African ad­ven­ture beck­ons as Caol teacher pre­pares to swap class­room

The Oban Times - - News - KATIE CARA­BINE kcara­bine@oban­

A CAOL Pri­mary School teacher is to swap her class for one in Rwanda.

Jennifer Eas­son has en­rolled in a pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment pro­ject with Global Learn­ing Part­ner­ships (GLP), which in­cludes a four-week trip to teach in the African coun­try.

While there this sum­mer she will learn about Rwan­dan life and cul­ture, which she can share with her Caol pupils on her re­turn.

Jennifer will also be help­ing the teach­ers in Rwanda, shar­ing her knowl­edge and teach­ing style, par­tic­u­larly around prob­lem-solv­ing, crit­i­cal think­ing and cre­ativ­ity.

Ms Eas­son said: ‘It’s al­ways been my dream to go to Africa. In Jan­uary, I was think­ing of what I could do this year, es­pe­cially as I am turn­ing 30, then the next day I got an email through from GLP of­fer­ing the chance to have a real life cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence for four weeks.’

Ms Eas­son will be part of a 20-strong group who will ar­rive in Rwanda’s cap­i­tal, Ki­gali, on July 1 for a two- day in­duc­tion be­fore they travel to their as­signed re­gions.

They will visit a dif­fer­ent school each day then get to­gether in the mid­dle week­end of the trip to dis­cuss progress and share ideas.

There will also some time to ex­plore the coun­try and Ms Eas­son hopes to go on a sa­fari, among other things.

She said: ‘I am ex­cited. I love meet­ing new peo­ple and learn­ing new things. The whole ex­pe­ri­ence will be out of this world, a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity. I think it will be re­ally eye- open­ing and I will feel re­ally alive.’

There will, of course, be chal­lenges, but Ms Eas­son says she will take th­ese in her stride. ‘I will have to adapt quickly but I like a chal­lenge. I have to learn some of the lan­guages: Rwan­dan French and Kin­yarwanda.

‘ We will be liv­ing like Rwan­dan teach­ers live so we will have £40 a week to live off and will have to dress like they do – very smartly and with no short skirts or shoul­ders show­ing.

‘I am prob­a­bly most wor­ried about the food. I’m a very fussy eater and if you are of­fered a meal there, you have to clear the plate, oth­er­wise it’s seen as very rude.

‘The staff have been talk­ing about giv­ing me a bush tucker trial to pre­pare me for the food.’

Teacher Jennifer Eas­son is head­ing to Rwanda.

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