We made it to school today!
A little bit about my school: I and two of my roommates are placed at Aljanah Junior High School in Rahat. Our students are aged 12-14, speak many different levels of English, and are all amazing. They are excited to learn, and even more excited to get to know us.
When we arrived in Rahat after about a one hour bus ride from Be’er Sheva, our host teacher and several students welcomed us with gifts: a white rose, a fez hat with chocolate inside, and a basil plant. These gifts all represented welcoming and the tying together of our cultures.
We spent the morning without a great deal of direction. In our first class, we worked with the kids on introducing themselves: Hi, my name is// How are you// Where are you from// etc. To be honest, we weren’t sure how much English the students knew– the teacher in the classroom placed us in front of the students and said, “Teach.” So, we gave it our best effort, and I think if nothing else, the students were pleased to have a break in their routines. I’m hoping soon someone will fill us in on exactly where our students are in learning so we can pick up from wherever they’ve left off.
Our school kindly treated us to lunch for our first day, and, like everything else we’ve eaten so far, it was incredible.
They also shared a popular Arab dessert with us: Kunafeh (Coo-nah-fee). I looked into it later, and Kunafeh is made of phyllo dough, cheese, and simple syrup, and topped with crushed pistachios. I’ll be honest– it blows most pastries out of the water.
Our afternoon was a bit short– school days are shortened due to COVID-19 protections. But, we spent more time in the classrooms, meeting teachers and students. And, we snapped a few photos:
Tomorrow, we’ll be back at school, hopefully observing our teacher, as well as preparing– unfortunately, we are going back into a lockdown next week. More, soon.