November 14th, 2012
The Health Club at the local High School that I was co-leading with Addy is finally finished. We started this Health Club a year ago and we had the simple goal to complete a 10-week life skills/HIV knowledge course with them. It’s now been 44 weeks and we only just finished. That is the reality of working as a PCV. Things never go as planned and even the most thoroughly thought out schedule never works out in the end.
Granted there was a 10-week teachers strike. Then this past term all of our students were completing their Form 5 exams (exams they take in 12th grade to complete High School), so they couldn’t meet with us, but still this Health club has been dragged out way to long. I was ready to call the class a wash in terms of finished, but the students really wanted to complete it. You may say oh that’s so great that they care about their education, but no they just wanted the certificate we promised them if they finished. Even though, we agreed that if the students wanted to come back after their exams were done, we could do the last four lessons and complete the course. Organizing this seemed easy at first but ended up being a nightmare.
Eight students agreed to come back on the Thursday and Friday of this week, however when this week rolled around we were informed that the students made an executive decision without consulting us that they wanted to meet on Monday and Tuesday. Addy and I of course go the refugee camp on Monday and Tuesday so we reinforced that the plan had always been to meet on Thur. and Fri. Despite our argument the students decided that Wednesday would actually work better for them. So Addy and I showed up at the school at 8am on Wednesday with the prepared lessons and a “bucket of verbal shame” we were ready to pour all over our students for being disrespectful to us. By 9:15am only three students had arrived so we just started anyways. No one else showed up, but we completed the course with the three we had and the lessons went well. We played a game at the end to see how much information they actually pick-up and they did really well!
In the end it feels good to know we imparted some knowledge on a few kids, but it also feels really good to rid my life of leading this Health Club. I guess I will count it as a success in the end, but overall organizing this was way more stressful the rewarding and not for my lack of trying, it just the nature of how things work here.