Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Break 2012

Greeting from Freetown! I have been here since Monday taking in all of the luxuries like electricity, running water, internet and delicious food. It's going to be difficult to go back to site tomorrow, but school starts on Monday, so back to Kamabai I go. This week I came primarily for a Peace Corps training on life skills which was very informative. We learned a lot about ways to approach girls empowerment, teenage pregnancy and other difficult issues that we don't get to address in our formal classrooms. I have a lot of new ideas and hopefully once I get back to site I can begin to figure out the ones that will work best for my community. In addition to the Peace Corps stuff, I've been able to spend a lot of time with friends which has been great. It's so nice just to sit around talking or watching a movie because we don't get to see each other that much. We've been going out, to the beach, restaurants and shopping. I have been eating so many vegetables, it has made me so happy! They are really expensive here, but well worth it since I don't get yummy things like bell peppers, avocados and tomatoes in my town. Freetown has so many delicious things, like today we found a place that has pizza. Real pizza that tastes sooooooooo good. I had to take a picture of it before we ate it because I was worried that our friends wouldn't believe us when we described it.

On the trip into Freetown earlier this week Kim and I got a ride with a famous Sierra Leoneon rapper. I was star struck. This guy is on the radio all the time and everyone knows him here. When we got into Freetown, word got out that it was him and while we were stuck in traffic our car got mobbed by screaming fans. It was a little traumatic, but everything turned out okay. I mean only in Sierra Leone would this happen to me, crazy.

But tomorrow it will be back to the village and teaching. This week we are supposed to finish up exams from last term.  Before the break the kids took their integrated science exam and the results were not encouraging, as I expected. A very low number of students passed which was disheartening. So a lot of this term will be review of what we did last term. The senior students will have my biology exam this week and I don't think they are going to do that great since its been a solid 7 weeks since we've had class. But one can always hope.

The SSS III students have begun to take their external exams that they need to pass to graduate and go on to tertiary education. It's a staggered schedule and the exams take over a month to complete with each student sitting eight subjects. Even though I haven't directly taught SSS III their biology classes I did help them with extra classes after school to try and cover some topics on the syllabus that they hadn't gotten to. I was happy because students made a point to come up to me after the exam and thank me because the topics we had covered were on the exam and they were able to answer the questions. It was really nice to know that at least something I did helped them with their test.

When school first closed for the break I went to River Number Two Beach which is beautiful. I think I will definitely take my family there when they come to visit in August (so excited about that!). A small group of us went and it was a relaxing few days. Then I was back in Kamabai for a week of hanging out, cooking and reading. It rained for the first time which was awesome. I forgot how much I loved falling asleep to the sound of rain on my tin roof. Also it makes getting water so much easier. Just set a bucket outside and voila I have water to flush my toilet, so great.

On my last night in Freetown I think I am going to just chill out. We did it up pretty big last night, so tonight I'm going to just get my last dose of internet, pack up everything and hang out. Gotta get back in that village mindset. Love and miss you all!


  1. HI Christina
    I will be going to sierra leone in june with the pc as well. Can you provide more details as far as the packing list.


  2. Hi Christina,

    I will be spending some time in Kamabai this July (I'm helping as a nursing student at the hospital) and I was wondering if I could chat with you some time about the city, your stay, and some safety questions I have (i.e. have you ever felt unsafe, or had problems with snakes or spiders or any other animals). My e-mail is (I'm from Michigan as well!). Thanks so much!