Thursday, July 15, 2010

If you get into a small space, maybe even with many people, do you get claustrophobic? Let me tell you this, if you DON'T, then you're lucky you don't know how uncomfortable the feeling is... The classrooms in Nigeria are SUPER DUPER small and they hold over 60 children! Maybe you older readers can think back in the days when you were in school and had that many kids in your class. In the classrooms in Nigeria, there's a long narrow desk along with a long narrow bench or multiple chairs next to each other. Even though they may be cramped together, the children still listen to the directions given by the teacher. If not, then WHACK!!! The teacher pulls out her stick and spanks the children! No wonder the children are so obedient (at least most of them)! The ones that don't, well they know what's coming for them... All we have is the "book of responsibility," detention, demerits, or a "conduct book." Keep in mind that here, if a student has to go to detention or write in "the book," that's not painful! Unless of course, you got into some kind of fight and you got a nose bleed, but let's not go THERE. Who ever knew a stick could be so violent?!?!?! Ouch!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Uniforms. Yuck.

Uniforms... The one thing that most students who wear them, dislike about school. If you ask a student that wears a uniform to school, how they feel about wearing one everyday, they will most likely say that they wish they didn't have one or they wish they could wear their own clothes. I must say that I am one of those students... Fortunately, there are kids that don't complain about wearing a uniform and they have it hot everyday of the year! Nigeria, Africa is hot everyday of the year, and for kids there, it's a requirement to wear uniforms in all the schools. Kids go to school on a scooter or by foot in the scorching sun wearing uniforms! Here, we don't even think about walking more than a mile to school, where in Nigeria that's what children do. Also, most schools here have 1 or 2 colors to their uniforms. In Nigeria, every single school has a different uniform, having all different colors! Just imagine, if you line up children from each school in Nigeria next to each other, the line may end up looking like a rainbow! How pretty and awesome would that be?! TOTALLY AWESOME! We complain about wearing uniforms to school, but we don't have to walk to school for miles in the sun everyday. Also, the children in Nigeria have such a good spirit. Their smile just warms your heart... I'm actually jealous of the children in Nigeria for their colorful and beautiful uniforms! Maybe I can order one...?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My summer in Nigeria... figuratively speaking.

Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you were born in another country? I know, difficult to imagine, right? This summer I have an opportunity to find out and so do you. Let's start with why I'm doing this. I'm getting confirmed next year and I needed a service project during the summer. With the help of my lovely neighbor, I've decided to contribute my new knowledge of Nigeria and it's schools to this blog. I may just be an 8th grader, (as my fellow blogger said below) but I have a lot to say about what's happening in a country I've never been to... Also, a big part of why I became a blogger is because a few people have these papers and reports they have to write that are apparently more important than blogging. What's up with that? It's hard to believe, but don't worry, Marta has come to the rescue!

Marta begins serving up information on our project

Today starts Marta's first day of blogging for our website. Marta will be an 8th grader at St. Josaphat School this fall. This spring, Marta has spent time with a number of the principals who went to Nigeria in March. Her interview questions were generated by students and teachers at St. Josaphat. Utilizing the stories of her interviewees and their pictures, you, dear reader, will be kept informed on our growing partnership.
Please feel free to post your questions or topics for Marta to discuss! We look forward to an interactive volley of ideas!