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Some Local Observances|I’ll Be Teaching Second Grade!| House Photos

February 22, 2010

Last night Liz, Khurram, Jenny (the program officer), Hassan (khurram’s cousin) and I went out to Chinatown Restaurant around 10pm. I must admit, when I pictures myself in Pakistan I certainly didnt picture eating (truly) delicious Chinese food!

Having more or less emerged from jetlag, although still running on 5-7hrs of sleep per night, im now able to note the cultural differences here; ones I anticipated and those I certainly didnt count on. Electricity stealing is a big issue, with religious leaders issuing a straight-up Fatwa on Electricity-Thievery, police conducting raids on homes and businesses thought to be stealing and on TV this morning Liz and I watched a PSA on this topic. Ive tried to find the PSA video online, but no luck so far.In short, it shows a well-heeled man saying

“I used to be very social and successful. I was invited to dinner parties and called friend..but now I’m only called..THIEF. I was caught stealing electricity and my name was published in the paper. No more invitations” And then a graphic of a jail cell door slams shut on his image. Then Join hands with the people of Karachi to put an end to energy theft flashes across the screen.

Our initial reaction was to laugh, mostly because of the repeated reference to dinner-party invites, but upon talking to jenny, apparently illegal energy siphoning is a serious issue here, with a majority of power users sneaking power off the grid. This has led to loadshedding (harkens back to Nepal days) in urban areas, and it isnt just individual families snatching free power, but large agencies and institutions often simply do not pay their power bills. Unsurprisingly, this push for legal action and religious incrimination is spearheaded by Pakistan’s power companies.

I will be teaching one of the Second Grade Classes!

Liz and I learned last night that well each be teaching a second grade class, about thirty-four children each, for the two terms of this school year. Im tremendously excited, and this finally gives me some focus for how to craft lesson plans and work with the rough curriculum the previous teachers came up with at the end of the last school year. Ill be teaching Art, PE, English, Math, Social Studies and Science…ideally focusing on projects and themes that overlap on these subjects. We got to look at the school documents this morning, including supply inventories what what our kids were up to in first grade. Again, I was extremely pleasantly surprised at how well the school is outfitted. Teaching Nepal and Ghana was so intensely shaped by “lacks”; lack of time, lack of pencils, lack or resources, lack of attendance–but I’m really encouraged by how wonderfully the school appears to have been put together. Those with early elementary school experience, if you have any neat projects or songs that you really enjoyed using, please let me know!

As the other teachers haven’t arrived yet, Liz and I will be in Islamabad for much longer than we initially anticipated–between two and three weeks. While this gives us plenty of time to acclimate and plan, I expect well soon be jonesing to head up into the mountains and to our permanent spot 🙂

After hours and hours of curriculum prep, Liz and I strolled around the grounds..here are some photos from the walk

(you can click on the photos for larger versions)

Bani Gala House

The Garden, which provides us with delicious veggies at meals

beautifully carved wooden door

House & Grounds

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Boris permalink
    March 1, 2010 5:59 am

    really awesome door! im sure the architecture is going to be very interesting there!

  2. aziz ahmad permalink
    February 1, 2011 8:25 am

    beautifull

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