After three weeks of volunteering for Meketa’s after school club David and I were sad to finish our work last Friday. At the parting with our last group I had trouble containing my tears and I suspect David felt the same. There was a great number of hugs and kisses from our students and many words of thanks were expressed from all sides.
We spent our time here in Gondar partly teaching and partly trying to create a space to have fun and relax for the attendants of the after school club. In the classes that we referred to as more ‘serious’ we taught the children and young adults English, geography, and some songs. During the breaks and for some part of our class time we played games with them, sang songs and spent some time outdoors – which usually consisted of ball games, running around, and observing some of the animals that can be found in and around the compound. The chickens, donkeys, sheep, and goats turned out to be particularly useful when playing with our youngest students. Here we could teach them vocabulary in the most direct way possible!
On our last day of teaching we decided to hold a rather relaxed and fun class and started out by trying out presenting our oldest group with a couple of English tongue twisters, which seemed to both baffle and entertain them greatly. Next we followed up with ‘Hangman’ which proved immensely popular – even though there was some initial confusion as to how exactly the stick figure should be drawn. Minor disagreements about drawing only one leg or two at a time erupted, but most of the students did show some mercy!
Finally, looking back at our time here in Gondar, I can only say that this has been an incredibly valuable experience for me and that I am glad I decided to volunteer here. Apart from Meketa, and of course Getachew, the club’s leader and supervisor, who helped and supported us in innumerable situations, I am most grateful to the children, who came to the club every single day and made this experience so enjoyable and worthwhile.