I wish I could taken a video from the back of the scooter last night, or even captured a sound recording – so many, many, many more scooters zipping every which way, horns honking, trucks zooming ever so close. The roundabouts were especially harrowing, but I kept my eyes wide open and held fast to my older and very experienced driver.
Every day brings new understanding, clarification and confusion. My first day I heard I was not allowed to ride on a scooter unless there was special permission granted by “The Committee,” which I assumed was the head of the college, Fulbright or something like that. I’ve now come to realize that “The Committee” is the government, which oversees everything in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways.
During my meetings yesterday, with faculty from three different departments, there was a great deal of negotiating how my time would be allocated between faculty and students from different departments and which topics, from a list I had prepared, they would like me to provide more in depth training and professional development. When it seemed like an agreeable schedule had been talked through I asked a question: “Would it be possible for me to visit any of the schools to observe PreK and Kindergarten classrooms? What had previously been very lively discussions and exchanges, suddenly became silent with looks being passed around the room until my “translator.” Explained that in order for me to visit any schools, a special request would need to be made and “The Committee” would have to grant their approval, which sounded unlikely to happen in the 6 weeks I have remaining. I now think the scooter permission from “The Committee” must have either been ignored or someone was able to get permission quickly, I’ll probably never really know.
My Official welcoming ceremony and my 1st Presentation starts in less than an hour, so I’ll take my second quick cold shower of the day and change into something presentable. Hopefully, I’ll have time later to update on the progress of my first assignment – In proficiency based grading terms – I would give myself a “just beginning.”