Yesterday was officially my last day teaching at the one school, moving on to ahother one come Monday. I tell ya, I have never been good with goodbyes, mostly cause I don’t believe in them, but unfortunately it is what is. The teachers were wonderful, saying the nicest things and exchanging contact info with me, tho I don’t actually expect to hear from most of them. C’est la vie, right?
The day started off spectacularly to say the least. They have a closing ceremony that they do every Friday morning to officially end the week, and the whole pagent is always mind blowing awesome. Specifically, they tend to sing songs and such in between announcements and speeches from the teachers and students, and these songs are AMAZING! I don’t quite have the skill to describe what it sounds like to have 500 students all singing in that amazing African harmony and syncopated rhythms, but I swear the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time!
After that I managed to successfully pull off a skype sesh between my 47 student grade 10 class and a good friend from Portland. It was so much fun to watch their reaction to my friend, to her answers and to the questions that she was asking them. It was truly a spectacular morning!
The rest of the day was kind of a busy haze. The whole day was non stop, between finishing up my 21 page final report on my time at the school, talking with students that were interested in going abroad to study (I told everyone to come talk to me if they were interested), guest-teaching in different classes, hanging with the teachers, ect. I had some students give me hand-written notes that typically both thanked me for being there and professed their love for me (tho I don’t think that it would work out between me and them), getting me to write messages in their books and more. Busy, busy, busy, and I love it!
The day was over at 4pm and this was to be a highly anticipated time, as I was FINALLY able to meet with the two grade 12 students that my organization sponsors. I had tried to find time to meet with them for the past 5 weeks, but for one reason or another it just didn’t work out. We finally found the time, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. For a couple hours we were able to hang out, talk about life, talk about their time at high school, what they are looking forward to once high school is over, all kinds of things. Of course, the topic of boyfriends and love came up as well, which is a guarantee when talking to any of the students at this all-girl boarding school.
I finished with my CES students and was finally to be on my way out. However, I did still have one last person to meet with. I had been approached the day before by one student, a grade 9 girl that wanted to meet with me in private. It is an understatement to say that I wasn’t ready for what she shared with me. Basicaly, she told me of how both of her parents had died some time ago and that her home was with her aunt halfway across the country in Mombasa. She told me of how her aunt was a bad person, often abusing both her and her sister in a very serious manner, apparently attempting to kill her on a few occasions. The girl told me of how she has no family in this area and is completely isolated. All of her attempt to report her aunt to the police have been silenced due to the fact that this aunt is high up in the police force and is able to suppress reports like this. Basically, this student was just telling me her reality and explained that she was looking to run away at the end of the Term.
I had no idea how to react to this. I told her to hold on for one night and that I’d ask around to see what kind of help is available to her.
However, I then asked some other teachers about the situation and discovered some holes in the story. For one, not only are her parents not dead, but the mother comes to visit her at school from time to time. Apparently she does have a many family members in the area, while her personal home is in Mombasa. Basically, we deduced that her story was not likely to be true, and rather just a story being told by her to this muzungu for whatever reason she had.
Man, if I didn’t wear my heart on my sleeve like I do I wouldn’t have such difficulty with situations like this.
However, that aside, it was a fantastic end of my era at Bishop Sulumeti and I an only expect to have a similarly amazing experience at my next school!