June 5th: The Chicken Coop

By Naomi Crisp

Wow, what an intense day! Tension has started to rise as our first full week in Makupo arrives. As always, I awoke to the rooster and lay in bed until I heard Corinne’s alarm go for 6 am. I then did my usual work in contacting Mel and checking LEARN. Everyone was up a little earlier because we had to do a fair walk to Kapiri Primary School to observe a Standard 1 and 2 class. It was interesting to see and I am glad we went but at the same time I am feeling the pressure of getting the curriculum at least part way done. What I thought would be a day of advance work has turned into a week. I appreciate the opportunity to see so many primary schools but I am really keen to dive into unit planning. After our visit to the school we went back to the building ground to another nearby village. We talked to a group of villagers who again gave us similar answers as the other interviews. At this point, I think we have a very clear idea of the questions and concerns of the people in the surrounding area.

After lunch we began our brainstorming for another unit. It has been a very slow process so far in the curriculum development and one that has caused many struggles. This in turn lead to an intense culture shock and work related meeting. Emotions were high and stress was getting the best of people. Tears fell and walks were taken before we could regroup for dinner. Things have been getting really emotional around here these days but when I was talking with Barbara in the evening about it, I expressed how this must be a pretty good group if it took us this long to reach this point. For a group that is literally spending 24/7 together through work and play, I feel confident that we will get through this and will be ready again soon. I am glad there isn’t any bitterness between us, just frustration and exhaustion. It feels wrong to be upset with such a wonderful backdrop, although it does help to look out onto the fields and let time pass.

At night we had a bonfire with some people in Makupo where we shared dances and songs. It was so much fun to relax and laugh, and ultimately make a fool out of ourselves. Day after day we experience something new and even though they are not always fun and dances they are helping us develop individually and as a group. I am so thankful I had this opportunity to grow!

1 thought on “June 5th: The Chicken Coop

  1. Susan van Gelder

    It takes time to grow – whether it is food or a curriculum. The advance work may seem to have taken too long, but I am sure its imprint will be felt as you really launch into curriculum design. We live in a fast society – fast food, fast growing up, fast travel… One has to slow down to dig deep. There are no fast answers. And it takes time to grow a group, to bring together individuals with different ideas, different rhythms and different goals. But when it comes together – the whole will be much greater than the sum of its parts.


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