocean! The water was a perfect temperature and very refreshing.  What a great way to spend my break!!

Dana Bustamante, 
Community Project Volunteer



Sharon said...

So happy to hear it's going well!