Kenya, Miscellaneous, Teaching

Everybody knows I’m a teacher, but there’s so much more to my every day life than teaching! Here’s what a typical day looks like:

  • 7:00 AM: Wake up, make tea, revise notes for class (if I have one that day).
  • 8:00 AM: Walk to school, stopping in the staff room to greet the secretary and drop my books off. After greetings I head to the computer lab to turn on the servers, routers, and computers. I usually don’t have class until 10:30, so I will check e-mail, catch up on news, and work in the computer lab until 10:00.
  • 10:00 AM: Tea break. I’ll spend a half hour or so drinking tea and chatting with other teachers. Sometimes I bring a book and read that instead of chatting.
  • 10:30 or 11:00 AM: Class for 1 or 2 hours, depending on how my mood is and how much material I have to cover.
  • 12:30 PM: Lunch. On MWF it’s githeri (corn and beans, staple food around here) and TR it’s rice and potato stew (blah). We chat and eat until around 1:30 or 2:00. Sometimes I go home and do laundry at lunch too.
  • 2:00 PM: Work in computer lab, either researching class notes or maintaining the lab computers and servers.
  • 4:00 PM: Ride bike to Tala market (1.5 km).  I usually do shopping for vegetables on Tuesday and Friday, but there’s plenty of other things to buy in the market.  Drinking tea and eating a chapati is a must in Tala market, I do it almost every day without exception.  Other days I go visit the barber and have him clean up my beard.
  • 6:00 or 7:00 PM: Ride my bike home and change out of my work clothes into my cultural dress (shorts, sandals, no t-shirt).  Only after I’ve done that can I start thinking about preparing dinner.
  • 9:00 PM: Dinner is usually done by this time (sometimes I get a late start!) and then I can sit down to do any combination of the following: check e-mail, watch a few episodes of Arrested Development, read a book, prepare notes for the next day’s class.
  • 11:00 PM: Bed time!

So there you have it, that’s my daily routine.  It’s nice that I’ve actually got a routine now… my little, lonely house is starting to feel like home to me now (though it’s a bit lonely!).  Post a comment if you have any questions!

Kenya, Teaching

My students were supposed to report to school on August 18th but there was apparently a mix-up, so they came yesterday, September 1st. The students picked their classes and then the teachers sat down to figure out the time table. I was assigned two units, Intro to Programming and Algorithms and Network Essentials. I taught these same two classes last semester so I’ve already prepared notes, assignments, and tests; all I have to do this semester is review/revise my notes kidogo (a bit) and show up to class!
Continue Reading

Kenya, Teaching, Travel

What’s a teacher supposed to do when class is over, final exams have been marked, and final grades have been sent in?  Vacation!  So I’m off to Uganda with my friend Sureel by way of Tanzania and Rwanda starting on August 1st.  I have about three weeks before I have to start teaching again, so if I fanya haraka (do it fast) I can be back in ten or twelve days.  Half of the adventure is the journey, I know, but I do have a few specific stops in mind:

  • Mwanza province in Tanzania to eat some fish and see Lake Victoria which, in addition to being the source of the Nile, is 26,000 square miles. Wow!
  • The genocide museum in Rwanda.
  • Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda (where the infamous Idi Amin had a house).

So don’t freak out if you call me in the next two weeks and my phone is “disconnected,” I’ll be back soon! Adios, amigos!