Thoughts worthy of a tomzanian update do appear every day, but as foreshadowed earlier, my experience here has changed me to perceive those as extensions of life, rather than anomalies.
Being a member of the modern world, I am a slave to the idea of career. I think about what I am doing now, and wonder whether it is resume-worthy. Not that I do every single thing to illuminate my resume, but I do think of how I could better present myself.
Today I compiled a list of non-classroom work that I did, many not flashy or substantial enough for the resume. Previous and many current volunteers focus solely on the teaching element of their jobs. On the other hand, I additionally did the following:
scholarship - I visited students' home to verify that they're really that poor. And yes, they were really that poor. One fascinating part about this was that after handing out the scholarship, these students began to see me with an extra glimmer of light in their eyes.
solar lamp - two workers from the Heart-Heart Foundation came to Mtwara, and as a part of their trip, they wanted to donate two solar lamps (lamps that are charged during the day) to two poor ass students as an experiment prior to a wider distribution. I chose two from the scholarship recipients, and I just cannot forget how their faces brightened up with genuine smile when they heard the news. Unfortunately, one does not work, so there is more work to do.
library improvement plan - the Headmaster asked me for suggestions on improving the library, so I wrote a two page report and submitted it. Haven't heard about it since, but that's okay.
data input - the teachers of the academic office (who keeps all academic records on paper) rushed to me one Friday asking for help. They had to compile the student's test results, along with the average, rank, etc. Seigo, the Japanese volunteer, and I ended up in the office until 10pm (terribly late in Mtwara standards) Microsoft Exceling like crazy.
showed movie - Kyungbok and I showed the Dark Knight to students who weren't able to afford a field trip to Lindi. They remarked that the joker/ his gang with the masks were zombies. I also showed parts of Iron Man 2 to my students, and they clapped and cheered when Tony Stark put on the Iron Man suit. What a dramatic way to watch a movie.
Form IV test - I am currently preparing the answer sheet and comments of the Form IV national exam on mathematics.
remedial classes - Last term during finals, a student was on her way to school to study math with her friends. I offered some help, and I taught them probability. They understood 25%. That's 0.25.
bought the class monitor tea and chapati - so that he could stop slacking off and come to school. It was during Ramadan, but he ate anyways, claiming that he was sick. I think it worked for 2 weeks.
malaria test - Juma Bushiru came to me to be tested on Malaria. I have a Malaria self-diagnose kit, which is pretty awesome technology. Juma must have spent some time on the farm because his skin was pretty thick, making it a bit difficult to poke him with the needle (to extract blood). After so many pokes, he was tested positive. I didn't see him for two weeks, and during the two weeks, I asked his classmates how he was doing because I knew he was too poor to afford the drugs, and I was seriously worried that he would die.