In the chaos and confusion that so aptly defines exam time at Shaanika Nashilongo SS, I have found that I need to find solace in the "little things". There are a few small pleasures each day that help to centre me, calm my breathing, and remind me of how much - beneath my thin outer layer of frustration - I really do love it here. Some such pleasures include:
- Starbucks coffee to start my day (thanks Dad!)
- Relishing the sometimes absurd/adorable English employed by my learners on their English papers
- The black and white baby goat that bleats distraughtly for its mother during every exam period, as if mourning the silence that envelopes the school [or its inability to follow the herd]
- Yoga. 10 minutes of sun salutations at 5:30 in the morning is all it takes to at least give me a head start.
- Marking papers in my doorstep between 4 and 5 with a [small] glass of red wine. The heat of the day is retreating, but the sun is still warm on my face. The sun is low in the sky and the school grounds are a warm golden colour. Everything is so peaceful, and I'm able to enjoy all of the quiet beauty around me that I so often miss in the hustle of the everyday.
- Lupe Fiasco & Freshly Ground [if you don't know them - get to know them!]
- "Dramas" performed by the children two doors down (a delightful mish-mash of sword-fights, martial arts, running around screaming, song and dance and obscure dialogue)
- West African peanut butter stew and homemade bread