Tonight I asked Heba to MAKE SURE I go to bed at 9:30pm (I haven't been getting much sleep), so naturally I'm starting to write this post at 9:22pm. Discounting the absolutely freezing shower I just took, today was great! I'm a bit out of it from acclimating to this new packed schedule, but still cheerful from having had positive interactions today.
After introducing ourselves to a raucous crowd of Form 4-6 students at 7am assembly, we had our first Cultural Linguistics class with MaP Top Achievers who are studying abroad next year, re-introduced ourselves to the Lower Form 6 students whose class on SATs/college prep/info on life in the USA that we're taking over, and I met individually with two students who are having some social and emotional difficulties and two students whom I'll be tutoring individually in English. I'm really happy that one super kind teacher in particular is setting me up with students for general counseling, since 1) I think this is one of my strengths, and 2) I enjoy talking to the kids about what's on their minds! I think I'm going to swing by the school counselor's office tomorrow and see if we could chat sometime about whether or not I could possibly help her by getting involved in more of this. I also spent a beautiful hour or so with a girl who approached me and invited me to come see her work later in the day. All of her stuff is 1000000x better than my visual artworks have ever been/will ever be (SO impressed and excited about her work), and we bonded over discussing our creative processes, families, and so on.
I think my introductions at assembly yesterday and today have intrigued the students, since it seems as if the future careers most anticipate are limited to engineering, medicine, writing, etc. I got a pretty substantial reaction when I said I studied filmmaking and also take classes in gender/sexuality/race relations, and hope to be a video journalist covering human rights stories. One young girl pulled me over to ask a few questions about animation, and another wants to talk sometime about screenwriting!
Lunch was likewise lovely, although the food was maybe my least favorite I've had so far. It was a dense, puffed out white starch of some kind that was pretty tasteless, and meat covered in a thick sauce. Thankfully, my conversation with one of the girls who was at the peer mentoring meeting yesterday about her experience with performing spoken word pieces as a form of self-expression made up for the mediocre food! She has a Verbal Emancipation performance coming up next Friday and I promised I'd definitely be there. If I get my documentary-making stuff in order by then, I think it would be such a phenomenal event to cover, since the students' work seems to be personal and full of soul.
To wrap up: exciting things coming up include a GAME DRIVE on Saturday (!!), a video project I'm helping out with for a trivia bowl teaser/trailer, and a service activity tomorrow that will get us off campus and involve reading to children.
The main adventure of the day was a trip with Heba to the local grocery store, Choppies, which is about a five-minute walk from school. Check it out!
I picked up a bunch of small snacks, since I've been skipping breakfast in the mornings (sleep has taken priority over food) and we found out today that we can't eat the sandwiches in the staff room at the 9am break anymore. Whereas before I'd wake up at 6:30am in time for 7am assembly (and then eat 9am sandwiches to tide me over for 12:45pm lunch), this means I'll either have to wake up at 5:40am every day to make 6am breakfast OR supply my own breakfasts.
Heba and I are planning on giving breakfast a try tomorrow morning, but I feel better having a few snacks lying around for any future missed meals. I'm most excited to eat chocolate, but was absolutely PUMPED to see Maggi noodles on the shelves of Choppies! I ate these for breakfast in Bangladesh over winter break, and they were SO GOOD. Granted I don't know how to prepare them in the way that the kalas did for me (cold, strained, and mixed with corn and other veggies), but I want to give them a try here since I haven't seen them in the US.
The whole basket only costed 54 BWP, or pula, which is about $5. So a first successful shopping trip, I'd say! I'm happy knowing I'm able to afford alternatives to dining hall meals, since I'm a bit worried about losing weight. I'll write a post later dedicated to food and how mealtimes work once I've collected enough food photos. :) And let me know if there's anything else you might be interested in hearing about: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bye for now!