Today, I have finished teaching both my units here at INATEK. There were many failures as well as some bright moments. Next week, I will continue to work in the Language Center, hopefully tutoring TOEFL, performing research and creating an English Club. Most of my students seem excited to continue practicing their English speaking and writing skills and I hope our new activities go over well on campus.

Writing proved to be an interesting challenge for many students. As in any writing, my students had their mistakes as they tried very hard to express themselves well. Below are a some of the more amusing excerpts from some of the essays, tests, and class discussions. Enjoy!

“Education for all is a program of Rwanda to make children 12 years for free”

“Drug Diller like cheaper drugs like marijuana”

“When I go to the USA, I want to see a tomb of Martin Luther King Jr. and a tomb of 2Pac.”

In a formal business letter: “How are you Minister of Education? I am Ok.”

From our friend who normally speaks English well: “It has been too long. We miss you gays!”

In a discussion for an evening class:

Teacher: What is an occupation or a job? Give me an example.

Student: Chooker!

Teacher: Wait what? A hooker? You know what a hooker is?

Student: A chooker!

Teacher: Wait, a cooker? Like a chef?

Student: Yes, but what is a hooker?

“It help the people in smelling in photosynthesis the trees helps on it in that transformation of oxygen.”

“As women give birth involuntarily….”

“So, as conclusion, Rwanda has the good climate, temperature are moderate, the rain fall is enough, so it is the best of the best country.”



November 5, 2012

Forgive the meager photography skills…

The latest and greatest member of the convent family. His mother has been offering fresh milk for the sisters to sell to the community.

Some furry neighbors that I refuse to name due to their inevitable end.

The view as seen from behind my university. Often, fog crowds the valley in the mornings, obscuring the land below except for a few twinkling wood fires.

Roses of all colors appear to grow in each Rwandan’s garden: yellow, pink, red. A few giant pink roses salute my office doorway each morning. Tonight, they are dipped in moonlight.


November 3, 2012

Note the purple and yellow colors. For some reason, every academic institution that I attend has chosen those representative colors. (Schoolcraft Public Schools, Albion College, and now INATEK). Is this a sign of some sort?

Hello friends!

I have just finished my first week of class. Teaching is tough, but I have definitely enjoyed getting to know my students (a solid 60 of them in my Reading/Writing class). We often have problems understanding each other, given English isn’t their first language and I do not speak with the British crispness that they are used to. All the students, however, are very engaged and want to share their own opinions and experiences. From what I have been told, much of their education has involved just straight memorization from lectures with little to no critical thinking or student input.

So, I ask them to write journals giving only their opinion. I ask them to discuss certain topics. Many seem very uncomfortable with what I ask of them at first, but others produce intellectual gems right without batting an eye. On the first day, I asked students to tell me their opinion about the importance of English and asked them to agree or disagree with me as they please. One particularly witty student (nicknamed Prince, no less) stood up in front of class and gave an original presentation on the importance of cultural identity and the need to fight against neo-colonialism. His 2 minute long presentation gave me giddy shivers; I was so excited!

Induction, or the First Year students’ introduction ceremony, occurred just last night after being postponed for a week. The ceremony included greetings from the Head Rector (or Director), introductions to the various heads of departments and a student question forum, that probably included more criticisms than actual questions.

Below, I have also embedded the INATEK anthem for any of you who may be curious about what Ikinyarwanda sounds like.  Feel free to listen, though I make no promises on sound quality. Ciao!



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