(Botswana) To volunteer in the school is like going back to the innocence of childhood

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This time I will volunteer in the preschool and the primary school. What can I learn from them and what can I give them?

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I am staying at Korean house in Francistown. Thanks to them, I can stay over one month at their house. I want to volunteer during staying so that I visit some organizations, but it is not easy to get the chance. Finally after a few tries, I get a chance to volunteer at the preschool in a small village.

 

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I’ve heard that it is a small village that it would be better to stay at the teacher’s house. I stay one night at her house, but I find out that the transportation is very easy.
At first I need to take a taxi from home and it is only 4 pula (50 cents) to the bus terminal. Then I have to take the bus which runs every hour. To take the taxi in Francistown is very unique. It is only 4 pula (50 cents) to take a taxi, but I have to take with other passengers. Every taxi is going to the bus terminal and then I have to take another taxi to go where I want in the bus terminal. So, the total I have to pay is 8 pula (1$). If I want to take a taxi alone and go directly, it costs 20 pula (3$). Of course, always I take a taxi for 4 pula.

 

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It is only 20 km (12.5 mi) from the bus terminal to the village that it takes 30 minutes. It is better than when I volunteered in Swaziland. At that time I cycled on the uphill with hot weather. Haha.

 

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The organization is trying to move preschool to new building.

 

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After school I help Jocelyn who is a volunteer teacher. I mark tests. It is a bit sad to see that they are too behind the other normal children. They are 5 years old, but they can’t write a number and alphabet well, because they live in too small village.

 

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It is to match the same pictures, but even some of them don’t know how to do it. I was too curious about child education that I did googling. Now I understand that it is very hard for them who just start learning writing.

 

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It is another helping. I put two toilet rolls with glue. Jocelyn will use it for the class. Guess what we will do!

 

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African people love to have their own photos. One of reasons is that they don’t have the chance to have their picture easily.
I call every child and take the photo. (I have the problem with my lens that it is blurred in the center. I have to buy new lens. :'( ) I retouch a photograph such as snivel. My host has photo studio in the town that they discount half of the price.
I wish I have a compact photo printer for the people whom I meet on the road to print out their own photo.
It is very fun to become a kind of teacher. One of funny things is I can remember well if one is too naughty or too smart.

 

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Every toy is donation. Although most of toys are broken, children love to play.

 

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Toilet doesn’t have the door and girls and boys use together. I can’t use it because I am adult. I try not to drink water too much from the early morning.

 

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This is donations she asked her neighborhood. There is the organization which is called Rotary club of Francistown. This club is supporting the preschool of village. One local assistance of teacher gets money 500 pula (71$) for a month. But Jocelyn, teacher, doesn’t get any money, but spend too much money for children. Children pay 200 pula (29 $) per one season (4 months). There are 20 children in the class.

 

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Frankly speaking she, teacher, spends her energy, money and time too much on preschool. She studied pedagogy in college and did a teacher in South Africa for years. She teaches children amazingly awesome. She prepares perfectly for the class. She makes many papers as spending her money for children.
Now she wants to make booklet for a holiday. There is an interesting program which is called Corel. With that program, I edit all of paper.

 

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I admire Jocelyn. If I were her, it would be hard to do everything by myself. Although children pay 200 pula (29$) per the season, actually they get educations like class of 4,000 pula. I mean she takes care of children very well.
It is embracing to see counsel at the end of term. Some of parents ask hard thing to her. One of them asks her to have another class for different level from next season. It seems that they don’t know how much Jocelyn sacrifices herself for children. That’s why they ask too hard thing.

 

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The schedule of class is like it. In the morning they play with toys as they come to school.

 

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When everybody comes, then they sing together.

 

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Botswana speaks their own language, Tswana, but many of them can speak English. This preschool is also in English. When the teacher says some word, then children pick up the card. It is very interesting to see that how they understand very well now. Jocelyn is an amazing teacher I’ve known.

 

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A toilet roll is for a binocular! We will pain it. But it is hard to paint all together that we separate every group. All of idea is from the teacher! Nobody takes care of curriculum. Only the teacher does all things by herself.

 

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It is very happy thing to look children. I enjoy very much to be with them. They make me keep being curious! I am wondering how I was when I was the same age as them.

 

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She decides to give all of papers she studied with children back to let them study at home during the vacation. All of papers are the thing she printed out!! Amazing! I also add pictures which I took.

 

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To make cookie is for our last day. I think she has spent too much money so far, so that I share money to buy those things for the class. I guessed that some of children can’t be patient and will eat it. But I was wrong! Every child doesn’t eat but makes very well!

 

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This is my present for children! Now I can make a flower which I learnt on youtube. It is very fun to give them, but the thing is my bike pump is not good for balloons that my finger has pain. Hahaha.

 

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We make binocular a necklace with thread. Today is our last day!

 

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Although the time I spend with children is only one week, I enjoy very much. I am very interested of child education. It is like to know educational psychology. Haha.

 

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I got introduced another volunteering. It is 60 km (37.5 mi) from the town, but the transportation is too bad. I have to wait too much time for the bus that I couldn’t do volunteering for a long. How will local people be uncomfortable to come the town??

 

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This time is a bit different from last week. I am not in the class. I just help things which teacher needs for the class. Although I am not in the class, I also enjoy to be in the school. School is very interesting place.
It is very weird that I didn’t enjoy school when I was student. Now I love school and studying! Hahaha.

 

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The last week, I go to another volunteering place. Mr fish has given local people food 25 years ago. Rotary club joined 10 years ago. They feed over 200 children every Saturday.

 

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They never leave food. Some of them put their food on the pocket to share with their family.

 

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Teenagers help the Rotary club and get more food.

 

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Mr Fish is from England and has lived over 30 years in Africa. After feeding, he goes another place and gives apples to local people.

 

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I see this one in Fish’s car. Sun pannel hat!!

 

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What is this? It is a huge advertisement.
I though Swaziland needs it. But they didn’t have. Botswana has this one! It is a condom advertisement. In bus terminal, it is really huge! Swaziland is the number one for Aids/Hiv rate, and Botswana is the number two. But it seems that Botswana’s government tries their best to stop it.

 

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I visit to a factory of snack. It is very interesting.

 

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It is packing snack.

 

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Workers in the factory

 

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I checked the bike before leaving and found flat tire. I bought a new stuff. Liquor will protect from flat tire they said. I am not sure. The third picture is after putting the liquor to the inside. It looks nothing changed.

 

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I saved a lot of money this year. But I’ve heard that Zimbabwe is very expensive. A few years ago they needed trailer to buy one bread. Now they use USD, but still everything is expensive. So I buy many things that I spend 140 $ for medicine, food, bike stuff, and so on. Zipper bag was my wish list and I just bought! It will make easy to pack and protect things from water I hope. I also print out over 265 pictures to give them who will help me on the road. It is very expensive, but my host has the shop of photo that they discount for me.

 

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They let me stay over one month. I eat lots of Korean food. Botswana has unlimited internet that it is awesome!! I can use Internet any time so that I upload many things on online. It is super thankful to stay with them.
Thank you so much!!!!
Today I am leaving to Zimbabwe. I hope everything is alright.


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