For the past year and a half I’ve been working as a teacher at Holy Rosary College in Tala, Kenya. It has been a great experience but it was a bit nerve racking at first because I wasn’t prepared to be teaching classes. Over my time as a volunteer at the college I’ve taught five different units, for each of which I prepared my own course material. In the community-oriented spirit of open source I’ve decided to post my course notes online.
Unless otherwise noted, these fall under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. In a nutshell, you’re free to use them but…
- don’t forget to tell people you borrowed from me!
- no profiteering!
- you can share your additions as long as you use the same license!
I just noticed a new VSO blog aggregator, VSO Journals. It’s not an official VSO venture, though word has it they’re working on their own version as well. I think I read somewhere that the dude who started it was a VSO volunteer once, but I can’t remember where I saw it. Anyways, the site was created to collect all VSO blogs in one place. It’s fascinating to know that there are other dudes and dudettes out there right now in Africa, Asia, South America, etc blogging away. The Internet is crazy. I encourage you to go read some blogs, post some comments, and tell your friends.
On a side note, I am now realizing how uncreative I was in naming this website. The “__(insert name)__ in __(insert country)__” naming scheme is very popular. I guess the main bonus is the ease of memorization. The down side is that you end up sounding really unoriginal… I promise I truly thought I was being cute when I picked this site’s first name: http://sarainkenya.org. It’s turned out to be a popular trend in naming; from memory, for starters:
Few of you have any clue how I live. Other than the “for just a fifty cents a day, you can sponsor…” commercials which used to air on TV, most people in the United States don’t know anything about what goes on in Africa. There aren’t any of those kids with flies in their eyes, swollen tummies, etc in Tala… I think you have to go to the slums of Nairobi to find those (Kibera, Mathare, Kariobangi). In order to both quench your appetite for information and to educate those of you who are clueless (or have terrible imaginations), here’s a little bit about where I’ve been staying for the past two years…
I live in a town called Tala. It’s not so much a town as a big market where people from surrounding villages come to conduct business. There aren’t many people who actually live in Tala (maybe 5,000?), but there are always people in transit through it, especially on market days. Most of the people in Tala come from one of the surrounding towns or villages (Nguluni, Kangundo, Kathiani, Sengani, Matungulu, Katine, Kinyui, Mitaboni, Kikambuani, etc!). We have two “market” days (Tuesday and Friday) and the place is packed on those days. You can find anything in Tala on a market day: cows, cabbage, honey, brooms, bows/arrows, rope, spare tires, speakers, drugs, prostitutes… anything.