Friday, April 3, 2009

congé de pâques: rainy season

The rainy season arrived to Ngaoundéré last week when I was out of town. By the time it rained again, I was back home, and never so pleased by the weather. Typically in rainy season, we have cold mornings which melt into hot noon-times. It actually gets hotter than it would in dry season, until the sky opens up and lets down a short shower. It doesn’t seem to rain long in the Adamaoua, but the downpour can be strong. Once it rains the wind will blow through my house and the air feels much nicer. Yesterday I just stood in the doorway as the cool air billowed through.

The other benefit of rain, is that the dust that’s floated in the air for months, is replaced by humidity. Ngaoundéré is relatively tame as dust goes, since the main street I live on is paved.

We are now one week through our two-week Easter break, and I’m really enjoying the time off. I don’t work very hard at school, especially since I’ve found a way to leave next year. (I’ve tried to tell myself to just get through the year without slacking off, but the whole charade feels purposeless and I struggle to find my work ethic). Still, every teaching day is absorbed by the teaching. Even Mondays, when I only teach one class for two periods—if I have afternoon class, I dread it all day, and can’t start anything else since I’ll be interrupted. If I have morning classes, I spend most of the afternoon and evening recovering. So even though I teach only eleven hours and don’t spend much time lesson planning, I am exhausted by it and have not progressed much on projects outside the lycée. However, next week I will be scheduling a teachers training for a primary school in an outer neighborhood, and hope to establish a tentative schedule at the women’s center.

We finished presenting new material before the break. After break we will review for three weeks, and then I’ll give my final exam for the year. Once the students are done with school final exams, the troisième, première and terminale take the national exams. I do not envy them, and I will be so glad to power through the last round of grading and close lycée for good. So the next two months will be a mélange of finishing with lycée and planning real work for the summer.

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