Well, I’ve been here now since September and in many ways its only feels like a week! Yet in other ways it’s now home and I can’t imagine being anywhere else. When I think back on my time here and what I have seen, done, taken part in, organised and achieved I find myself wondering where I get the energy from.
The school- Bishop Jane Middleton High School- has welcomed me from the start and made me feel as though I am part of their family. As a relatively new school I am one of the most experienced teachers on the staff so can offer more ideas and have done some teacher training as well as intensive work with the students about to sit their exams. I have also reorganised the timetable and am in charge of the exams throughout the year. Quite how I got these roles am not sure....steamrollered to a certain extent but not without a smile on both sides! It’s actually wonderful to be treated as a professional and my experiences used.
The students have been great, if they don’t understand something I have said due to the language barrier they now have the confidence to tell me and I know to slow down and reconsider my wording. That didn’t take as long to happen as I thought it would- couple of weeks and my classes were happy to say “Miss, what?” I have been involved in sports day, which was an experience I will never forget! The training stated 10 days before the actual event and became very competitive. Even the organising of house t- shirts seemed like a major operation! But as is so often the case the hardwork paid off and we had a great day. I sang in the carol concert- a duet with another teacher and got a standing ovation! Things I would never do in the UK.....
Away from school I have been lucky enough to do some travelling, seeing Bo, Makeni, Bonthe Island and the beautiful land inbetween. I have made some fantastic friends, been invited to weddings, parties, meals and all sort of events. I’ve danced the night away and eaten food I never knew COULD be eaten!! Chicken’s foot anyone?
The apartment is definitely home, Ish, Moses and Mary look after me so well and I count them amongst my many friends here. It’s rare for a night to go without a laugh amongst us, Mary has stretched my taste buds and surprised me with what she can do with just charcoal- BBQs will never be the same again! They are the most welcoming housemates I have had the pleasure of knowing.
So with 12 weeks to go what am I looking forward to? Seeing my JSS3 students go successfully into their exams, see the preparations for the school to go through some major changes, watch the season change from dry to wet and whatever surprises this country has in store for me. One thing I have learnt- don’t plan much as they always go awry and turn out even better!! It’s been fantastic, and I don’t want it to end.