We awoke this morning on a mission to complete day one of service work at the school. We filled our stomachs with delicious mysterious milk, pita bread, and local fruit. Leaving the house with packs full of sunscreen and toilet paper, we boarded a bus and drove 20 minutes to the school. Unfortunately, the teachers are still on strike (demanding a higher salary), so there were no students to listen to our lesson on ecosystems. Even though the students were not present, we still met with the principal who gave us a tour of the school and the garden. We spent the morning creating posters that taught the lesson and thoroughly cleaning and organizing the classroom. We then headed outside to the courtyard to improve the playground by clearing out an old seasaw, picking up trash, pulling out weeds, and plastering a wall for a new mural (see attached pictures). The group took a well-deserved break for lunch and then continued with the work outside. By the end of the day, we designed a plan for the mural and made huge improvements to the playground. After our hard work, we finished with a soccer game where the ball accidentally got kicked over the wall that separated the school from the neighbors. The ball soared through the air and hit the neighbor straight on the head, but she happily gave back the soccer ball and watched the game. We made it back to the house and had some down time to slack line. We all gathered back together to make a lesson plan for the next day and ate an amazing dinner. After dinner, a couple of brave souls are some spicy peppers. We all reconvened for a group reflection and made a list of our group norms. Today we reflected on our educational privileges and this unique experience.
Jayne and Olivia