Today was my first full day as a volunteer.
My day began with sending the children off to school. Each day, the students meet at the front of the property in their uniforms before they go to school. Their uniform is a white button-up shirt underneath a red wool sweater, a long blue kilt (girls) or khaki shorts (boys), white and black striped socks and closed toed shoes. All students are required to shave their heads, girls included). My morning job is to make sure they all have school supplies (daftari-notebook and a pen or pencil). They are allowed to trade in broken or too-small pencils and are given a new one to replace it. If they lose any supplies, they have to do extra chores. The volunteers walk the children to school and our morning is spent teaching the little ones (more on my teaching assignment later!).
The afternoon is playtime! After their nap, the kids are allowed to play until the big kids get home from school. Today I spent my afternoon reading to Ema (ee-muh), a three year old boy. Ema loves animals. There are a number of pets who live here: two kittens (Mayai and Chipsi) and two dogs, one very old black lab, Kira and a portuguese water dog, Winchester. Ema spends much of his playtime chasing around the animals and loving on them, giving them kisses, hugs and petting them. Naturally, Ema and I are already good buds. So, we read 6 books of his choosing, and all were about animals. The boy knows what he likes!
After playtime, I went for a walk with Maddy, the volunteer coordinator. We took a walk through the coffee fields and there were some stunning views.
When I returned home, I went to Ramundo House (all girls) for Chapatti dinner. Every Thursday we get to eat with the children. Chapatti is a less dough-ey, naan-like, oily bread served with beans and cabbage. We sit with the girls and encourage table manners and speaking English. I ate with Ramundo House because beginning on the 10th, I will be living there! The girls were excited to have me as a guest and we had a good time eating and laughing together.
Almost one week done…hard to believe!