Lauren here. This has been an action packed week! Over the weekend we decided to do a little exploring in the area where we live. We ventured out with the goal of finding the beach. We knew we wanted to go to Grand Baie, a tourist town on the coast. The problem was that we weren’t sure which bus would take us there, so we ended up asking the driver if the bus would take us there. That is usually what we end up doing anyway, excuse me sir, does this go to Grand Baie? They usually wave us on, so we skeptically climb on board. Thankfully, we did make it there for a nice day, including lunch at a café on the water and a little shopping. On Sunday we all took the day to go lay on the beach and relax before the real work began on Monday.
My teaching schedule has me working on Tuesday and Wednesday at one center and Thursday and Friday at another center. On Monday I went with Brittany to help with her art class. She did a great job and I think the kids are really going to have a blast interpreting stories in their own artistic way. On Tuesday I had my first lesson and I was really nervous. My center is right across the street from the office so Vedant, Vikay and Cedric all came with me. Vedant gave a short speech introducing our Fellows program and who I was and then it was time for me to take over. I introduced myself and then had them go around the room and tell their name and how old they are. In English. They did a great job! They were all looking for help from their friends but everyone was very supportive. The kids are 14-18 years old. Then I introduced my program, naming some sports, defining nutrition and talking about the skills that we are going to be developing over the next six weeks. I wanted to end with a game, so I took everyone outside and we split into three groups to do the Human Knot. This is where everyone stands in a circle and links hands with the people across the circle, creating a knot in the middle of the circle. The objective is to communicate to untangle the knot, without letting go. The game went really well and it seemed like the kids were having a lot of fun.
I left with a very positive vibe and came back the next day with a renewed confidence in both myself and the program I had created. The kids have an energy and receptiveness that makes teaching extremely easy. We did the Grid, which is a game involving memory, teamwork, and communication. They loved it and did a really great job! Then it was time for fitness testing, which got a little competitive. We did long jump, vertical jump, pushups and a plank test. I could see that the girls were quite skeptical regarding the testing, but they did it! I hope to see them continue to participate as we play more active games.
On Thursday I went to a different center where my group of kids range from 8-16. The vast age range creates more of a challenge to teach because the younger kids won’t understand the lesson materials while the older kids will get bored with games and activities. I look at this as a challenge so I need to adjust my program accordingly. These kids also speak very little English so I constantly need my material translated. I hope I can keep them engaged and excited to learn!
Tonight we have our big fundraising event!! It should be a lot of fun and then tomorrow I think the plan is to head to the beach. Sunday we want to go to the alligator and tortoise park in the southern part of the island. Should be yet another adventure!