Another beautiful, refreshing morning in Mauritius. After yesterday’s day off, I think we are all prepared to jump back into another week. Last weekend was so encouraging, and we all feel like we are starting to make a difference in these kids’ lives.
Probably one of my highlights was the institution of a new “You Teach Us!” period at the end of every day at the center. Many kids have to leave a little early anyway to catch the bus home for dinner, so now for the last half hour we let them teach us Creole, sega dance, or anything else. This is where we are really building the lasting bonds. The kids enjoy teaching us insulting phrases to say to the other fellows, and the girls are forever entertained by how to teach us ladies to move our hips the ‘proper’ way, working us into a sweat. Even more flattering, they are convinced I can dance, which I have never heard before in my entire life.
Another exciting moment was when a couple boys presented the female fellows with roses, and the girls gave us bracelets. It was so adorable! The roses now adorn our dinner table and add a little beauty to our kitchen. In return, I have introduced the silly band fad, which I was surprised had not yet reached Mauritius. As an extra incentive to attend my science lessons, I let them take a new one everyday.
I am pumped for this week! I went shopping for some missing supplies yesterday, and finally found low-voltage LEDs, red cabbage, and magnets (in a fishing store, of all places). Now I can do some of the experiments I am most excited for. I am realizing just how quick these kids pick up concepts, despite never before having science classes: they can newly recite the scientific method, explain the conservation of energy and momentum, and they just balanced their first chemical equation! I can’t wait to get them started on their own science fair projects.
Today is going to be a busy day. I am teaching a guest class at one of the colleges, then quickly getting to the Center for my normal lessons. Also, today I hope to hang the curtains for my lab!