November 25, 2018
A 30-hour commute to Kigali-down the rabbit hole we went into that weird space between here and there. Hunkered down into our seats, reading, watching movies, occasionally returning to the reality that we, along with 300 others, were 38,000feet above Greenland or the Atlantic or Egypt. It’s boggling and somewhat terrifying. It’s best to focus on the romcom on the movie screen in front of us.
Arrival and jet lag. Disoriented,aching, forgetful, exhausted and in need of a car and food. We always allow for at least two days of stumbling before we need to make the critical decisions, relying on one another to complete the sentence,the transactions. Usually live on crackers and chocolate until sanity returns.
We have come to Rwanda to replicate the spoken English training we did last year—intensive instruction during the November-January summer break for us followed by 1.5 hours a day instruction for the teachers during the rest of the school year. We’ll be in two new schools. Eleven of our trained instructors from last year will be providing the summer session instruction. We’ll need to train more instructors in the new schools and to train our most experienced instructors to coach their new instructor colleagues throughout the school year, a complicated task in the States where everyone understands what that means and speaks English.
For the training to work, we need a venue, electricity, instructors, participants, and materials. The first week, every single one of these essentials, in its own way flailed, failed, gave us temporary heart failure, then recovered.
Between the Israeli army taking our venue, to the electrical system at the new school frying our computers, this year’s training has contrasted with last. Everything that could, did go wrong.
And still, through dumb luck and perseverance, we have a training! Fifty-four people from two new schools serving 3000 students are learning spoken English. And we’ll train five new coaches and eight new instructors before we’re finished.