Picking up the kids

This picture is from a while ago, back when I still lived in the Wooden House and everything was green green GREEN from the rains. It’s mostly brown again now, although not as brown as when I first came here. Some of the grass is still tall and brown, some has been slashed or burned or has just fallen over. Macha is beginning to once again look the way it did when I first came here. I suppose it’s appropriate: coming full circle.

(Since you’re probably wondering, if you don’t know already, I’ll just say it and relieve your misery: I fly back for reentry retreat in slightly less than a month, and will go home-home in late July.)

How’s my life these days? Settling into new patterns, but one day never quite the same as the next. I finished teaching a couple of weeks ago, and my students were officially done today — though they still have to write the exams, just as soon as they’re ready. I’m proud of how well they’re doing, though I will admit to some doubt, particularly regarding Module 5: Databases, and, to a lesser extent, Excel, because I’m not sure how math-heavy the exams are.

But I am not at loose ends! I’ve increased my work at MICS, doing remedial math with a Grade 7 who will be entering US 10th grade in September (If you’re confused, no, the numbering is not different. Hence the remedial math), and doing English/Reading/Phonics with Grade 2s, plus other assorted tutoring on the side. Right now mostly MICS, though.

So this picture is appropriate, because it’s a picture of afternoon dismissal.

In the morning, streams of kids come by on bicycles, some singly, most in clumps, frequently with two or three to a bicycle. First, somewhere between 7 and 7:15, comes E, a Dutch boy who lives over on the other side of the hospital, absolutely booking it down the path, legs pumping.

“E!” calls Chilala, or one of the other teachers staying at the wooden house, not a greeting but an alarm clock. “Hurry, you; we will be late!”

By the time the teachers are ready to go, the rest of the children are streaming in: E’s sister and her best friend, L who often leads Kid’s Choir in church, many others who I don’t know, or at least can’t identify at that distance.

The kids bike home again in the afternoon, too, but as we get close to dismissal time for the lower grades, a small crowd of men and bicycles collect under the scrubby trees at the edge of the schoolyard: the (I presume) dads waiting to pick up their kids. There are two or three parents who pick up their kids in cars, and one man on a motorbike, but mostly it’s bicycles. I like watching them.

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