Days 9-15 in Djangoa: Progresses in the library and after-school sessions
We got a new team member! Marine arrived this weekend in Nosy Be and already spent two nights in Djangoa! Read about her arrival in Nosy be, the progress in the library and beautiful moments in Djangoa in this post!
Meeting Marine: We - Sarah and Domi - had a meeting scheduled with the director of the hospital in Ambanja at 7:30 a.m. Émilien, who accompanied us, stated that this would facilitate treatment in case of emergency. The director is very friendly and even organized our transport to the bus/taxi stop. Thanks! Romeo, who arrived at the hospital in the meantime, accompanied us to Ankify (the port from where to go to Nosy Be), as we were on our way to meet Marine in Nosy Be. We were really glad to have him with us, as the public bus drivers can be very persistent in convincing people to go with their taxi for a "special price". We ended up being 12 people in a car with a capacity for 5-7. Still, we arrived safely in Ankify, where Romeo helped us to get a ticket for the boat and even waited more than 45 mins with us (although we were initially told that the ship would depart very soon; it's a public boat so one has to wait until there are enough passengers). Our hero! We arrived safely in Nosy Be, where we were picked up by a driver that Gene had organized. After relaxing a couple of hours in the burning sun, Marine finally arrived! We had the whole weekend to get to know each other better, as we only met once at the Fundraising Party in Kilchberg on May 26. She is really great and we are glad to have her on board! Furthermore we also got to see Gene again and talk to her about the proceedings of the library and afternoon classes. We had a constructive conversation and were happy to see her!
Reading and Writing Progress in the Library Sessions: After the very warm welcome back in Djangoa, the second week of our library project started. While we introduced the kids to the library last week, we now started to read out loud books to every class in French and Malgasy. While telling the story, we ask comprehension questions and write down key words on a small blackboard, hoping that the French words stick better with the kids. It's difficult to estimate whether/how much the kids understand the French parts, or if they only understand the content thanks to the Malagasy translation. After reading stories to the kids, they can read books on their own, which is still veeery exciting to them! Only the kindergarteners don't read themselves. Instead, we form 3 groups with Storya and the kindergarten teachers - Ernéstine and Angela - reading in Malagasy and Marine, Domi and Sarah reading in French. We don't think that they understand much from what we say in French, but at least, they are already exposed to the language (written and spoken). Anyhow, they can already count in French.
Reading and Writing Progress in the Additional Afternoon Classes: In the afternoon classes, we give individual reading support. Furthermore, we repeat the stories' vocabulary by summarizing the stories and by doing creative activities. Today for example, the kids had to paint the keywords from the story (maison, bibliothèque, livre, etc.) and the paintings are hilarious! New library decoration! With the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, we have an additional great project going on. The kids from the SIS (Swiss International School in Dübendorf) wrote letters presenting themselves and their daily life in Switzerland. Our aim is to prepare the kids at École Mamiko, so that they are able to reply to their new pen friends!
Special Moments in the Last 3 Days in Djangoa: We were warmly welcomed (back) in Djangoa when we arrived on Monday! For Domi and Sarah, it even felt a bit like coming home! It's the time with Émilien's and Delphine's family that makes daily life here in Djangoa so special. It's the shared delicious meals, it's the singing and fooling around that makes our stay here very precious! For instance, on Monday (June 18), we sang at least 20 French songs with Lisa's children Orazio and Wilyana, as well as with Valentine's daughter Stania. Great fun! The singing was followed by a delicious (it's always delicious!) dinner. Particularly Orazio, who's 3 years old, liked it; the way he gobbled down the pasta! He's our Monsieur Spaghettis or our 'aspirateur à pâtes'! This made us assign all sorts of names, according to our eating preferences: Domi is Monsieur Salto (salted biscuits), Stania is Mademoiselle Salto, Marine is Mademoiselle Banane, Sarah is Mademoiselle Orange (because she's still trying to peal oranges as fast and perfectly as Valentine), Storya is Mademoiselle Livres, and Émilien is Monsieur THB (a beer brand; according to Storya)! And today (Wednesday, June 20), we ate lunch with the 'big family' - Émilien, Delphine, Storya, Orazio, Wilyana, Stania, and Valentine. Freshly caught fish tastes best in good company!
That's it for today! Read everything about Marine's first impressions of Djangoa in the next post! June 20, Sarah and Domi