Monday, April 21, 2008

What I Learned Yesterday

We held our monthly teacher's meeting yesterday. This time it was led by a couple who have traveled many times to Masha. Here is what I gleaned from the meeting:

1.. Rats regularly visit the Masha guest house so it is advisable to purchase a mosquito netting tent like the one pictured above. It can be placed on top of the bed with the mattress and blankets inside the tent.
2. There will be three other people besides the teachers traveling as a support team. They are in their sixties. That puts me as the youngest member of the team.
3. No military looking clothing allowed.
4. That it is essential that I go on this mission primarily as a humble student. One of the major mistakes of short-term missionaries is failing to respect a people who have been at life as long, if not longer, than them.
5. Pack light ( I plan on bringing very little clothing as I can purchase any additions in the Masha market.)
6. When we attend church we will most likely be asked to share very briefly, in front of the entire congregation. We need to think carefully about what we will share. We should say something affirming of the local culture.
7. Pens are a status symbol amongst students. We supply each student with one pen.
8. We should not buy gifts for our students. We want to be very careful not to create an unhealthy dependence or set high expectations for whoever goes next year.
9. I will most likely have a class of 50 students.
10. I will have a wall painted with black paint as a board to teach with.
11. If I want to use the internet I will have to travel to a different town.
12. We will leave July 6 and return August 6.
13. The students' ability level is about 4th to 6th grade.
14. The students will think our class if fun compared to the national teachers.
15. The national teachers discipline their students by forcing them to kneel on the floor with straight backs for about an hour.
16. We may be teaching with national teachers or have only two teachers. If there are only two U.S. teachers we will have to limit the program to 100 students.
17. We need two more U.S. teachers.


Chanman said...

"The national teachers discipline their students by forcing them to kneel on the floor with straight backs for about an hour."

That is something our educational system could definitely use!

Karlo said...

RE: #4

Yeah, just read "The Poisonwood Bible" for more perspective like that! {:8^)

I'm excited about your trip and applaud your efforts!

Michael Nevin said...


What is your blog named?