That's over 30 kids altogether, plus the few randoms I've learned just because they're always hovering about - and i do mean hovering about in the most affectionate, adorable sort of way. So I am beginning the wonder if the world might be full of plenty of people who have something to give and a great desire to do good but really no idea what to do with that. There’s probably a pretty good chance that I’m a person like that. These past days I’ve had to look seriously at myself, several times, and remember that this is a place where I can really do nothing but good, and the capacity in which I’ll be best able to do that is something that I have to consider thoroughly and just take one day at a time. Of course, trying my hardest.
I realized after I wrote a few days ago that I kind of interrupted myself right in the middle of the whole “average day in my present life” bit. So as much as I enjoy talking to Phearun, my day doesn’t begin and end chatting him up over breakfast. Right now I don’t have any classes during the day on Mondays and Thursdays, but that will probably change as my schedule develops. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I teach two writing skills classes to some of the older students; most are in grades 10-12, though I have one college student and one in grade 7 (I know! He’s amazing.) The writing skills classes have generated a lot of interest, however, so I’ll likely take on an additional weekly class or two for the students who want to be in the writing skills class but need to hone their English a little more. A few of said kids will become my first tutoring students! About which I’m pretty stoked, as I feel much more comfortable teaching one on one than I do in front of a whole class – although it’s admittedly much easier than I’d feared to be in front of a classroom. No disrespect, actual teachers: as I’ve always suspected, teaching is a lot of responsibility and challenging in its own right. In the evenings I am teaching three English classes with intern teachers (who are all wonderful, bright and hardworking), two beginning English classes and one elementary.
I spend most of the rest of my time during the day outside, maybe somewhere around the kids, trying to look approachable, reading, writing, or otherwise attempting to be a good example. If I feel like I need to do more before the night classes I go over that material, but I usually try to prepare enough for class the evening prior. Getting the ball rolling on this writing class is turning out to be something of a challenge, so I kind of feel like I’m really inching my way around trying to prepare adequately for that.
I stay here on the compound in a guesthouse, and I recently moved from a big room on the first floor to one of the more manageably-proportioned volunteer rooms upstairs. There are fewer frogs and lizards, which is slightly disappointing, but more geckos, and I’m pretty happy about that. My two favorite things about this room are the tree outside my window, which grows incredibly fragrant flowers (they have six thick, waxy petals and smell like bananas!), and my view of the pond, fields and village over the wall around the orphanage. Is it okay to say in a blog that I’m working on an orphanage? Well, if it isn’t okay, don’t tell anybody. But for now, since I've let the orphan kitten out of the bag, I'm going to post two photos of two of my favorite fellows who always seem to show up wherever I am, and I absolutely love them for it.
(Honestly, genuinely and sincerely loving over 200 tiny people is about the craziest emotion I can imagine. It's really, really amazing.)
Well that’s what’s new! I’ll write again when I have something interesting to say. Please keep thinking of me! If you’re reading this, I can pretty much guarantee that I’m thinking of you.
Til next time,