monday – first day with the kids By Katie Chloe and Laura.
What a day!
we started at the school by 8.15, we were all excited to meet the kids. Coming in we were greeted by the choir which reduced many of us to tears with their enthuasiasm and joyfulness.
After a brief assembly where Paul got everyone laughing with his big belly laugh signal for fun, we seperated to begin teaching for the day.
The children looked to range from about five to fifteen and despite looking like they have nothing, they all had one thing: the biggest smile imaginable. For some, teaching proved a challenge as the abilities varied to what was expected however Teams Meerkat, Tiger, Gorilla and Giraffe soon raised to the challenge as best we could and all the kids seemed to be having a great time. Classic British Games like Duck Duck Goose were possibly the most popular and laughs were heard across the school.
Because it is a national holiday in Rwanda we only taught the children for half a day giving us the opportunity to meet some people from the 'real' Kigali in the afternoon.
We visited a poor community near the school which included members of a Pigmy tribe and were instantly greeted by tonnes of smiling children wanting to shyly introduce themselves. They we spilt of into our animal teams to listen to stories of those who live there.
We found out they had been moved there by the government 'temporarily' yet have been living in the same poverty stricken conditions for seven years. The children seemed really excited to have us there to play with and be their new friends.
I (Laura) was particularly playing with two little girls who seemed quite attached to me. I was struck with suprise when they both started saying “Money, give me money”. This really affected me as obviously I felt bad as I couldn't give them any. But then also, and I admit this sounds selfish, I was somewhat upset that they may have had some sort of ulterior motive when I believed I was just playing with them for fun. Extending this, I almost felt bad for being white and disrupting their day – as if we had given them a sense of false hope; a break from the chains of diffuculty they face every day, we left in our bus with them running behind, but finally not catching up.
Overall, its been a very emotional first day that ended back in our familiar apartments with dinner and preparing for whatever comes tomorrow....