Saturday, 17 May 2014

An "Ordinary Day"

This is the most boring blog post ever. At least from my point of view- it's just everyday life. But perhaps to you the little differences might be of some interest.

To be specific, this was Thursday 20th March, 2014.

6am- Recall my alarm clock that went off at 5.15. At least in Chenapou it doesn't usually matter what time I get up. I get out of my hammock and put on long trousers and a jumper- to keep the last of the mozzies off and because 22 degrees is cold. I sit down to take down measurements of old toilet rolls and cut out coloured paper, in preparation for an art lesson involving rockets. When Ben gets up rain is falling hard, and he has the genius idea of showering under the gutter. It is the perfect, quick, power-shower without having to get cold walking to the river.

7am- Haven't made any breakfast yet because I can't stomach rice this morning, and we don't have any baking powder. At last Claude comes to open the little co-op shop next door and I buy a pack and begin mixing some monkey ears (quick fried bakes). Whilst baking I sip some tea- made with just 2 teabags between us instead of the usual 3- we're getting low and Sandra still isn't back from town with our new box.

8am- Finish off the day's lesson plans in my big pink book. Pack the things I need, swallow a doxy capsule and a vitamin supplement (when's the last time I had a piece of fruit?). Completely forget to shave before school for the first time all year.

9am- Nursery building is pleasantly quiet this morning as I say Guten Morgen to Grade 2 (Germany is this week's country of the week). I play guitar for their rendition of the Wheels on the Bus. For a change, we start the day with some science. I show them the cooled wax and butter that we melted in an experiment yesterday afternoon, to the fascination of the children, who happily get to work drawing diagrams to show the results. After most are finished and some pinned up on a display chart, we move on to English. To practise rhyming words, I set them the task of collecting sets of rhyming word cards in teams. The tricky bit is then using our knowledge of phonics to read properly all of the words, but we seem to be getting better at that before break time.

10.40am- Maths. A large set of cardboard 10s and 1s are coming in very useful these days, and today I just focus on the tens (or boxes of marbles if you prefer). We count in tens, and practise reading 10, 20... 90. I then give them their 1-100 number charts and in teams they race to place coins on the numbers I dictate. Everybody starts to get a bit excited after this so I hand out their books for them to do some exercises involving 10s, 1s, addition, and telling the time.

12 noon- I am getting very bored of my diet at the moment. Carbs, carbs, and more carbs... and it just got even more depressing because lunch is bare rice, with not even a bean or lentil to cheer it up. I might've lost hope if Ben hadn't arrived with some Bananas he had been gifted. Fruit at last!

1pm- Without really meaning to, I end up teaching Grade 2 to sing a German song about ducklings (from that book that Granny sent at Christmas) before we go outside for story time. We are now onto George's Marvellous Medicine, which hasn't quite caught the kids' imaginations as much as Fantastic Mr Fox, as they don't have a clue what half the things that George puts into his medicine are. I think they'll enjoy it more once Granny grows through the roof at least. After story time we practice writing 't's and 'p's in handwriting.

2pm- At last time for those rockets! Grade 2 happily get busy cutting and sticking and designing. Thank you to Viewlands Primary- it was the money you raised that allowed me to get the materials to do things like this. We run over time a bit but what does that matter when they're having fun? And still they insist they want to practise their spelling words before home time! I say Guten Tag and dismiss the class apart from those who's turn it is on the rota to help clean up the classroom.

3pm- I finish my marking then head over to Miss Bev's house to ask for some string. She isn't in so I wait near by and get fed some rice and cassiri. Once I have the string I go back to school to string up the rockets and suspend them above the classroom. On my way back I pass Ben with a couple of boys showing him how to shoot birds.

5pm- After that rice and cassiri I don't need any dinner, and I just sit down to write some of this blogpost before the mosquitos come out. Ben makes some quick noodles when he comes in.

6pm- Before it gets dark I head down to the river for a freshen up. I take some washing but in the drizzle and the breeze I'm feeling too cold to stand around. It's just a case of in, out, soap, in, out. Back home for a cup of lemongrass tea and a leftover monkey ear.

7pm- Head to my hammock for an early night, as there's not much else to do in our dark house, apart from cockroach hunting. During the night the chigger in my foot throbs and I curse myself for forgetting to remove it.

So there it is, another day over.

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