My hosts were as inviting and warm as they had been the last time. I realised the trick to survival was to keep a glass with an inch of water by me which passed as vodka for the toasts - which come unrelentlessly when family and friends visit for the evening meal.
As the director of the school was meeting with a visiting Headteacher from Kazakhstan my first contact on Monday was with Darina, our translator (who had taken time out from her classroom teaching to meet me). However we managed to agree that I would observe two groups in the afternoon and then meet with all of the educators after this for an hour.
Both groups in the afternoon ran to plan and i was really impressed to see that the educators had clearly been using the techniques we had shown them at our last visit. It's clear that the children enjoy these sessions and have moved on, confidently engaging and bringing alive the games and music.
One child in particular i remember, ‘L’ who spent much of the time running around the room when we were last there, was engaged throughout, indeed, leading with an energy that had been clearly held and channelled over the past few months. ‘M’, another child who the educators had written about, was much more open and playing instruments with a new found confidence. Altogether after two days i am encouraged to find that the educators are as enthusiastic about learning as they were before and indeed it seems they have been joined by three other colleagues and one who has returned after having left while we were there last.
Looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings...