Sunday, November 17, 2013

9. Training

So I’ve always loved the Peace Corps.  Since Alyssa Thiel first described to me her work on Vanuatu (“You mean you go and teach English and they pay for EVERYTHING!?”), I’ve loved and supported the ideals of Peace Corps. 

How can you not love an organization that sends young people overseas with the sole intention of sharing culture, making friends, and providing learned, free labor?

As such, I’ve always wanted to “go down to training,” and play a part in the formação of the newest group of volunteers.  I wanted to inspire them, and to share my grande experience.  This year was my year to go (although I was a bit of a last-minute addition), and I was so thankful for the opportunity.

I really put my heart into the work that I was doing.  I spent the week in Namaacha with my husband and with Jamie Randol, who are two of the most dedicated volunteers that I have ever met.  And although it was our last full week in Mozambique, all three of us put all of our strength and energy into our lessons and tech sessions.  I gave classes with the same joy that I gave them at site, and I worked tirelessly to answer questions and provide support. 

From Monday to Friday, Jamie, Dan, and I sat in on language classes, ran teacher training sessions, and created mini-aulas as example lessons.  We interacted with the volunteers and talked and talked and talked and talked.  And while I enjoyed giving lessons in a formal setting, I felt like my biggest impact was made at a more personal level, as I answered questions about my site, my teaching, and my students. 

It was fun to feel like an expert, and it was a great way to end our service “strong.” 

Lessons at the Teacher's Training Institute (IFP - Namaacha)
Volunteers do a skit while Dr. Isadora looks on
Dr. Isadora gives a very stern (and graphic) lecture about STDs
The Peace Corps Volunteer Trainer "residence" in Namaacha
Volunteer trainees brainstorm lesson plans in a group

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