Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world


Five years ago, my 6th graders in Kinshasa wrote a fantastic speech about #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou.

I like to think that we were ahead of the times!

People always want to hear the extremes and never our ordinary and daily life. We know that Africa has schools, shops, big cities, small villages, jungles, and deserts. We have restaurants that are very good, some of them are expensive and some are less expensive. We also know the bad stuff and there’s also the in between stuff. Some people live in normal houses, go to normal schools and live a normal life like a lot of other people in the world. Some people have jobs, and some people don’t. You can see both joy and sadness in peoples eyes here. People just don’t understand that Africa has the ordinary.

We know how interesting and big this continent is. We should express ourselves. And one of the best ways to do that is to write.  We can post comments on facebook, myspace or twitter. We could even make a website that’s called, “AFRICA IS NOT ALL BAD!”

I wish I’d had a better understanding of hashtags then so that we could’ve started #theafricathemedianevershowsyou movement sooner!!

Alas, it’s been inspiring to see so many photos all over the internet capturing the beauty of everyday life in Africa.

Yesterday, I decided to post my own:

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 10.10.45 AM


Photo & Interview by Beatrice Wanyonyi, Teacher Training Associate

I was able to talk to Teacher Polycarp at break time with his pupils running around him and others holding his hands. One can easily tell that he enjoys all the time he spends with the children.  He told me about a pupil who joined Bridge pre-unit class last year.

Shawn was behind in reading English, so he had to join a younger class. This discouraged him and made him become a shy and scared boy all the time.  Shawn’s parents were really worried about whether or not Shawn could improve academically.

 Shawn is now in class 1, in Teacher Polycarp’s class. Through the extra coaching that teacher Polycarp gave him at break and lunch hours, he was able to help Shawn learn vowels and letter sounds and little by little he learned to read.  “I am always proud of this young pupil when I hear him read and I would like him to read to you as well,” Polycarp said happily.

 I enjoyed listening to Shawn read a storybook to us and I could tell that he was enjoying it too. Not a trace of fear could be found as he is now confident in reading.


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This entry was posted on July 19, 2015 by in humanities, inspiration, teaching.
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