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Echo’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 23 Aug 2007

Location: Gambia

MapSorry that I haven't written in a couple of days. I would like to tell you that nothing exciting is happening to me but that would be kind of a lie cause I am living in Africa right now and it is all exciting and new.

I haven't been doing to much exploring or treking around cause I have been in the school for the last four days days busting my ass getting it ready. When I first walked into my classroom I felt like I was in teaching hell. I think that the previous teacher was just so happy to be going home and retiring that she just walked away from the classroom and covered everything up. It was a disaster. On top of that the school has not allowed any of the teachers to purge stuff in their classrooms or in storage. When I first walked into the class and uncovered shelves I was in complete shock. I had a huge bookshelf of four or five rows just stuffed with teaching books in complete random order. It was a little overwhelming at first. I found teaching books dating back to 1960! The first task that I decided to do was purge what was not needed. Hopefully if our school computers are back up and online tomorrow I will post you guys pictures of my classroom and the same bookshelf. I whittled it down to about maybe one row of books and that may be pushing it to a higher number than it is. Luckily my boss is all over the idea of cleaning out the school and has encouraged the purging. Let me tell you, now all of the teachers are doing it and the stack of stuff to be recycled to schools that need it is growing huge.

All week though I kept walking into my classroom and I kept feeling like the disaster in there was getting worse and worse. I was pulling and purging and putting stuff off to the side to be cleaned, it was chaos...until today. Today it all came together and my room looks wonderful. I had my girl, who is assigned to my area of the school, clean all of the windows, walls, fans and floors and now it is done. At the end of the day it looked wonderful. My bulletin boards are done with a great African fabric and I have a map on my wall. That is it so now all I need is kids to fill the rest of the walls up with their work.

So tomorrow is my first official day as a teacher as we begin our orientation. After that I am going to start lesson planning, which I am looking forward to believe it or not. Anyways, sorry no great adventures to talk about right now but I will try to send photos tomorrow.