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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

AvTech, teaching what they've learned

Today was a lesson in flexibility for all of us involved in the Fulani Educational Center. We had some trouble getting into the camp because of the thick mud caused by last night’s heavy rain. After moving some folks around into the back for extra weight, we were able to manoeuvre our way to the camp. When we got there, folks were a bit slow to show up, and when a disagreement broke out a few houses down the road, one by one our pupils began to leave to go observe/assist in the disagreement. Finally, when it was all settled, we were able to start our classes – over an hour late. We made the best of it by having shortened sessions for everyone and by doing a shared demonstration of the SODIS method of cleaning water – courtesy of the AvTech girls. All kinds of illnesses can be transmitted through water, and we’re trying to educate the Fulani in ways that they prevent them. The community was definitely interested in this new information, and we hope that it will be an effective way for the people in camp to get clean water.

There wasn’t time to have an academic session, but a great many of the women brought their pencils and books back, which was a great encouragement! I happened to see one flipped open and line after line of A’s and B’s popped out at me…I was so happy that they’d actually practiced the letters that we’d learned. I hope that next week there will be more time and that we’ll get to review and move on to some new letters! This basic literacy is so important because since organizations like MoM send information out in English, and since things like pill prescriptions and bottles will be printed in English, the Fulani people will need a basic understanding of the language to be able to better care for their families and themselves. It is a work in progress, but is certainly a worthwhile effort on everyone’s part.

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