Monday, June 9, 2008

PNGC Week 4 (A Young Woman's Body)

Organizing the beginning of PNGC was a bit of a fiasco today. As Jess was trying to get back into school with the last of the supplies, she found the gate locked. Students who were trying to leave the grounds faced her through the gate, unable to leave. I hopped into the classroom where we hold club to begin setting up only to find it still full of students working with confetti that was all over every table and blanketed the floor. Searching around campus for the teacher to help close down her class and allow us to set up, I was approached by a number of kids who had come from the gate asking for the key, which I did not have. Other leaders were gathering the girls to help collect the extra tables and chairs we need each week and sending them the room, only to have them be told to wait outside until the other class was finished cleaning. The wind was whipping up dust storms that added clouded vision to my already cloudy mind as we went hither and tither to get everything going. Eventually Jess got a student to come back with a key to open the gate, letting her in and releasing a flood of students out into the the village. The girls were lined up, much thanks to our newly elected student council who really did great today! Soon everyone was inside and out of the cold, windy day.

This week's lesson was titled 'A Young Woman's Body'. As you may realize, I have very little knowledge to add to a lesson like this. To make it more comfortable for the girls during the story and discussion, I sat this week's lesson out and finished organizing a few of the items for the craft. Jessica will elaborate on the lesson:

Being a seventh grade girl once myself, I remember lessons in health class about the changes occurring in a young woman's body being frightfully awkward. Looking back on it, I now think, "what were we all so worried about?," however in those days, I dreaded it enough that it might have kept me up at night, trying to make myself sick in order to have a viable excuse to stay home from school. Keeping this in mind, I hoped that the girls experience today would be in a more open, comfortable environment then it was for me back in the seventh grade. Mma Masenya had volunteered to take on this important lesson, and she did it with gusto, making the girls laugh throughout it's entirety. After finishing the story, all six of the PNGC leaders opened the floor to questions, instead of our normally pre-written discussion questions. The girls were quite shy, not wanting to be the first to ask about menstruation, but eventually the questions did start popping up. I realized how important this lesson truly is when one of leaders leaned over and told me that many of the girls did not even know what menstruation is, much less that it would eventually happen to them. We'll continue this discussion with the girls in our next PNGC meeting. Paul, our official PNGC correspondent, will take it from here...
Once finished, I was summoned back to the room to take up my duties as photographer. The activity for the week was picture frames. I am not sure if it was something in the air, something that was talked about when I was out of the room or if it was the new CD I had compiled but the girls were in rare form today. Talking, giggling, laughing their way through the project they decorated their frame that held a picture of all the PNGC girls taken the day they received their invitation to club. Glue and glitter were everywhere and creativity was not lacking. As I went around to capture the day on camera girls were leaping in front of me posing with their friends and their frames. Once they had their photo taken would dance their way back to their seat to the beat of the music. It was hilarious.
We are amazed that our first month of PNGC has passed. The start up of club has definitely had its hiccups, but on the whole has ran exceptionally smooth. Leaders and girls alike have truly taken ownership and responsibility for ensuring each week goes according to plan (for the most part!) and that everyone is included in the fun. Unfortunately club will not meet again for five weeks due to a public holiday and the three week end of term school holiday. When that was explained to the girls today, we could see that some of them were sad they would have to wait so long to get together again at club. It feels good to know that the leaders and girls have come to look forward to their weekly lessons and crafts. We are expecting a queue of girls at our door when we return from break because we have promised them we will have more beads for them so they can make new necklaces and earrings. Until then, we have a few weeks to unwind a bit, recharge our batteries and prep ourselves for the next term which promises to be exciting!

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Found your blog on Brook and Jed's site...These pictures remind me so much of the school I taught at in the West Indies. Looks like you're doing amazing things...I love the blog!
Happy 4th of July :)
~Andrea (Schleppegrell) Dekich


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