Wednesday, 5 October 2011
National teacher’s day
Today was the ‘day of teachers’ which ironically meant that I did no teaching. Instead we went to a big district wide celebration at a place called ‘the house of shalom,’ a home for orphaned children only about 8km from Nzige. They have a wonderful big hall which was totally packed out with teachers. There were teachers as far as the eye could see. I can safely say I have never seen so many teachers in one place, there were literally thousands.
So we arrived late and meekly stood at the back. But I was not left there for long. Thats the unfortunate thing about having white skin which makes you stand out like a big white beacon of light. There is no subtle entering of a room, its just not possible. I was grabbed and dragged right to the front where I knew I would be in the danger zone for being made to do stuff. So I sat for more than two hours through some very passionate speeches in Kinyarwanda given by the high up people in Rwamagana district. And I understood about 3 words, ‘abanyishuri (students)’, ‘amafaranga’ (money) and ‘capitation grant’ (no idea what this is but head teachers are always going on about it). The rest of the time I did a mixture of people watching and staring at the lovely paintings done by the children at the house of shalom.
The speeches were broken up by a load of head teachers and district staff dancing and a few teens doing a song with their keyboard. At the end I knew they would drag me up to dance. I knew it was coming. So I waved my arms around to this Rwandese song which I’ve no idea what it means but I keep hearing. I think seeing the muzungu dance made the morning for some people and gave my colleagues a good laugh. And fortunately because I was the one taking pictures there was no photographic evidence of my awful dancing that I’m ever likely to see at least.
But when all is said and done I think its lovely that they have a day of appreciation for teachers. Generally I think they are under appreciated both in the UK and Rwanda so it was really nice to have a positive get together like that.