Amongst fellow Peace Corps volunteers we often talk about our highs and lows. Some days are good, and some days not so good…but today is definitely going down as a very good day!
The other volunteer in my village invited me to help him do a presentation/activity at a Junior Secondary School (middle school) in a nearby village. So this morning I met up with him at his office and we went over the activity he had chosen, prepared the materials, and discussed how we would present everything. The activity was meant to engage the students in understanding how HIV is transmitted.
When we arrived at the school the students had not yet gathered so we got everything ready. We knew it was going to be a big group (about 250), but it wasn’t until they all started filing in that I really realized how many that was haha. It was fun though. They were great listeners, thankfully, and although it’s always an uncomfortable subject for them to talk about, they were pretty good at participating. We first talked about their current knowledge of HIV and then went over the four fluids that can transmit the virus (blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk), as well as the “portals of entry” or “doors” in which they may enter the body to infect someone. We recruited volunteers to hold signs with examples of “doors” which was hilarious to them since a few of the examples were anus, tip of the penis, vagina, etc. But I was proud of them for going along with it, even if they were giggling most of the time.
For the second part of the activity we had them split up into groups and choose a leader. Each leader was given a card taped to their forehead. The cards had examples of activities that either can or cannot transmit HIV. The leaders then went back to their groups and had to try and guess what was written on their cards by asking only yes or no questions. Once they figured out what the card said the group had to determine whether or not that activity could transmit HIV and they posted the cards under the proper category.
It was really nice to actually get out into the community and hang out with the students. Lately I’ve mostly been in the office, which is not all that exciting, so this was much more enjoyable and the kids were a lot of fun. So yay! for a high day.