The Peace Corps has three main goals that support its mission to promote world peace and friendship. The third goal is to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. Well, I'm getting started on this goal tomorrow!
Tomorrow I will be going to East Valley Middle School to meet with my aunt's 6th grade class to discuss Peace Corps and my job in Botswana and to get the students amped up for their Africa Unit starting in April! The premise of the unit is to teach the students about the animals and the ecosystems in Africa but also to open their eyes to something new - new people, cultures, ideas, and perspectives. This second part is what is so exciting to me and what aligns this unit with the Peace Corps' goal.
In preparation for my first day back to middle school in *gasp* 15 years, I am reworking my shutterfly website to give her class a place to communicate with me while I'm in Botswana and ask specific questions about life in Africa, the animals, what I'm doing, etc! On the class' personalized tab, I have put a place to poll the kids about things (like if they would eat worms and what their favorite African animal is) and a place for them to submit their questions. I want to be able to find out and answer the things they are most curious about and keep them interested in learning. The website also includes a calendar and map (so they can follow me around Botswana), facts about Botswana, some Setswana language lessons, and the following funny (and true) cartoon video about being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa (in part to keep them entertained but also to educate them and help elicit conversation):
Tomorrow is going to be a really fun day! I think this is going to be a fun project and I can't wait to meet with the kids!