Saturday, September 12, 2009

Here we go again…

So it looks like the rainy season is starting again. I was hoping the
dry season would last another couple of weeks but oh well. Back to
the wet, cold and mud, not to mention canceling class because your
students can’t hear you/are getting rained on. Not ideal, but it’s
life!

No big news with the computer lab besides getting a projector set up.
Oh, and that with the wet season back, the solar panels produce a lot
less power and we are expecting even more cuts in the time students
can use the computers.

We had our first debate! It was a success, despite our loss to our
opponent. Both teams did very well, but the English is definitively
more advanced at the other school, and they’d debated four times
already this year. I am extremely proud of our students for how they
did. For most of them, it was their first debate and for the rest,
their second. We had two Francophones on the team, and it is a huge
accomplishment for them to give their arguments and ideas in English.
We also had three Senior 1s and two Senior 2s, so our team was a lot
younger. With some more practice they could be excellent.

The day after the debate, my friends and I went on an epic hike around
the falls. We climbed a mountain, then climbed all the way down to
the river, walked along the river, had a fisherman ferry us up river
in a little canoe when we hit an impassible cliff, then climbed most
of the way back up the original mountain. It took about 5 hours, and
when we finally reached the end, we were exhausted, sun burnt, filthy
and bleeding from several cuts and scratches caused by rocks and
thorns. In other words, it was a great hike! There are some pretty
good pictures and when I get good enough internet, I’ll post a few.

Finally, just a note to any perspective Worldteachers who have found
my blog, don’t join this organization. I know it’s not great form to
be bashing the organization that I belong to, but there is something
very wrong with WorldTeach. We had a few hints at the beginning by
the way they treated us and the lack of information we received during
orientation. We discovered a bit more throughout the year as we
consistently were left hanging when we needed support. (Field
Director leaving the country on vacation during our first two weeks of
teaching is just one example.) Now though, we are fully aware of the
problems that through this organization all the way to the home office
in Boston. Let me be clear: I love my placement, despite the problems
I face, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here,
but I would not recommend WorldTeach to ANYONE. Find a different
organization. Please

5 comments:

Joanna said...

Hi Andy,

Yikes! I've been following your blog because I'm leaving for Rwanda this December with WorldTeach, and while I'm definitely not cancelling my plans to go, I'd love to hear more about some of the issues you've had with them so I can be prepared. If you wouldn't mind talking a little, shoot me an email at joanna.a.copley@gmail.com. Good luck with the rain!

Joanna

dm5039 said...

Joanna,

You can't trust this guy. First, he's Canadian. Second, he LOVES clam chowder. Third, I was on that hike with him, and he used the word "mountain" where clearly "really big, rocky, and dangerous hill type thing" would have been a better descriptor.

Just FYI,
DM

Andy's relative said...

I agree, you can not trust this guy. There must be some sort of arrangement between him and the other competing organizations. About the hike picture ... the hill looks like a garbage dump turned naturalization project. All the trees were planted in a staight line, equal distance apart. I'm starting to think Andy is really in BC planting trees.

Mellownisty727 said...

hey andy!
I hope everything is going great in Rwanda. I love your blog and pictures, i read a bunch of the posts. Sorry, i don't have any meaningful comments besides appreciation. I'll be sure to do so next time.

Cheers

Sherif

Caitlin Rose said...

People get kicked out the Peace Corps for comments like that. My blog is always cheery. Mongolia is a nice place to visit after Africa I've heard. love, C