Boys can be virgins?!...and other great questions

Today was tough. It was condom demonstration day at school. That went pretty well, but the kids are starting to act like jerks. I totally feel for high school teachers. You couldn't pay me enough to spend the time with them necessary to drill something into their hyperactive brains. Becca, you have my utmost admiration.

There are things that are simply lost in translation. Today we had the most difficult time thus far trying to explain things. Some of the problem is a cultural barrier, and some is a language barrier. I got very frustrated at one point and just about lost it. We are trying to teach the kids condom negotiation skills, so we gave out pieces of paper with sentences a partner might say to you if they didn't want to use a condom. For example, "condoms are too expensive" or "I love you, I wouldn't give you a disease," and we ask them to rehearse things they can say to the partner to get to the end goal of using condoms. All of them just kept parroting, "you should use a condom to protect yourself from STIs and HIV." I think three groups said this before we stopped the exercise and tried to explain again, in detail, what we want them to do. One of the problems is that here in Tanzania it seems they learn their lessons in school as memorization. There really aren't a lot of critical thinking skills built into the curriculum. The learn something, they are tested on the information, they repeat it. It isn't really internalized in the way we need these concepts to be. It's really frustrating!

Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

2 Responses on "Boys can be virgins?!...and other great questions"

  1. Joshua says:

    It's so nice for me to have found this blog of yours, it's so interesting. I sure hope and wish that you take courage enough to pay me a visit in my PALAVROSSAVRVS REX!, and plus get some surprise. My blog is also so cool!

    Feel free off course to comment as you wish and remember: don't take it wrong, don't think that this visitation I make is a matter of more audiences for my own blogg. No. It's a matter of making universal, realy universal, all this question of bloggs, all the essential causes that bring us all together.

    I think it's to UNITE MANKIND that we became bloggers! Don't see language as an obstacle but as a challenge and think for a minute if I and the rest of the world are not expecting something like a broad cumplicity. Remenber that pictures talk also. Open your heart and come along!!!!!

    Becca says:

    Ah ha! The "honeymoon" is over. No, really, that's what we teachers would call the first week or two of school. Then the monsters, uh, kids, I meant kids, would show their lovely-ness.

    Good to know kids are kids regardless of country.

    Thanks for blogging! We miss you!

    Oh and you totally should check out Paul Rudd in "Knocked Up" when you come back to the States. Hmmm... now that I think about it... it's very related to your condom posting.