I was late for the bus! I thought it came at 7.20am however as I was walking the dusty track I looked up to see Babu driving the school bus along the track to meet me! He greeted me but added in English the word ‘late’!!! Oooops. “Pole.....Pole.....Sorry ......Sorry”! He laughed at me and said “No problem, Hakuna matata!”
Form 1 English involved lots of labels for each of my photos from which the girls gleaned all the information we had discussed yesterday, and wrote a letter to Madam Polly telling her all about their new teacher, Madam Fran. They now know you all so well at home...I found myself nearly in tears at one stage as they were so genuinely interested in all of you and couldn’t tell me enough times that:
Philomena is Great Mama to have big family; that Gemma....She is so beautiful...she looks like Madam Fran; Aidan he have beautiful girlfriend and Dylan very strong, his arms are big! They were fascinated that I only had one brother and when they talked about my family, Tony was the important one! (Sorry sisters... they did think you were beautiful and that we sisters all looked the same!)
I had worn one of my new outfits but hadn't been able to see what I looked like as we have no mirrors so photos were taken!
Before we left school, I farewelled Malake, Babu Yona’s son. Babu Yona, a Maasai, is the Askari (guard) at SEGA. He wears the full Maasai robes and Malake is just a tiny version of his Dad! Malake doesn’t speak English or Kiswahili but he communicates very well with his eyes and radiant smile. He must return to his village as he has been away for too long. Polly, Martha, Elena and Carmella are taking him on safari tomorrow and returning him to the Maasai village which consists of 4 huts somewhere, many kilometres north of Morogoro in Maasai land. Polly has hired a driver as she doesn’t know where it is or how to get there even though she had visited several years ago.
Malaki wasn't sure of the camera but was happy to get all our attention.Eating a simplified version of the girls’ savoury rice (pantry was VERY depleted!) I received a message from Gemma that she was waiting at the airport for her plane to leave Melbourne....Kuala Lumpa....Dubai....Cairo! Oh My Goodness....I feel like I am in a time warp over here. Her departure wasn’t happening until 5 Nov...but, of course....it was 5 Nov in Aus already!!!! I was so excited but couldn’t message her back as I had run out of credit! Not long now until I see her in Zanzibar!
The girls at SEGA are so keen to learn. Regardless of whether they understand what they are learning, they seem to have an innate ability to wrote learn and memorise detail. They pour over their text books and absorb everything you say. Their disadvantage is that some the Form 1 students struggle because they don’t have a satisfactory command of English.
Generally the standard of English in Form 1 is good, however it is the Pre-formals (2011 Form 1) who collectively need a lot of nurturing in English. These are the girls who are helping me the most with my Kiswahili. We are at a similar stage of learning so I am definitely not a threat to them Teaching me has helped with their confidence even in the few days I have been here. Listening to me speak English/Kiswahili and trying to work out simple sentences, is a ‘win’ for them and a ‘win’ for me (Although their young memories are much more efficient than my older, slower one!!)