Friday, September 14, 2012

The IB1's Trip to Wobulenzi Town Academy

The IB1 class went for a 5 day trip to Wobulenzi Town Academy in Uganda. About 3 weeks before the trip we planned a workshop which we would carry out for 3 afternoons at the school. My partner and I wanted to create a mural regarding animal conservation. The Saturday before our trip, we went to shop for all the necessary equipment and worked on the lettering. On our mural it was written "An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language" by Martin Buber and this quote was related to our theme of animal conservation. We have created another mural which allowed the students to draw or write whatever they wanted, and they particularly liked to do hand prints. However, we didn't begin with the mural right away. We brought along a poster and a couple of fun facts in order to bring out the issues. When it was time to start drawing we asked the students to think about our quote and express their feelings, thoughts and opinions on the mural.
We had 3 year groups; S1 was our first group and they were polite and quiet, and the challenge with them was that they were too shy to participate. Towards the end of our activity we played a game which actually brought us together. So we learned our lesson and decided that the workshop with S2 will start with a game, and then discuss the issue of animal conservation. Although, the S2 were more confident and more social they found the game more fun than the actual activity. S3 were the oldest of the three and were the most engaged as well. This time we used a different ice breaker, and instead of a game we danced the "chicken dance". It helped us warm up and prepare for the activity. 

Apart from the workshop, our class has done activities to help the school such as, painting a new building, cataloging books, digging and planting.
We were separated into 3 different groups and on the mornings of the 2nd to the 4th day we were working extremely hard. My group was the first one to catalog books. We were very excited of going through the book piles and manage to do a lot in only one morning! Our next mission was to paint the ceiling of the new building and it was a tough job with paint splashing on our faces and sore hands. The last but not least was digging and planting, where we had to even the ground near the poles for planting to create a hedge. I found this to be the most challenging since I had never dug before and there was some areas where the ground was as hard as concrete. 

On the 4th day I was lucky enough to try and play netball with the school's girls team. It was fun, although I think that we were pretty useless players but it's the participation that matters. The event which concluded this whole trip was the assembly on the 5th day. We had to create an assembly for the whole school in which we reflected on our stay at WTA. Standing in front of 500 people made me nervous and I was scared I wouldn't be able to say a word. In the end it went well and we even danced the "chicken dance" again!  
Overall, this trip was a wonderful way of starting CAS. Through this trip we met all the 8 outcomes, experienced and learned many things, for example, that teaching is not easy as it appears and a lot of hard work does pay off in the end.

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