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1/10 Second Leaders Meeting

Last night, some other PCVs and I met with the teachers with whom we've organized the Leadership / GGLOW / Environmental Education club. The official name is the "Future Leaders of Berberville" (FLB). We worked out an itinerary for today's meeting and assigned responsibility to various teachers.

Part of the paradigm for FLB is that volunteers will help plan and play a minor supporting role during club meetings, but that teachers from the local college and lycee will lead everything. Not only does this make the club more sustainable, ie more likely to continue after we volunteers have gone, but also it means the club can be held in Darija, which the students all understand. So one teacher welcomed everyone back - it's been almost two months since the last meeting, because of school holidays and the rumors of the king's visit - and then another distributed the collage nametags everyone made last time, then a third led a mapping activity, then a fourth talked about our plans for future clubs, the fifth talked about organizing a tree planting (yay!), and then the first one (again) moderated an election of student leaders to help with the next planning session, then thanked the students and dismissed them.

At least, that was the plan. But somewhere during the mapping activity discussion, the teachers got into the philosophy of maps and mapping, and suddenly they were talking about the existence of Israel. I couldn't follow anything they were saying, since my Arabic is limited to a bare handful of words, but I caught a few key names, like "Palestine" and "Israel" and "Gaza". The other volunteer and I exchanged wide eyes, but fortunately no one asked us our opinion.

The pacing slowed down at the end, and unfortunately there was well over an hour where the kids were sitting silently and adults were talking at them. :( One of our goals for the club is to help the teachers develop more interactive, hands-on lesson plans, but I guess they're still struggling to break away from the lecture model. They did discuss the tree planting, lhumdullah, but I couldn't tell what was being said, so I'll have to check in with that teacher later on. She's the science teacher, so we have that in common. :) Hopefully, she and I will organize a massive tree-planting for March 21, which is Arbor Day!

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps