Friday, 2 January 2009

Roaches, Power and Pawi

I was putting up some more photos of my family I had got printed when I went to Bahir Dar when I heard a noise behind some other ones. Then a cockroach poked its head out and as I touched other photos on my wall more roaches came out. There must’ve been a whole extended family living behind my photos. The “Roach Killer” spray came in handy.


The power has been off a bit lately. Last night it dropped to 160V on my meter and 40Hz which can’t be good (it should be 220V 50Hz), then after a minute it failed and went off most of the night.


It’s 22:00 at night and outside the temperature is 22°C. Overnight minimum last night was 16°C. What’s it like in the UK? Also the dust is getting quite bad now when buses and cars go by on the unmade roads.

Continuing CPD Problems

On Wednesday there was a meeting at the local school sharing their experiences about the CPD course. I didn’t understand anything and couldn’t read anything, but their posters of writing were colourful. The main problems they are still whinging on about are:

1: not being paid to do the training (I already explained there will be 200 teachers doing this and even at 10ETB per hour, that would be 60,000ETB (£2000) which is well beyond anything we have available). Also it is in their contracts to do a minimum amount of CPD training each year. I still think that if you want paying to do the training then you are more interested in the money than improving your teaching.

2: They can’t seem to understand that when it says “see Resource page 2.3” that this means in the appendix where all the Resource pages are, and not page 23 or 2 or 3 or 2.3 – I guess this is a cultural thing.

3: They complained there is no-one from the college supporting every group session. It is not designed to be like that. Over our 10 schools, there will probably be around 40 groups running. I also have said several times in the past that if they have questions or problems to come and speak to us at the college (or to me when I am in the school – which is often) but no-one said anything until now.

Anyway, at least it is happening.

Pawi – more tales of Ethiopian organisation

Today (Thursday) I had another typical trip into Pawi Woreda (a small region) to arrange the initial CPD program meeting with the teachers in five more of our schools.

This is going to sound familiar, but here goes

  • Car arranged for 2:00 (8am) – at 2:15 told there is no fuel and no fuel in the village. Finally depart at 3:15 (9:15am) after borrowing fuel from local construction site.
  • Get to first school (Village 7)*, director not present, but manage to arrange with the vice director a training session in a couple of weeks.
  • Driver now disappeared with the car. We take about 20 minutes walking to the village centre – still no car. My counterpart suggests a coffee.
  • Car finally reappears; we go to the Village 7 secondary school and arrange to use that for the training session. Visit next school (Village 30) and managed to get them to agree to come to that training session. (This needed translation. I knew it would be a problem after I said “Have you got this book?” to the guy and received a blank look in return.)
  • Went to next school on the list (Village 5) and it was empty. There was some sharing thing going on at the next school along. Went to this one (Village 4) and after been assured by my counterpart that it was Ethiopian culture to interrupt people during events and things, managed to arrange another joint training session in a couple of weeks.
  • Got back for lunch and nap. In afternoon I taught recorders for three hours.

*The children went berserk when they saw me. They were at break time and flocked over and were cheering/screaming and over 100 followed me to the office still making an incredible noise – well this is a very remote school and I am white.

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