Monday June 28th, 2010
Today I met a pretty amazing woman: Mama Beatrice. Mama Beatrice is the teacher at HEAL Africa's Tungane School. Tungane provides classes for children who are staying at the hospital for extended periods for one reason or another. That means that Mama Beatrice is teaching kids of all different ages, students come and go frequently, and many students are sick or injured - about half of the class is currently in a cast.
For many kids, I imagine the only thing worse than being at school is being in the hospital. These kids are at school in a hospital! Yet they truly seem to enjoy it. They welcomed me into their classroom and started introducing themselves right away and showing me their artwork. They were enthusiastic about writing stories together and seem to love the idea of having their pictures and names in a published book. Instead of each of them writing their own stories, we wrote stories as a group, with each student taking turns shaping the stories.
At first, the students contributed fairly short, basic sentences to the story. Then one girl, Anto, got going and just kept going! After that, everyone really seemed to get the idea and they told all sorts of elaborate stories, adding in dialogue and acting out their stories. Heritier was so into it that he was using different voices and moving all around excitedly, despite having casts on both legs, while contributing his own ideas to the story! It was really fun watching the students let their imaginations run wild and they came up with some great story ideas!