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The slums...

KENYA | Wednesday, 11 August 2010 | Views [139]

Hello...well first of all...again i cannot believe how bad i have been at keeping this journal. i really wanted to write everyday to keep a vivid memory of what i have done but we have been so busy i just haven't had the time or energy to write everyday. However...today I really want to record what we saw as i feel it was the most shocking day we have had thus far! Today we had the opportunity to visit the slums and the projects which are already in place. as we drove into the slums i thought i could have my first 'culture shock' ...however i didn't receive the shock i expected. The slums looked exactly how i imagined...like living on a land fill...but although i knew it would look like that i think the reason i didn't feel a shock was because i didn't really feel as though i was there. we were merely visitors...and although i was stood in the middle it felt like a dream world of emptiness. i think the real shock will hit when i arrive back home to my luxurys. we ate in the slums today which was a task i found fairly difficult...wondering how clean things were but it was a great first hand experience to eat amongst the locals and be part of their world for a short time.

we visited numerous medical clinics which all had the shock factor...back street alleys where babies are delivered...unclean instruments...it certainly brought it home how lucky we are in England.

However..w did visit more medical clinics than schools which was disappointing to say the least....until we visited the school in the slums. The school was poorly equipped, very little room, poorly built...but then there are the children. WOW!...these children are 1 - 10. The children at 1 1/2 years age can read and write and look after themselves adequately. The children who are 4 are already learning the parts of the flower and volume in maths....this is where my culture shock hit. The people in the slums have nothing...however their children are better equipped with life skills at an earlier age exceeding the knowledge of the children in england!!!!!!!! The children go to school from 7 - 4...a full day with children sneaking INTO school to join in...this has had a profound affect on my attitude towards teaching and i can safely say my teaching style will change dramatically...what a rewarding experience.the teacher also commented how between term time the children who are falling behind come into school for 'coaching' to help them along so they will be up with the rest of the children when they come back....this ..for the first time..showed me that although  many of the schools out here have very little..perhaps they know a little bit more about progressing children's learning.

we also visited the masai school and this again was an effective and emotional experience. i cannot believe how similar their school system is to ours...it was almost the same..this was a real treat to see and the children enjoyed their schooling enormously!

looking back on my day i can see the effect it has had on both my attitude towards other cultures and my teaching..and i hope to implement this in my future teaching.

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