Thursday, 6 May 2010

whilst the election is underway...

in the real world, you're all busy voting - I hope. Well we've actually started work at last. After much deliberation, we decided the way forward was to start with some phonics assessments and to create a plan from there. We have now sampled all the grade 2 and 3 classes of all of 2 of the 80 something schools in our region. So a slow start. Interesting findings though, but not really unexpected. Pupils are not really being taught phonics, but by some small miracle, by grade 3 a small handful seem to have learned some English 3 letter words by memory - result. But not going to help them pass their Grade 3 NAT exams.
Lucy and I have had some successful small trips on our bikes now, no more than 5k at a time yet, but we're working up to it. Mr Bah actually looked shocked when I suggested the other day that I couldn't remember the way to the 15ish schools we have visited - most of them were about 45 mins away in the car, and they all inolve going along the highway for some distance, then turning off at an unmarked point and continuing along unmarked sand tracks in varying directions for about 20 mins.... he clearly has never walked round Brighton with me trying to find anywhere!

Now for those of you wondering how I'm coping with the wildlife I had a small moment yesterday. I was sitting in my bedroom sewing my new curtains (life is that exciting) when I noticed a dark shadow under my back door. On closer-ish (about 2 metres away) insoection I could see a tail curling under my door and some kind of wavering frilly thing. Well I hopped about a bit trying to decide on the best thing to do. I was wearing only a sarong and I knew Lucy was probably asleep next door, so I was on my own. First things first I got dressed. Those of you who know me well, it will come as no surprise that I didn't feel up to tackling wildlife with no underwear on. I opened the bedroom door so I had an escape route. I fetched a broom and banged it on the floor from a safe distance to see if that achieved anything. It didn't. Now I could have opened the door to find out what it was, but although it was a sizable shadow, it was underneath the crack of the door so could have run inwards rather than outwards if I scared it. I tried looking under the door from a safe distance, but I'm blind so couldn't see much. I contemplated holding the broom at arms length and opening the door with a brushing manouever at the same time, but didn't really feel up to it. Mostly I just stood and looked at it. I didn't want to leave incase it came in and I didn't know! Eventually it moved all by itself and I could see quite clearly from the new angle that it was just my resident lizard. Not the venemous snake I had been imagining. The frilly bit had just been its foot that it happened to have been moving when I looked. Well thank-god for that!

I'm currently writing from a lovely air-conditioned cafe back in the Kombo. Unfortunately (!) it turned out there is a meeting tomorrow we needed (!) to attend, so we had to come back early. There are workshops from next wednesday to friday aswell as we have to stay here until a week on saturday. Don't know how we'll cope with the interruption to our work schedule. We had to cancel our plans for the Jazz festival in Senegal. Permission for leave was not granted. Ho hum.

Any views expressed are my own and are not representative of VSO.

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