As the term came to an end I found myself finally getting into a flow with the school. My role had become more defined and my job on the whole became a lot easier for me to handle. While the hours I work still probably constitutes as exploitative by volunteer standards, I don’t really care. What would I be doing in my free time anyway? Oh yeah, hanging out with the 90 incredible, beautiful, and amazing girls we have at our school.
Finals went off mainly without a hitch. My grading was done before the middle of the week and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there. The next week was a dead week, but we were told to have classes in any event. Most of it was filler but some of it was also building on a foundation for the next term. We also were able to have more school wide activities, like capture the flag and a talent show.
Before the inception of “Capture the Flag”, by yours truly, there was some talk about a field day, or relay races, or some intermural matches in football and basketball, but I pretty much demanded we have a Capture the Flag game. It turned out to be a lot harder than I anticipated given my lack of accounting for the fact that I’m still in Rwanda (…Stupid hills). So needless to say, everyone got a work out and I was horribly sore for a good two days afterward.
The teachers split up on different teams and I was often faced off with the Biology teacher, who also happens to be faster than a speeding bullet. That may have had something to do with the fact that he was running downhill the entire time but, I still managed to jail him a few times. The most spectacular being when he kept crossing a bit over our line. Eventually I just ran behind him and we played chicken with each other until we both managed to slip on the same patch of loose dirt and went crashing into the side of the hill. I don’t bruise easily, so it was hard to notice, but my shoulder definitely hated me for the next week.
The talent show was a perfect showcase of how awesome my girls are—and also my co-workers. The other two American teachers and I organized 3 songs we performed on stage including a rewrite I made of “Umbrella” by Rihanna, for the Gashora Girls Academy. Each teacher had a verse specific to the class they taught, but because Esther and I both teach English I just rewrote the Jay-Z rap to do myself. Unfortunately, the response from the girls when we began was too hilarious for me, and I busted up laughing in the middle of the second line. We still managed to make it through the song and to the extreme pleasure of all those who are interested in blackmailing me in the future, there is a video.
There girls did everything from songs, dramas about HIV/AIDS awareness, monologues, comedy skits, and fashion shows. All of these things were completely unprompted by professors. The girls wrote, and performed the pieces on their own without any help or instruction from staff. My personal favorite part was the first half of the fashion show. The girls kept this a pretty big secret and we were all surprised at their creativity. They took things from around their dorm, like linens, curtains, and pillow cases and made really awesome looking clothes simply by tying them a certain way or pinning them. I was floored. I know people got pictures and I’ll try to post them soon, but I have to find them first. Apparently, all of the clothes were designed by our Headgirl, which makes me wonder if she wouldn’t make better use of her skills in the fashion industry rather than in medicine.
In effect, I miss them already. We’re going to be starting up the next (and my final) term in about a week. It’s weird to think of how soon it’s all going to be over, and I’m having daily internal struggles over how I feel about leaving. In the end, I guess it’ll be okay as long as I get to come back.