Edit Blog Post
Published: September 12th 2010
The Bookbus is a UK charity, very small and started about 2 years ago. At the moment they have a bus based in Livingstone and an ex overland truck based in a refugee camp near the border with Congo. In Livingstone the bus is based at a place called the Grotto, it is an old colonial house with large garden and owned by a Kiwi. The grotto also has the occasional overland trucks staying. Our accommodation is in tents, cooking is done outside and we use the pool house as the office.
There was about 6 volunteers at anyone time, all from the UK, Kelly manages the project in Zambia, it her second season which runs for about 6 months of the year until the rainy season start in October.
Usually the Bookbus goes to a different school everyday, but it was school holidays so Kelly had arranged for us to go to the same school for the 2 weeks, this was the first time she had done this so it was a bit of experiment. In the end it worked really well as we all had the same children everyday and you could see any improvements. Three of us each
The Bookbus is coming
had two class each during the morning, one was for kids 11, 12, 13 years old, and the other for 14, 15, 16 years old. The remaining volunteer had to entertain the younger children, about 60 to 80 at a time.
Each morning the bus would travel to the school called Maanu Mbwani (knowledge is power) in the suburb of Libuyu, the roads are so bad that it only very slowly and it was quicker to get out and walk, when the kids see the bus coming they all start chasing it and shouting "Kelly, Kelly" or "M'zungo, M'zungo" (white person, white person)
I was not sure really what to expect but had thought there would be lesson plans or something, but I was wrong, we all had to do our own thing. The first couple of days I was really stressed about it, not really knowing what I was doing, but by the end of the first week I was in the swing. We spent the mornings at the school and the afternoons back at the Grotto prepping for the next day.
The school has no resources at all, even the teaches do not have teaching qualifications. All the
One of my classes
schools teach in English even thou this is not their first language and the kids learn by parrot fashion or copying, there are no checks of their understanding and there is no encouragement for the kids to question. I have never seen so much enthusiasm for pencils and books, and they go crazy for the art supplies especially glitter, most of it goes on them instead of their work, very funny.
The usual plan was to read them a story or get them to read it, then do fun quizzes to check their understanding, the read something factorial, then get the to do some art project all of it having a theme. Its very difficult to explain to kids who live in a landlocked country in the middle of Africa and who have nothing what an ocean is, or snow, or how man walked on the moon etc.
On Fridays, we finished classes early and everyone would sing and dance, the Bookbus seems to be making a big impact on the kids, the experience was very rewarding.
I really enjoy Livingstone, its a small town near Victoria Falls, but is not been over developed by tourism, its also good to
Just call me teacher
be with people that live in the place as the know all the interesting places to go that maybe as a tourist you would not hear about. One evening Kelly arranged for some friends of her to bring drums for everyone and gave us a drumming lesson and demonstration, it was a very good fun.
The people in Zambia are so friendly, the seem genuinely interested in where people are from and want to practice their English, but don't hassle you. The people are very poor, but I never once saw anyone begging, everyone seems to be trying to make a living either by subsistence farming, selling things etc., they just get on with life. There also seems to be alot of businesses etc contributing to supporting their local communities, eg, one of the local restaurants use profits to train carpenters, wielders, etc. the rest of the world could learn alot.
At the end of make time in Livingstone, I caught an early morning coach to Lusaka to catch a flight to Malawi, I would definitely recommend a visit to Zambia.
Tot: 0.095s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 7; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0582s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb