The fitness program has been difficult to structure the past two weeks because the students feel as though they have free reign to do as they please once they are outside and no longer in the classroom. Even with the help and direction of Vedant’s Creole, the kids have had difficulty with understanding what is we are trying to get done with the project. The ultimate goal at Etoile de Mer is to put on a solid showing at an upcoming Sports Day where they compete in various events against other neighboring schools. Vedant, Vicky, Caroline, and I all took the kids out to a nearby soccer pitch Friday to help them prepare for the event, but, again, we had trouble organizing the students and getting even the best athletes to participate. It is unfortunate that some of the students feel as though they are too good to take part in our stations and physical activities because I truly believe they can benefit from our guidance and leadership. Hopefully, before the students leave for break, the kids will be much more willing to get involved and participate in what we have worked so hard to organize. It will also be rewarding if the kids take these newly introduced games and activities and decide to play them in their free time with friends rather than just sit around and hang out during their recess period as most of them regularly do.
Another goal of the program is to stress the importance of stretching and the many life lessons that can be learned through sport. These kids are accustomed to just grabbing a soccer ball after lunch and jumping right into a game, but we have done our best to educate them about the fact that as their bodies mature, they develop muscles that need to be warmed up before exercising to reduce the risk of injury. So, before the students start running around, we have initiated a dynamic stretching routine that many of them seem to enjoy.
And further, whether the students realize it or not, by playing sports and participating in the upcoming events for Sports Day, they are indirectly learning valuable lessons that can be applied to many aspects of their lives outside of the realm of sports. A lecture that went particularly well at Fatima on Monday was one that discussed the significance of teamwork. Vicky and I asked the students questions like why teamwork is important, what is necessary for good teamwork, when do they use teamwork, etc. The kids were very engaged in the discussion and brought up examples of using teamwork in the workplace, helping their families within their respective households, and other instances in the classroom and in Mike’s theater project. We also discussed the makings of good/bad leaders and how we can learn from the actions of those in positions of power. Overall, I was very pleased with how the lesson went and I think the students really got a lot out of both the English words introduced throughout the period and the far-reaching value of teamwork.
After spending time in the schools and dedicating my time to the fitness lesson plans, my attention shifts to another vital aspect of my life. Facebook. I am currently in charge of running the ELI Africa fan page and am spearheading ELI Africa’s efforts to become a Top 200 vote-getter in the Chase Community Giving. We are currently in the middle of the competition and there is a significant amount of money at stake for the organization. This event presents an extraordinary opportunity for ELI Africa as we hope to expand our reach and resources here in Mauritius and to other African nations in need. As it stands now, we are floating around 70th place in the competition and have slowly watched our position fall this past week. The Fellows spent time meeting this evening to discuss potential strategies to ensure that we are successful in our mission and to make certain that we are doing all we can to get people to support our organization. I ask you kindly to please vote for us using the Chase Community Giving Application on Facebook, spread the word to family members and friends, and help us make a difference in the lives of these underprivileged kids. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Ok, quick recap of a few other things that happened since the last time I blogged:
We had a lovely dinner with one of the volunteers at Fatima, Nathalie, and her husband at their home last weekend. I haven’t seen the Fellows stuff their faces like that in awhile.
I finally did laundry after 28 days of avoiding it. Mom would be proud.
Just when I thought our house was done with dealing with rodents, a big something tried to come in my room last night on two different occasions. I might have to go over my teamwork lesson with Mike so that we can take care of that together. ASAP.
We are all disappointed with the loss of US soccer, but continue to watch the World Cup games every evening. No worries- Emily is still in tune with the schedule.
Vedant, Mike, and I are addicted to dumplings. We have made friends with a local vendor who has a stand in Riviere du Rempart and we call him every day to see if he is open for business.
Annnd, Evil Dog might not be so tough after all. He is starting to let us pet him and has been relatively tame as of late. I think his only problem is with Baba Lours. I can relate.