Knit one, teach one then repeat two together

12 07 2011

Knit class 024

So, how ARE those classes coming along?  With much uncertainty, clinging to God and the thrill of teaching in my blood I jumped into the tasks of this week.  Things change from day to day, and yesterday I began helping Mariam. A little of her story, from what I could figure is this: Mariam’s mom passed away when she was about 3. Her father sort of took her but Ugandan men alone are not considered great fathers.  I worked out that she got caught up in the war turmoil around new political leadership when she was young and was taken from the west of the country to the east. She has no idea of siblings, does not know her birthdate or when she started school.  When I saw Mariam’s entry level-indicator quiz, I realized that there were big difficulties: I guess that she is dyslexic and has a few other issues. Mariam says she stopped school in about grade 3 – I am guessing that till that point she had been teased and tormented and that her education experience did not relieve the trauma of her life experience until then.

We now have a few personal lessons a week, just Mariam and me, and Sarah for some translation help.  I have never trained for remedial ed nor for elementary ed, but that is what I am trying to apply with Mariam. We have started with one letter a day, and Mariam’s face lights up when she is able to write down what I ask. We are trying to use as much difference in her writing experience, so are chalking up the driveway, fingering the letters into the garden and writing in the air. 

Knit class 010

We have informed the helpers here of her needs and it seems like everyone is rooting for her – a little unusual in a land where learning differences don’t induce much sympathy.

Yesterday Titus-the-terrific thought we had been invaded, perhaps by strange alien creatures. We forgot to tell the workers we were taking the lawnmower to one of the other houses. When Titus got something out of the garage later he noticed the absence of the mower, the presence of strange signs on the paving and was totally confused – had some-one left strange messages in explaining the theft?  ^_^

After a successful English lesson with the group yesterday the ladies were buzzing at the success of how far they had come in knitting.  I looked at the projects and am so encouraged to see that they have been trying hard to teach themselves over the weekend.  I think they get more done without me – we started on a pattern for baby shoes today, a simple garter stitch item, and it took ages to get somewhere. Many had to pull out and redo rows over and over.  So I left the pattern in their hand and my example copy with them – it will be fun to see what they have achieved by next week! 

Their concentration and commitment continue to encourage me.

Knit class 025Knit class 015Knit class 017

I love how organically the babies fit into the classes – today there were 3.  Mommies breast-feed while still knitting… or the little ones sleep on the floor, or if they get niggly Karen picks them up and enjoys some great baby cuddles… Aawwww.

Pray for Alice, here on the right – she struggles to fit in a little and literacy is not easy for her.


We are heading out to Kampala for a few days, so we’ll let you know of the big shiny city when we return.




One response

12 07 2011

I just admire your teaching the ladies to knit and teaching them English too. I will remember Alice in my prayers. What a beautiful lady and tell her I said her blouse is a beautiful purple. Best wishes and glad to have met you over at TTT on Ravlery.

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