Chelsey ducked into the intern office to alert us of the arriving TYO Core Program students. As Colin, Leila, Mathilda and I filed out to the grand entrance hall, we were met by the giggles, squeals and smiles of Nabulsi youth. A sight that, as we were warned, was nothing but pure joy!
Sports Teacher Haitham and other members of TYO Staff helped the children settle into their seats. Readying for her photography classes, Intern Mathilda took over camera duties for the morning, capturing the delight that is the first day of school for children still too young to be too cool!
Though the clouds parted to let the sun shine through on the morning buses, a slight rain persisted, but not enough to wipe a single smile off the faces of the arriving children, or the anxious interns! Sheer ebullience all the way around.
For a few minutes, no one remembered that the gas on the stove had run out, making it impossible to boil the morning coffee. There were no worries of lesson plans, M&Es, assessments or curriculum development. Internet flickering in and out just didn’t matter. Everyone forgot, if only for a moment, the chill of our unheated building. The sun made a rare early-February appearance over the Nablus Valley, interrupted only briefly for a two minute hailstorm that covered the land in icy corn kernels.
Interns Leila and Mathilda have since headed off to their first class. Chelsey got in a struggle with the copy machine and did not win. Intern Colin had the rest of the morning to mull over a Big Brother class that has required assigning him a brute squad of volunteers. And, I am still trying to pull together an interesting lesson plan for my first English class, t-minus an hour and a half.
Whenever we need a break, want to clear our heads, are feeling down or could just use a good uninhibited smile, it’d good to know that our office door opens up into one big room of youthful joy here at TYO!!
Adam is an intern at TYO Nablus.