Teaching English and Flying Kites

Teaching two hours of English daily is no joke, especially when you have no teaching experience and are creating your own curriculum. Teachers and students alike get tired and worn out by the constant focus it takes to learn a new language. With this in mind, you can imagine everyone was happy to find out that English class would be cut short one Friday to spend an hour flying kites. As happens many times during SST, I had only a partial picture of the plans for this adventure. All I knew was that kites were involved and my class time was going to be cut in half. It was enough to make me excited. Next thing I knew children with all types of kites were lined up and ready to walk to our destination which was still a mystery to me.

As we walked from the Foundation to the street and turned onto a dirt road, people were grabbing sticks off of trees, to ward off the many stray dogs. On our walk, one of my students yelled at me and my service partner to “Watch out for the dogs”, which hilariously caused us to walk closer to the kids as we felt they would know how to handle them better than we would.  We walked on the path for a while until reaching a steep hill that I practically had to climb up on all fours. I was seriously worried that I was going to miss my step and accidentally take out the small children behind me, which thankfully I didn’t.

Once we arrived at the top of a big hill, I realized why this was the final location, there was lots of wind, and it was perfect for flying kites. As I mentioned earlier there was a great mix of kites ranging from store-bought Spiderman ones to homemade ones with grocery bags and sticks. Helping one of the kids successfully launch their kite was such a rewarding feeling seeing the joy it brought them. Some kites flew so high, I was worried that it would take forever to reel them back in. While others, like the homemade ones, were top-heavy and impossible to launch. Although not everyone’s kites worked, it was amazing to see one kid pass off their flying kite to someone else who wasn’t having the same luck. There was laughter due to crossing lines and furrowed brows while adults and children kept trying to make the defective kites functional.

As our kite adventure came to an end, we headed back to the Foundation with spirits and energies high. Although this adventure shortened class that day, it was worth it to see the joy that this small change in our schedule brought. SST is teaching me that it’s okay to not always know the full picture before embarking on an adventure.  SST has also taught me about unconditional love, as both of my host families have welcomed me with open arms and treated me as one of their own. This feeling is one I will never forget as it has made me stop fearing the unknown, and start to embrace it.