While Melsisi has been busy requesting that I no longer teach there, Ranwadi is doing the opposite. I approached one of their volunteer teachers about taking part of her classes to teach sex ed for a few weeks. She jumped on the chance.
I’ve been teaching the same sex ed curriculum in Ranwadi that I was teaching in Melsisi. The teenagers are, as always, embarrassed to discuss these things. Yet, when I give them a chance to write anonymous questions, they write complete sentences in English. I showed some of the questions to their English teacher (also a volunteer) and he was amazed they would willingly write that much.
Here are a few of my favorite questions from both Ranwadi and Melsisi:
How does the baby come out? The vagina is too small.
Is sex good or bad for our health?
How do you get pregnant? (This was of mild concern to me, since I know some of the girls are having sex.)
Can a girl’s genitals become like a man’s if she is fertilized by many men? (That one was in French and translated by another teacher for me.)
Is the vagina like a plastic [bag] that can be penetrated by any size?
Why do girls sometimes cut out their armpit hairs?
What happens when the woman is having her monthly period and she is mating a man?
Do boys see the milk (semen) every time or do [they] have a period?
The combination of knowledge and self-awareness from some students is really impressive. The utter lack of knowledge in others is terrifying. Teaching these classes has only convinced me that good, reliable and honest sex ed is absolutely vital to teenagers. The trick now is to expand that to include the first world.