Monday, July 8, 2013

Girls, Can You Lead the World? Yes We Can!

My last horrah this year was volunteering at Camp GLOW, organized by Peace Corps volunteers. The 5 day camp was well organized and I can say for sure that the 32 girls involved will never forget their experiences there. It was held at the Bonga Teachers' Training College in the Kafa region of Ethiopia. There were workshops and activities in English and Amharic about issues such as HIV?AIDS, Body Mapping (the girls identify how they feel when different parts of their bodies are touched), composting, Word Power (choose one word that illustrates power to you), nature walk to the Natural Bridge, Fourth of July party with fireworks, and a talent show.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Don't Want to Say Goodbye

Tonight was the final ELIC (English Language Improvement Center) program for the year. We had a coffee ceremony, special bread, and popcorn. We played Charades, Hangman, and had a Karaoke contest. The hot pepper and injera eating competition was hysterical and the Red Card punishments brought us to tears. One "disturber" had to propose marriage, one had to kiss someone in the room, and one had to sing a song. The final activities were sing-a-long and hugging program. A night to remember. Didn't get home until midnight.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Who Rules the World? GIRLS!

Student leaders from the ELIC were invited to Blue House, which is a compound which holds 36 girls who are being sponsored by Help a Life Foundation based in the U.S. We played English games like Red Light, Problem Solving, and charades. The girls in the home are all orphans from the countryside and are being sponsored from grade 9-university. This was the last experience sharing program of the year in Debre MArkos, but a few of my students will be volunteer tutors at the Blue House next year.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bahir Dar or Bust

My counterpart and I in the English Language Improvement Center (ELIC) took the winners of the Debre Markos University Idol Talent Show to Bahir Dar for experience sharing. The trip, sponsored by the American Embassy and funds from the U.S. State Department, was meant as a reward for those students who took on leadership responsibilities in the ELIC and demonstrated their skill in English in the talent show. Everyone stayed at one of the local hotels for three nights, which was a treat for the students who were used to sleeping in crowded dorms. The experience sharing program was with the same private Catholic school that we went to after the last talent show. Singing, dancing, boasting, debate, literary arts, and drama were presented by the university students while the high schoolers hosted a spelling bee and some English songs. The following day, the entire group boarded a bus to the Nile Falls and spent the day together at the falls and taking pictures. Money was given to each student for meals and entertainment and we enjoyed Bahir Dar in small groups.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quanqua Police Punish Students Who Speak Amharic!

Although the first two hours were chaotic, the rest of the day went like a dream. Te English Language Improvement Center hosted an English Day at the preparatory school. We invited two local high schools (grade 9-10) and the preparatory school to send 15 students each. The planning committee was made up of 7 universty students and 6 high schoolers. The participants were divided into three groups and roated into varius activities, all done in English. The Quanqua (language) Police were around to issue Red Cards and Yellow Cards to any student who was disturbing the class or speaking Amharic. The punishment consisted of things such as: "While blindfolded, touch a person in the class who is calling your name" or "sing and dance at the same time".  Two legged races, egg carrying competition (put spoon in your teeth and carry and egg without dropping it), and kickball were some of the outdoor activities. Indoors, students played "Honey Do you Love Me?", Red Light, Quarreling, Spelling Bee, Hot pepper eating contest, and dance competition.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Information Gap

We tried something new for Flim Night tonight. We divided the participants up into 3 groups of four. They decided on their team name and then half of them watched the first half of a Mind Your Language film while the others played English games in another room. Group "B" then watched the second half of the episode. Groups "A" and "B" then met together and had to write a summary of the entire episode. The winning group, the Lions, each received a pen as their reward for writing the best summary. A Red Card was issued by Adugna to all "class disturbers" and they were "punished" by dancing! While the accused were being "punished", about 25 students heard the music and came to join us in dancing. Sorry that they didn't get to enjoy the Film Night program, but at least we enjoyed dancing together to Chris Brown, P-Square, and Beyonce.

 Dancing as punishment for receiving a Red Card.

 Red Card!!!

Racing to find a seat in Red Light.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ethiopia's Got Talent!

After a torrential downpour and no hall to hold the talent show in, we finally got the party started (1 1/2 hours late) at 4:30 p.m. The DMU Idol English Language Talent Show rolled on for the next 3 hours without a glitch, thanks to the active student leaders and loyal judges. We noticed that the candidates were much better the second time around, learning from the first DMU Idol held last November. After the trials, held a few days before the event, the ones who made the cut went on to the compete in DMU Idol. There were winners in four categories" drama, music, debate, and literary arts, and prize money was given to the top three in each category. We invited the local high schools, who made up a good part of the audience. At 8:00 p.m., just as the last performer finished, the lights went out and we all scrambled for our mobile phones to give enough light to announce the winners and gather our equipment together. The winners of the DMU Idol as well as a few student leaders, will go on an experience sharing trip to Bahir Dar. We will share our talents at two high in Bahir Dar and one in Bure, a small town about two hours drive from Debre Markos. We all give thanks to the American government for providing the funds and moral support for all this to happen!

The Countryside

The Countryside
A shepard in the countryside plays the washint (flute) to pass the time.