Sing Me a Song

I gave Brian, a 6th grade student, the camera today.  He left me for a minute and returned with the camera in hand.  It wasn't until I began writing this post that I realized what he had photographed.  This is lunch.  It breaks my heart to see the tattered clothing and the hungry faces of these bright, gorgeous children.  No child in the world should have to live with this much need.

Despite the conditions, Kibera is improving.  There is a new mobilization among the people, a new hopefulness.  Perhaps it is the upcoming referendum vote to take place on August 4th. The people will be voting on the drafted constitution.  Kenyans have been living under no constitution since their independence from the British in 1963.  In 2007 over 1000 people were injured or killed in a similar vote to the one to take place in 2 weeks.  There is definite tension and excitement in the air.

I did not intend to write any of that.  The Kenyan breeze must be getting to me...

According to some followers, we are delivering the "most intense and cutting edge professional development in the world."

Today Lucas gave an amazing presentation on using song in the classroom to practice and teach reading and writing strategies.  The teachers here all use song in the classroom, so it was incredible to see the light bulbs go off in their eyes as they realized how much can be done with the songs they already know.  We all learned a wonderful song from Brooklyn called The Tree Song.  We danced and sang and learned our initial sounds.

After lunch Jennifer and Lucas coached a model lesson in the 5th and 6th Classes using the Abiyoyo storytelling method we had practiced with the teachers yesterday.  The kids had such fun, and the teachers were fully capable of making the lesson a success.  The day ended with everyone eager to try out new ideas in their classrooms.

Each day that I am here I am desensitized a little more to my surroundings.  The dust and burning trash cease to bother my lungs, my eyes become accustomed to the sight of barefoot babies and torn uniforms.  Then suddenly the smallest thing will remind me of where I am.  Today that thing was this: