February 18, 2017: Visit to Permaculture in Fumba Town (Ann)

It’s festival time in Zanzibar!  In addtion to the amazing music festival, Sauti Za Busara, it’s been a great time in Unguju Ukuu.  More exam results have been published and 6 girls from Safari English Club have passed their Form II examinations which are taken in English.  These girls are 15-16 years old.  If they didn’t pass the exams, they would have to leave school.  Before the results were announced they looked like moody teenagers anywhere.  Now they’ve passed, they can’t stop smiling!  They ditch the old blue and yellow school uniform and are priviledged to wear these sophisticated black and white numbers.  The girls asked for hard-backed manuscript books as a celebratory present – we were happy to oblige and Gail Arnesson from the Rotary Club of Zanzibar, Stone Town, presented the prizes.

Gail helped with two classes - she told the advanced class the story of the local boy who was selected to become a Dive Master.  She focused on the skills he learnt and the qualities he needs to be successful in his career.  The talk helped to reinforce discussions from the “Work Readiness” course.  Gail also rana mock interview for Haroun who missed last week’s interviews with visitor Leanne.  We were delighted that Gail got the opportunity to use the Kio Kits with the Intermediate class as the Rotary Club in Stone Town, Zanzibar, played such a bit part in helping us get the Kio Kits.  The students so love using the Kio Kits, either as a group exercise or for individual work.

Work readiness has completed the first part which focused on how to find a job, so now it’s time to think about working successfully.  So far we’ve covered induction, trial periods, polcies and procedures.  Next week, we’ll discuss working relationships, teamwork and customer care.  Certificates will be given to those who successfully complete the course.  Computer classes have moved on to using Powerpoint.  It will be interesting to see what sorts of presentations the students produce! 

This month the outing was to Fumba Town Services to learn about Permaculture.  In Zanzibar there are many environmental problems, not least of which includes burning rubbish and inappropriate planting techniques.  Our idea was to start the week with preparing the younger students for the visit and we’d developed a simple presentation on the cycle of life and environmental topics to be followed by measuring the biodiversity of the school gardens...but then it rained.  It rained too hard to be able to go outside and measure.  Plan B was to watch a film on African wildlife.  But it rained so hard that there was a power cut!  There wasn’t really a Plan C, so we reverted to Plan A, but without the illustrative slides!  Fortunately Tuesday was much better and we were able to go out into the gardens.  The idea of creating a grid system using string didn’t really work and we couldn’t agree how many butterflies had been spotted. But we did conclude that there was a lot of different life in the gardens and that everyone was excited about visiting Fumba!

Three buses were needed to take the 90+ students to Fumba Town Services.  Now we have 4 classes enrolled, the logistics for outings are more comploated and more expensive! The students were divided into groups of 8, each with an otlder student in charge.  They were named after an animal, which mostly worked except that the warthogs decided that they’d rather be crocodiles and no-one wanted to be kangaroos! The students loved meeting the apprentices and took a keen interest in how to develop a rich soil through composting and particularly enjoyed the recycling area.  They were hands on in mixing the soil and learning what to feed chickens to keep them healthy. Many of the students took  notes and we’re looking forward to Monday when we find out what they told their families about the visit. 

Everyone loves going in the sea but we still don’t have many swimmers as the students haven’t had formal lessons.  Ali, who is a great swimming teacher, bravely agreed to take on the challenge of teaching 90 the principles of breathing in water, gliding and leg kicks.  By the end of the session most had got the hang of the basic pionts that will help them to swim.  We’re going to talk to Ali about further help with swimming instruction over the next few weeks. We hope you enjoy the photos of fabulous Fumba Town Services and the swimming lessons on the next page!

By the way, the kids are still very excited about the goggles that were sent over from the UK by Amber.  This week some of them penned some gorgeous “Thank you” letters.