Published: June 13th 2011June 13th 2011
First of all, sorry that there was no blog yesterday. I did better than all of the other white types and lasted a whole week without picking up a single illness - not even a mosquito bite! Yesterday however, I was really quite poorly in the morning. Just couldn't keep anything down at all. After loads of sleep and plenty of water I was right as rain by about 5pm. It was weird, 8am I was dying and 8pm I was perky and bright. Maybe that’s just the Nigerian way too??
Today was the cutest day of my life! We went to the local primary school where James is working. There are 400 (ish) kids who range from one to twelve years old and range in cuteness from very cute to exceedingly cute! When the car pulled up on the field-cum-playground we were mobbed by the whole school. Even the teachers were giving us big hugs. When they saw my camera they got so excited I thought some of them were going to explode!
We had a tour of all of the classrooms. As it was playtime during the tour the children who belonged in each class went to their rooms and sat in their places with the rest of the school squishing themselves into the doors and windows so they could see what we were up to. When we walked into each of the classrooms the kids all chanted "Good Afternoon Sir, Good Afternoon Ma'am, you are welcome, God Bless You, Amen" Which was followed by a big giggle!
Once we'd seem every class we were split off to observe lessons, Jade and I were sent to the little ones and Jim was sent to the older ones. When we walked in a very very small boy was stood in front of 25 numbers which were written on the blackboard. He had a long stick which he used to point to the numbers which he was reading out. Once he'd finished the rest of the class clapped and then chanted "well done you!" The whole class did this little counting and pointing task and then had to write down the numbers.
We visited two other classes and saw similar things going on. The primary school teachers struggle to speak and understand much English even though it is the language that they must use in the classroom. I couldn't figure out why but in the class of 4 and 5 year olds there were two 1 year olds just toddling around. The teacher couldn’t figure out what I was asking her so in the end I just accepted that they were there!
Once lessons had finished for the day I stood outside with my camera. The older kids ran up to me and demanded "take my snap!" or "Snap meeeeeeee!" The middle kids stood grinning at me until I took their picture, once I had they sprinted of screaming and laughing. The little ones kept their distance and just stared at me with blank faces trying to figure out what I was.
The primary school is government owned and run so the kids can go there for free. Despite it having nothing compared to even the poorest primary school in the UK it is apparently the best primary in Nigeria. The King is so keen on education and so rich he makes sure that the children in the area are getting the best that they can. The one thing he can't change at the primary school is the staff. They are government staff, and they must follow very bizarre curriculum and rules.
Today has been 45degrees in the shade. God knows what temperature it was in the sunshine, but after we got back from the primary school we went to the pool. We lasted an hour and a half before I totally melted! It hasn't rained yet today so we'll probably have a hell of a storm tonight. It will make a nice change, being woken up by a storm rather than the Lizard gang wars which have been going on above my bedroom on the meal roof for the past few nights.
We've now got no water, hot or cold in the house. So we packed up our towels and headed to Steve's house where we had long, warm showers this morning. It feels awesome to be so clean! They've had plumbers over there today though so I think we will have some cold running water when we go back. Fancy or what?!
Tomorrow we are off to the market and hopefully it will be beautiful sunshine again!
I hope everyone is good?
HAPPY 54th BIRTHDAY to Paula for tomorrow!
Love to everyone!