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Teaching English in Africa


 by Trinity Gruenberg

    A large city on the shores of West Africa is the location of a school for young adults to learn a valuable skill in the job market— English. 

    Members of the Verndale Alliance Church (VAC) Tony Stanley, Polly Uselman, Heath Belknap, Lance Edin, Morgan Glenz and Rachel Johnson traveled to Conakry, Guinea in West Africa May 26-June 5.

    A missionary team from the same denomination operates an English language school in Conakry. The six from the VAC went to lend a hand and to determine if they will partner with the missionaries. 

    The missionaries of the Christian Missionary Alliance are constructing a new compound to accommodate for the demand. 

    “Primarily, we were there to get to know the team, investigate their ministry scope to determine if it was a good fit for a partnership,” explained Stanley. 

     Each day of the trip they would go to the center and meet with team members and students. They also lent a hand in teaching English classes. 

    The center is in a Muslim country and for safety reasons the center and those who work and study there have to remain nameless.

    “The center is allowed to operate openly, but they have to do so respectfully,” explained Stanley.

  They had running water and showers to use, but the water was not safe for consumption. Locals throw garbage in the dry river beds and ditches. Teeth were brushed with filtered water and dishes had to be bleached. 

    There was intermittent electricity and they relied on generators to run the basic operations. 

     Their rainy season is typically from July through September and  Conakry receives approximately 169 inches in those months with July and August being the months they receive the most rain. 

    “Conakry in August receives more rain than the rain forest,” said Belknap. 

 “They can receive more rain in August than the Amazon receives all year,” added Stanley. 

    It rained one night they were there. The locals considered it a light rain, but the Verndale team considered it more of a downpour. 

    Stanley noted one of the most evident observations about the city, except for the lack of trash service, was the abject poverty. . . .

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