This last year I've had the privilege of teaching English to a small group of local village children 3-4 afternoons a week.
They normally show up after school around 2pm, dressed in their Sunday best, all smiles and ready to learn. First they wash their hands (using a sink with running water was a new experience for them) and then they each get a small snack or treat. Apple juice is a favorite (apples don't grow in Burundi) as well as cookies or banana bread, (treats that are very rare to come by here as the normal house doesn't have a stove or oven).
Then we work on learning some English words or phrases. These kids are raised up to be very quiet and respectful around adults. During the first few weeks of class they started out whispering the answers and it was like pulling teeth to get them to talk louder. But they are eager to learn and please and have an amazing ability to memorize and retain information. I guess that is what the lack of being able to look something up on a smart phone will get you!
They have really improved over the year. Check out these thank you letters written to a girl in the States who gave some school supplies.
After around 45 minutes of English we usually end with an art project or book reading time.
Recently they learned how to watercolor, and for their first attempts I think they did great!
Last week they encountered bubble wrap for the first time. Check out this video of all the joy and smiles.
They came a few weeks ago bearing baskets of potatoes and beans as thank you gifts. So sweet of them!
As we get ready to depart on our first scheduled furlough I'm going to miss this group of kids!