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Thursday
Jan192006

Red dust, chalk dust, and the ABCs

Salut mes soeurs, frères, mamans, et papas,

Thanks to the general state of disorganization at the private technical high school where I will be teaching at the end of each week, I have been granted a half day off. I am pretty exhausted after my first three days at l'école primaire de Doumbouo. I started school on Monday morning. The primary school is a half hour motorcycle ride away up a steep and dusty red road. Doumbouo turns out to be much more rural than I realized. The school consists of one long row of six classrooms, one additional classroom building, a building for the motos, and a staff building. The buildings are mud/brick with dirt floors. Much to my relief, every classroom is equipped with a chalk board. Though there are "textbooks", only about 1/3rd of the students own them (they must buy them). I start each morning with the youngest kids (about 6 years old) and work my way up to the oldest class. Six classes, 30 minutes for the first four and one hour for the last two. The kids are amazing. Smart and enthusiastic, though lacking any practical knowledge of English (even those who have studied if for five years). Probably one of the most rewarding parts of the day is the hour of teacher training after school is over. I am working with the seven teachers and teaching them English and they have an endless thirst for the language. I was supposed to start working at the private tech school today, but it turns out they don't have space/time for me on Thursdays, so I start tomorrow and will teach there every Friday from here on out (and Monday thru Thursday at the primary school).

In general, things are going very well. I will try to upload some photos soon to email out. My family is great and I have settled in easily with them and their routine. It's actually been kind of cold here in the morning. I don't know if I'm already just turning week to the cold from the warm afternoons, but it's at least cold enough to see your breath. It makes that early morning (pre-sunrise) bucket bath a cold challenge.

Anyway, only one minute left on this internet card, so I have to go. Write back (and thanks to all of you that do!).

on est ensemble,
Lindsay (Miss Lindsay)

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