Volunteer and guest blogger Nasim is back in Arusha after a relaxing week on the white beaches of Zanzibar and this week she blogs about how her second week at the school has been – enjoy!


Time flies here at Cheka school, already 3 weeks have passed since I came here.

The days have been busy but fun. The amount of energy these kids have is wonderful but that also means I have to try to match them. My second Swahili sentence after “Jina lako nani?” was “Nime choka” (I’m tired). I use it pretty much every day, in all honesty!

Now, I am starting to get into the routines of the school. After the morning-banana the kids get to eat first period starts. Depending on the schedule it is either more playful lessons like music or puzzle, or it can be English, Kiswahili and math.

The kids are divided into two classes; the younger kids stay with teacher Happy whereas the older children go to another room with teacher Thabea. I alternate a bit between the classes and try to be of help to those kids that have a tougher time than others. Some kids finish writing the whole alphabet in ten minutes whereas others need some support. Most of the time all that is needed however is just sitting next to them and helping them focus.

Then comes porridge time, which is the breakfast for the children. After finishing their cup there is a break between first and second period, which means one thing: Play time!

We spent an hour detangling four skipping ropes and now we all jump during break time. Endesh, one of the children, could not jump at all in the beginning of the week. The second day, after figuring out how you can make the rope smaller by tying it around your wrist several times, she could do one or two jumps. Today she did 12. If that is not progress, I do not know what is!

Later in the week I had my first arts and crafts lesson. Like I said last week, trying to bring out creativity and a fun time will most likely be my role here. We gathered a bunch of empty water bottles and painted the bottom of the bottles. Then all you had to do was push the bottle against a paper (during which the kids learned the word “PUSH!” to try to get the bottle to rub off on the paper), and voila, they made bottle flowers!

This week we have done home visits to talk to and see the parents of kids that are applying to start next year. But now I am getting ahead of myself! I will tell you more about that next week.