Thursday, June 07, 2007

...What I've been up to...

It's almost over! There officially only 6 more school days left! We have a few 'teacher days' after students are released on the 15th, but days without having to teach can't really be counted, can they?

As promised, I have a picture from the dinner with Kim Campbell. It was actually fascinating and I was very appreciative to Frances Fortune (the Canadian Consul and also mother of one of my students - see the boy in life jacket below showing the whites of his eyes. Charming.) for inviting me.

Frances Fortune (Can. Consul, SL), Kim Campbell (former PM, Canada)

Kim Campbell now works for an organization called 'The Club of Madrid' which is basically a ''presidents' club'' (or former president's club!). You can find out more information about the organization at: (sorry Michelle, I can't remember the html.) They do work with governments and countries going through democratic transitions, but their mandate is really quite liberal and is open to interpretation. It was fascinating to hear her speak and to have dinner with prominent women in leadership in Sierra Leone.

Last Saturday, my grade 6-8 students (plus a few extra parents and brothers/sisters) went on a fantastic guided tour to Bunce Island, a former slave castle during the Atlantic Slave trade. It was a truly memorable experience and I so glad I went, although I was completely exhausted and basically catatonic by the time I reached home in the late afternoon.

Our tour guide, Mr. Joe Opala was brilliant. His life's work has been studying and drumming up support to preserve the island, so he was a wealth of information both for me and the students. The day before our trip out, he had brought Isaiah Washington (Grey's Anatomy) who recently discovered he has roots in Sierra Leone's Mende ethnic group, and is donating money to the virtual (as in computer-animated) reconstruction and preservation of the island.

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