Upon the first day of arrival,
I actually taught the same students as previously done,
those that were in my course two years prior.
After one weekend of this teaching,
the school decided,
that my previous students were more than privileged,
and it was turn for the newest students, the Form I's, not the Form 3's!
And so it went,
that I would come every Saturday and teach a whole new group of students.
And this very thing,
is what happened.
We spent every Saturday together for nearly two months,
learning the basics of English,
giving them a foundation
in which they can build upon throughout their schooling.
In hopes, my hopes,
that one day,
they make it beyond the island,
and into higher education,
creating more opportunities for their thriving souls to expand their lives beyond Mafia Island!
these very students,
the ones I taught for a couple months,
their smiles, their laughter,
their thirst for life, for learning, for learning the English language,
it inspires me daily,
feels my heart immensely
and keeps my soul ever grateful.
one of their favorite activities was getting their photos taken!
Each one would race to a new location,
grab a new prop,
pose and then wait for me to see them.
This usually concluded in a huge circle of students,
crowded around me,
jumping on top of each other trying to see themselves on the tiny screen of my camera.
I couldn't help but laugh,
smile and be filled with gratitude.
How, do I love being in the classroom and more so, teaching!
Hadija, Hadija, Hadija.
There wasn't a day that went by where my phone didn't buzz with Hadija wanting to say hello!
two years ago,
one of my Form I students,
now a proud Form 3 student,
she remained very close.
On the weekends,
she came to Magemani, our home, for English classes,
soaking up all that she could.
A magazine reference here,
a swahili dictionary there,
a book or two
and anything else she could get her hands on to spark an English conversation.
She was one of my most dedicated students,
both inside and outside the classroom.
Her desire to learn English and one day go to America,
inspired me to truly be a better me,
in a multitude of ways.
Her eagerness reminded me of the value,
accuracy and delicacy of teaching English to those thriving to learn.
Her curiosity reminded me to truly be me,
to express myself in knowing that my way of life is not yours,
and yours not mine, but that in itself is all okay.
Her determination to learn a new language,
served as a two fold reminder,
to be ever grateful for my roots, my home, that place where I've sprouted from
and to live each day anew, learning with each step and process.
This young lady, I will truly miss.