3 Aug 2011

Look at that Red Box of Chocolates, Nestle would Love Them!

 They are my “lovely chocolates” from last summer who have been promoted to infants. Well, actually four children are absent from the photo: two children repeated the course (one of them due to their age, but she is so smart; the other one did not stop crying and it was necessary to postpone her entry into the nursery); one stopped coming because of allergies, (so they told me…).  In total 26 varieties of sweet chocolates! Look carefully as it’s difficult to choose! I will come back fatter as I eat them all of every morning! I find it very difficult to leave the classroom and would stay until the end of school if I could. They are absolutely gorgeous! I love the new babies but these first ones will always be my favourite chocolates as they were my first!

Mikiyas (A-2) is a little urchin, funny and cheeky. Ermiyas (E-3) stole my heart. Every other moment he brings me a new little toy which we had previously brought to the school. Amen (B-1) drives me crazy because when I say “I love you”, he repeats to me softly: “I love you” (He does not know what he is saying, but he drives me crazy!)… A photo doesn’t do them justice, better a video.  No, not a video either, much better to be there with them! The best thing is to remember how they first arrived (or how the new ones have just arrived) and compare this to now.  Every morning they arrive clean and tidy and the teachers take care of their hygiene and check their appearance. It is necessary to be punctual and clean. They are healthy, happy, funny, cooperative, active and greedy… they drive me crazy!

Today they arrived in casual clothes. The teacher explained to me that, as they only have two uniforms they must come in uniform on two days and in casual clothes on the third. In that way they always come with clean clothes.  Before having breakfast, lunch or tea, and applying what we teach during the course, the teachers wash the hands of all the children with a jug and small bowl. They do it everyday and I love it! In this way we prevent many diseases that would be difficult to cure as there is no easy access to doctors or enough money for medicines. We promote self sufficiency as they are now infants, the teachers share out bibs and the children put them on. They can eat almost without help!

As it has not stopped raining, we postponed our plans to buy curtains, potties and socks and other outside tasks.  Instead we shall make individual pictures of each one of the class and will put them on their baskets of personal items (sponge, small towel, socks...). The teachers like this method of organization. We have already taken the photos and sent them to be printed; probably tomorrow we will receive them. Making the pictures has been beautiful! The teachers wanted the children to appear perfect in the photos, they were so thoughtful, brushing the hair of the girls, making them laugh, changing their old jackets for better ones and they even prepared a small photographic studio for making the photos (a towel as background!) I love that they take care of the dignity of the babies at all times, joke with them, kiss them…and for the teachers these are all new babies! Before leaving I have to play a little with Amen. He did not stop laughing when I picked him up (in spite of his weigh) or when I tickled to him or turned him up side down.

Another advance for this year is that the obligatory siestas have been stopped (except for the babies). Victoria has worked hard to avoid obligatory siestas after lunch and offering alternatives for their leisure time. A few days ago, I saw them watching a DVD (when I arrive back home, I will buy some English films to send them. They love them) or playing with plasticine (as today). Abugida is never boring!!

I had to take the training class in the evening (Carol was not feeling well… gastroenteritis has affected us all but was much milder for her, fortunately…) Today the topic is FOOD, so we talked about the time for each meal, what must be given in the breakfast, lunch and tea (after eating, they are all full at Abugida!); the importance of hygiene and self sufficiency at the table (or on the floor in some cases); to be patient (not to force or give up immediately; take time; to use certain strategies with the worst eaters…); the importance of taking the opportunity to introduce new vocabulary (food, cutlery, flavours, quantities, temperatures…)  This evening we have programmed the rest of meetings for the course. Apart from schedules, hygiene, first aid and feeding we are going to talk about the tutorial function with the family, activities of psychomotricity, meetings and goodbyes, various types of activities, contents depending on the age and music.  The girls have been threatened by Zeri with a final examination. Poor girls! You can see them taking notes. But it is not important, the important thing is that they attend, ask questions, participate, contribute… it is fantastic!

News is not always good news, today we discovered that our “old girl” is HIV+. She is one of the most intelligent and the funniest at school. This is very bad news! Now it is time to think and give thanks to this school because her mum has a job and some money to rent a house and the baby eats well and she is tidy, happy, laughing, joking, sharing, hugging and playing as any normal kid for her age. We have to give her seven hugs a day to help compensate!  

It is late but tomorrow will be great, I want to test a new carer for Dagem. I am falling sleep.  Chocolate kisses!

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