BIGGEST NEWS OF THE DAY: Elephant spotting! We saw two elephants, and I got a great picture of one. In Meru, seeing an elephant is like seeing a deer. It’s pretty common, and they can be a real nuisance. They eat crops and plants and (unlike deer) knock down trees. So the government of Kenya put up some electric fencing so that these elephants stay out of people’s land. So my animal folder is updated on Picasa:
|Animals and plants|
It’s amazing how well these kids are doing, considering they’ve only had around 4 hours of instruction. For you string teachers out there, some shop talk: most of them are catching onto the bowhold with a great deal of success, and posture is coming along nicely. Right pinkies are curving, right thumbs are bending. We have put down left hand fingers – most classes have put down all fingers on A and E strings. They realize they are learning, and it shows on their faces. It’s really special to see this process unfold. By Friday, we hope to play the A string concerto, the E string concerto, and a Chopsticks arrangement. All are open-string pieces, and are really cute. Thanks to Geri for bringing them!
It’s still very tiring to go through the schedule that we have set up. A few of us have discovered that teaching under a shade tree with a breeze is better than being in the cement-floor room where the sound from seven different groups of kids bounces off of every inch of wall and floor space. There are more distractions when teaching outside — a guy chopping wood, cooks talking behind the kitchen, kids on recess — but overall I find it’s better.
Geri’s students who are here have played for devotions at a nearby secondary school this morning, and Ilan (a father here) has done special workshops with the high school students today and yesterday (He explained how an ultrasound machine works, for example.). After teaching, Marilyn, Geri, Ann, and I stopped by the local Marilyn’s home, which is right behind our quarters. It was so cozy! Suzanne, who is staying in Marilyn’s home, baked us gingerbread and cookies, of which we ate plenty. It was really cozy and enjoyable. A nice way to finish our teaching day. Then, I went for a swim, had dinner, and am sitting in a powerless room listening to Leftie (Larry), Wiley (Ann), and Artie (Marilyn) playing cards by candlelight. I’m also listening to a little trash talk… Wiley is accusing Artie that it’s always, “whine and cackle, whine and cackle…”