Nairobi Meets Maslow

Trip Start Dec 23, 2011
Trip End Jan 28, 2012

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Where I stayed
Wildebeest Lodge

Flag of Kenya  ,
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We were told to expect around 100 people to the training sessions, which was significantly more than the 60 we were originally prepared for. Hmm, we only have 60 of everything. However, only about 75 people turned up, though in true African style more may drift in tomorrow, and I'm sure we had over 100 when lunch was served.

Unlike training courses in Australia where hosts put on lunch and morning tea, here in Africa because they are so poor, we have to provide lunch, morning tea and even a transport allowance for everybody attending as they wouldn't be able to get there otherwise.

We took a taxi to the school and set up for the training sessions. With no reliable electricity it's all chalk and blackboards, and we have provided everybody with pens. There were only about 30 people when we started, and you could tell that William was disappointed, but numbers swelled as the morning went on.

Today was all about teaching strategies and classroom management. In the morning we had Maslow and behaviour management strategies (corporate punishment has been recently outlawed, leaving many teachers with no ideas). The afternoon saw teaching techniques such as Venn diagrams, mind maps and PMI lists get an airing.

On the school front, all the kids seem to be happy and smiling. However, Australian teachers would be in for a shock. There are about 30 students to a class (though the government recommends 50), they sit 4 to an old style school desk in a small corrugated iron room with dirt floors. Of course, there is no cooling, and the toilets are holes in the ground. Children often wear their jumpers and school bags all day to ensure they don't get stolen. No electricity, whiteboards or (gasp) computers.

After we'd finished and cleaned up, William and Grace drove us back to the lodge via a shopping centre for a drink. Going into the shopping centre they inspect each car boot, and look underneath with a mirror. Everybody is security wanded as they get to a door. Back at the lodge we did some washing, sorted ourselves out, had tea, and went straight to bed.
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