Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trips with Students

In this past term I have gone on a couple of trips with students…nothing really extra exciting, but I thought it might be nice to post some of the pictures. A note – for some reason, several students lately have gotten their own cameras (the "old" kind with 35mm loadable film) so they keep wanting to take pictures with "madame" (I guess for their future reference??).  As usual, you can see more pictures at the flickr site (

Trip # 1 – Form Three Class to Mombasa seminar about "Getting into University"
We left Marereni a little later than planned (not uncommon here in Kenya). As we were leaving town on matatu we passes two of the girls from the class. The matatu stopped to pick them. I was telling the students it was good that I wasn't driving because I wouldn't have stopped. They said, "No, madame, you have to stop". So of course I told them it would be a good lesson about being on time if we left them…I'm trying to be less of a time-conscious American but there are sometimes that it is hard. So – we are riding and of course they keep telling me to turn the music up (just like kids at home!). They really had a good time…many of them had never been to Mombasa. Here is a picture of the whole-group (sort of) when we arrived:

The trip went well except that two of the students left without telling us to go visit one of their cousins who lives in Mombasa. So, we went to lunch and they were nowhere to be found. Then, when we got back to the school (where the seminar was held) they were still not there. Long story…but they finally showed up later. When we got back to Marereni, one of them asked me for their "lunch money" since they had missed lunch. The nerve! I just looked at him and said that he needed to not talk to me right now (I was a bit miffed at their behavior!). All in all it was a good trip.
TRIP # 2 – Watamu Marine Park
I think I may have mentioned before that I am the club patron for the Wildlife (Environment & Conservation) Club. I am no expert in this, but I was available so it is. I arranged with this guy from a conservation group (COBEC) to make a trip to Watamu (a town on the Indian Ocean) not far from Malindi. Well – it took time to arrange and of course students kept waiting and waiting to pay for the trip. I told them that we had to plan it in advance….I couldn't just wake up one Saturday and say, hey, I'm taking 20 students to Watamu today. Before the trip, about Wed, I met with the ones who had paid (about 15-16 students) and told them that it had been arranged. I made sure they knew that we had to rent a matatu and that I would leave them if they didn't show up on time. Well, by Friday we had about 20 now who wanted to pay. Saturday morning – The students showed up on time! I think they began to realize that yes, even though I like them, I would leave them! By this time, we had about 25 people total. The matatu guy said they could all cram in the van (which really holds about 15). I didn't want to do it, but everyone said it was okay. So – off we went with the students crammed into the back of the van. I told my principal that I'd probably lose my job in the US if I took students in that manner. Nonetheless – we arrived and went on a small boat ride into the ocean, saw some fish, some of us swam, and later we went to a snake farm (yikes!). It turned out to be a good trip – the students are largely well-behaved but just act like "normal young people" sometimes doing or saying "silly things". My nephews may find it humorous that the last thing I said to the students as we were leaving the boat was "Everyone should make sure that they get all their stuff…their shoes, etc…before we leave the boat". Yes – I'm still they same Becky – ever trying to make sure things are on track. Of course, later in the day (much later), this guy Hajj comes to me saying, "Madame, I can't find my shoes". Of course, I'm wondering how it took him hours to figure that out??? *smile* Well – there was no way to go back and get his shoes…we weren't even really sure where they were. So – no shoes for Hajj.