Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Daily Routine

A couple of people have asked for a post about what my daily schedule is. Well, here it is:

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: The school-day routine

The sun comes up. I get up and eat a light breakfast-- usually bread or indazi (fried bread, like a cake doughnut without icing) and peanut butter or peanuts. I get myself ready quickly and go to school. The walk is about 15 minutes.
Classes begin, but many students will not be at school until 7:20. It’s generally not expected for teachers to arrive at or before 7:00 either. The first hour always involves some warm-up activity or game, so that nobody falls behind. Or rather, so that everyone falls behind evenly. Luckily, my three classes alternate being the first hour of the day, so there are no major inconsistencies.
This is the students’ tea break. Students can go to our school cantine and buy a cup of porridge or some indazi. I suspect most of my students don’t eat breakfast, so the break really helps them to pay attention in the afternoon. I can go to the cantine if I have a free hour or I finish a lesson early, but during the tea break I stay in the teacher's lounge.
Classes resume but I have only one or two more hours to teach. I finish at different times on different days, at which point I go home to eat a balanced meal.
Aside from eating, this time is devoted to preparing the teachers’ English lesson and to getting whatever housework I am able to done while I still have the daylight.
The teachers’ English lesson takes about an hour, though there is no set time limit. I may be able to squeeze some classes together and free up Friday, but if the teachers want to use the extra day to have an extra lesson, I will oblige them.
It’s the last hour of light and I’m tired. I go home, usually to read a little or to plan tomorrow’s lesson out in more detail.
The sun goes down and I use my kerosene lantern. I eat, listen to The Voice of America (a radio program), or, if my computer is charged, goof off for a bit. There’s not much to do after the lights go out, so I’m usually in bed before 9:00.

Saturday through Tuesday: The non-school-day routine
There's no need to make another table. These days are much more relaxed. I get up a little later, usually at 8, or 10 if I'm really wiped. I devote my time to doing what I don't have much time for during my workdays. I tend my garden, clean up my room, or read in the morning. In the afternoon and evening, I try to visit people.

Weekly routines
The market is open on Monday and Thursday so I buy most of my food on these days. Otherwise, I can purchase food at the boutiques for a higher price. Luckily, Mibirizi is somewhat cold, so vegetables keep up to three days without refrigeration. Thursday is Mefloquine Day. I take my Malaria medication and it gives me odd dreams throughout the week, but has no other side effects. Some Saturdays I go to Kamembe, the nearest town, and go to the bank, buy more varied food at better prices, and then return on the afternoon bus. About once a month, I take a trip outside of my corner of Rwanda for a couple of nights. Most often I stay home on the weekends. Also on weekends, a student washes my laundry for a fair price. This Saturday, I plan to start my English club, which will meet every Saturday following.

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