January 20, 2017: Safari Zulu Club (Ann)

There’s so much that’s been happening in Zanzibar there’s been hardly enough time to write a report!  We’re delighted that PLCIre-branding looks so fantastic – if you haven’t already visited Zanzibar Learning 4 Life Founadtion’s website, please visit at www.zanzibarl4lf.ninja  The students worked so hard on putting it together, we think it’s really impressive and shows the wide range of activities that Gasica’s school offers.

At the end of December, attendance was lower as school was out for Standard IV children who had taken their exams.  This gave us the opportunity to do some more challenging art work and we had a great series of lessons looking at the art of Rousseau and the local art known as Tinga Tinga.  The discussion as to who is better at painting jungles and monkeys got so heated that there were no inhibitions about speaking English on a complicated subject! The students loved using acrylics and came up with some wonderful art. 

Now school is back and the majority of students who were will us in 2016 have re-registered for 2017.  We also have 25 new students who are mostly beginnerse so we are running 4 classes and provide 75 lunches every day.  We are keeping an attendance register and everyone seems very keen and turns up regularly.

The upgraded Kio Kits are in big demand. Caroline ran a session with the teachers to demonstrate the new features and the science teacher has already expressed interest in using the section on HIV.  The Kio Kits have a “Wiki Slice” feature that covers a vast range of topics.  We are all using the new African stories section and they are proving very useful in working out what the students really understand.

Over the Christmas holiday we put together a “Work Readiness” programme that’s designed for the more advanced students.  It teaches the vocabulary of work as well as bridging the gap between the expectations of major Zanzibar employers (such as hotels and restaurants) and the limited education the students receive.  Caroline and Gasica enjoyed teaching the first session on time keeping and punctuality as well as the concept ofa “legitimate excuse” for absence!  The plan is for Gasica to run the course at Zanzibar Learning 4 Life Foundation in the near future.  Thanks the kind donations of laptops from many of our friends we are running a computer class for the older students.  Even though the average age is around 15 or 16 years old, they haven’t used computers before.  Learning Word, Excel and PowerPoint skills will  be invaluable.  There are 3 students to every laptop, so more equipment is always appreciated!

While Caroline is busy with the Advanced students, Sadiq works his magic with the beginners, Gasica has the advanced intermediates and I have the lower intermediates.  This week my class learnt how to use a dictionary – it took 2 lessons as they aren’tused to looking things up.  However, it was immensely exciting when they all found words and couldn’t wait to show me what they’d found.  This week the fun activity was a choice between watching “Finding Nemo” or Art.  Fortunately it was an equal split so everyone could see the TV and there were enough art resources for everyone. We had some interesting questions to answer for a primary school geography lesson in Surrey – my favourite question from the British school was “Do you hunt for food?” to which the boys all responded “Yes, we kill small birds for food and go fishing”.  Not surprising when you don’t have enough to eat and live by the sea.

The students have gained so much confidence that they really enjoy meeting visitors from overseas.  This week we were delighted to welcome guests from the CoCo Foundation in the UK and Food4 Africa.  The guests included a young Zulu man who taught the students a few words of Zulu.  In his honour, the students changed the name of their club from Safari English Club to Safari Zulu club for the day! http://www.cocosfoundation.co.uk 

We had a great afternoon on the beach and introduced some of the children to beach cricket.  They took to cricket with gusto – but it’s unlikely to take the place of football as the first love!  The girls were straight in the sea and they loved the new pink floats.  They’re still timid about trusting themselves to float, but everyone had a great time.

And what else have we been doing?  Well Zanzibar Learning 4 Life Foundation has a fantastic club called “Chakula Hai” which was set up to encourage students who are entering the catering and hospitality industry.  They will come and cook a traditional Zanzibari meal in your home.  We were delighted to welcome them to our apartment last week.  It was a large crew, each with their own area of speciality, including one young man who was just dedicated to making us the finest passion fruit juice imaginable.  For our Zanzibari friends reading this, we really recommend an evening with Chakula Hai!