Harriet G. & Jennifer B. reporting
Report by Harriet:
9:10 leaving Rosh Hayen, we continued on Route 55 through Machsom Eliyahu. Before Nebi Elias, there was a jeep on the left side of the road. At the entrance to the turnoff to Isla, another larger army vehicle was stationed.
9:25 We arrive at the Learning center. About 6 children greet us warmly. Nada arrives 10 minutes later. Jennifer teaches the older children - about 12, I have 4
younger children ages 6-8. No very young children came because of the rainy weather.
I taught them the song, Rain, Rain Go Away. Since I know little Arabic, I did a lot of Pantomime which got a lot of laughs seeing me in and out, in and out the door. .After breaking down and studying all the words, they enthusiastically wrote the words in their notebooks. Even the first grader wrote the English words perfectly. I gave out coloring sheets depicting each word and they busily colored them. Since I prepared papers for a full group, each child got 7 sheets which they were delighted to receive.
11:00 - After the lesson, we were invited for coffee at Nada's home. Like most of the buildings in Isla, it is an unfinished multistory cement structure. With 6 children in the living room playing quietly, Nada told us about her large family, that some live in the territories; some on the other side of the separation fence who she can rarely see and some in Jordan . She also tried to tell us about her attempt to visit Israel and the family's difficulties at the border crossing. Only she and the older child could cross over and the other children and her baby were sent back. This story was hard to understand, since Jennifer and I don't speak Arabic, but between a few Arabic words we know and a few English words she knows plus a lot of hand movements, we understood well what a terrible experience she had.
11:30. We parted, feeling heavy hearted after seeing how she and her disabled husband live in limited circumstances and understanding great distress.
At the exit to road 55, 3 soldiers stood near their larger army vehicle on the side of the road.
At Eliyahu crossing, we were asked to show our identity cards.
Report from Jennifer:
First of all, we were very proud of ourselves for driving to the location on our own for the first time! (I did a rehearsal with Miki on the phone the night before.) It turns out to be quite easy.
For this lesson I concentrated on verbs in present progressive, with pictures of lots of different verbs for vocabulary. There was a very clear difference among the kids – for about half, it was clear that they remembered learning this before, and they knew about half of the verbs already. The other half seemed rather in the dark. I would like to mention (forgive spelling) Kais, Karem, Rama, and Bra’a as especially strong (also Mohammad, but he wasn’t there yesterday). It would be wonderful, in an ideal world, if these kids (and maybe one or two more who were not there yesterday, such as Anwar), could have their own group and really progress. Even the strong ones, though, did not seem to have retained much from school lessons regarding the question form or negative forms. (Meaning “Are you sleeping?” or “You are not sleeping,” as opposed to “You are sleeping.”)
As usual, they enjoyed writing the sentences on the board and in their notebooks. I tried a “charades”-type game where they act out the verbs, and was surprised to find how shy they were about it, considering how comfortable they are with each other in general. Mostly they just stood and giggled, so it didn’t work very well. They don’t seem to have any experience with that type of game.
When we got to the Machsom coming back, and we were asked where we had been, I told them straight, that we had been teaching English in a village. For some reason I said “Nebi Elias” instead of “Isla,” as though the closer one would seem like less of a “crime.” But it went fine with no delays.