Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Great News! Pictures of the interior of my trip to Zambia and of my house are posted at:

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Life in the village has been somewhat uneventful this past month. I started teaching again in August however I haven’t been able to teach a single period this past September and I was told not to expect to teach any more periods until January. Last week we had graduation and so everyday the students were preparing for that and thus unable to study. We have also been making bricks for some reason unknown to me. I think it might have been to show the parents when they came to graduation that we are planning to build something but no plans of any sort have been made. Everyday each student has been required to carry 20 bricks up from the river. They have now made hundreds of them. Things at school have been good. The ministry of education just recently assigned us 4 new teachers and believe it or not they actually TEACH! I had a personal conversation with each of them about not following the example of the other teachers at my school that barely teach two days every month. So far they have all been teaching as many periods as me which has really surprised me!
The brutal beatings that were common before the students set fire to a part of the school have somewhat stopped. Now students are just given work today after school like digging holes or carrying bricks. One of the teachers that really used to beat students to death is now actually afraid of the students and I rarely see him pick up a stick.
One weekend a few of the junior girls, that are boarding students, were tired of hard labor and so they decided that it would be a good idea to make the freshman girls do most of their chores and then beat them if they didn’t obey. There is no teacher on duty on the weekends so they were able get away with it. It seemed an ironic act to me since my students always complain about how much they hate getting whipped and then they go and do it to each other.
Two of the cooks at my school were recently laid off for a month for some unknown reason. They didn’t think they were going to be able to cook again at my school and so they went to the village witch doctor and asked him to curse my principal and give them some potion that would make him call them back to work. My principal found out about it and fired both of them for such disgraceful acts. I had always heard stories about witch doctors but I never knew that they really existed. I guess they would be similar to fortune tellers in America. The only difference is that here if someone visits them for any reason they are highly frowned upon. I think this is since they are highly condemned by both the Catholics and Muslims here. I don’t know if the action that my principal took was right since I don’t feel that what the cooks do in their private lives should affect their career lives but then again the cooks had to have known that it would come out what they did since there is very little privacy here.