A Classroom Feature and A Visit from Georgetown

Hello, hello!

We are deep into our fifth week here in Berbice so it’s about time that we provide a little more insight into what we’ve actually been up to in the classroom. This week we want to talk about the lessons we have been running in some of the public secondary schools: Corentyne Comprehensive, J.C Chandisingh, Port Mourant and Lower Corentyne.

We have been focusing a lot of our teaching on Sexual Health because this is the topic that the students we are teaching have expressed the most interest in. In these high schools we are teaching Form 3 classes (Grade 9) and they are bursting with questions! Now that we’ve been talking about what sex is and why people choose to (or not) have sex, the giggles have (for the most part subsided) and we have begun to have discussions about pregnancy, contraceptives, condom use, and STIs as well as HIV/AIDS.

Ali explaining pregnancy at Tagore Secondary School

This week as part of our lesson different groups chose different methods of contraceptives and then had to present the information they knew (or learned) in front of the class. The students discussed how condoms, birth control pills (tablets) and injections, diaphragms/cervical caps worked, what the advantages and disadvantages of each were, how effective they were and whether they prevented pregnancy and/or STIs. The students are very engaged and we are excited to play some HIV/AIDS jeopardy in many of these high school classes next week- maybe even with some prizes involved!

Eric starting off a lesson with a ball game

Our QHO related activities don’t just take place during the week! On Friday afternoon, two wonderul visitors, Steve and Marni, arrived from Georgetown. We met them at the Smythfield Drop-In Centre, which is wonderfully run and well organized. We taught a lesson on mental health and the importance of keeping a good balance between physical and mental health. We had a group discussion with the older students and allowed the younger children to draw their favourite health activity. During the debried we highlighted the connection of mental health in the various physical activities (e.g. stress relief by going for a run). It was a good lesson to introduce mental health and it allowed us to learn a few personal things about our students.

On Friday night we made stuffed eggplant and shared each others company late into the night. Saturday morning involved a trip to the market and Ali and Eric showed off their favourite hang-outs. In the afternoone the group went to the Camal Shelter where Marni and Ali taught about contraceptives and the steps to condom use with some of the older girls while Steve and Eric held some fitness activities and games for the younger children. That evening we visited the Letterkenny Youth Space and Steve and Marni got to meet the kids whom we talk about so frequently. After a long afternoon of games the group headed home where we shared a meal and played a long game of poker- Ali came out victorious.

The team playing Ladders at the Letterkenny Youth Space

Sunday morning came quicker than expected and after a few workouts it was time to say goodbye to our Georgetown friends. it was great to see them this weekend and we hoped they enjoyed Berbice as much as we do!

Love,

Eric and Ali

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