Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Some new words I am using:
Sweeties – anything sweet and yummy and bad for you.
Swimming Costume – bathing suit.
Trainers – running shoes/sneakers.
Jumper – sweater.
Georgia – I can not WAIT to meet this hairy Tom fella. HAHA, you know me oh too well.
Rachelle! Hi there! You should send me a picture of you, Ben and baby in your new house. Gab told me all about the house. I here Jill is starting up ‘wings’ tell her I’m praying for her. Love you! Hey are you on mat leave yet??
Gaby- What makes you think I’ll be willing to go for sushi with ya?! Unless of course your paying. The things I’m willing to attempt if no cost is associated with them.
Suz- supposedly the spiders can get much bigger. That one was about 3” wide at it’s widest width.
KLS/Mom- glad you enjoyed the pictures. I emailed them to Gaby and she was kind enough to post them all for me. You’ll have to pass a thank you on to her. The assembly that I’ve gone to is in the villiage so I’ve seen a little but stuff here at the school takes up a lot of time. We get every second weekend off though so I’m hoping to cover some ground. Tanis (Hi Tanis!) is going to try coming to visit so I’m pumped. And as it stands in two weeks Leah and I might be going to Kalene mission hospital. That’s about it for major excursions. Oh and This Saturday were going to take a bike ride if it’s nice out ie not pouring rain.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
This is a boarding school in the middle of the African bush. It was established in 1925 primarily for evangelical missionary's kids.
The purpose is still the same: to provide a western equivalent elementary (grade 1 to 8) education in English at below cost with a focus on the bible and salvation. The goal is that each child will leave having a personal relationship with God and be able to claim Jesus as their savior. All of the staff are faith based missionaries and do not collect a salary.
This year there are 62 children in total. 9% of those children are missionary kids. The all come from a variety of backgrounds, countries, religions and cultural groups.
The public education system is in English but it’s really bad. There is a nation wide exam at the end of grade 7 and kids get that far in school without even knowing English. Teachers don’t show up, and you can bribe your way through school without even doing the work.
The discipline here is very strict. The kids are expected to follow a list of rules that seems to go on forever. Somehow they remember them all though. The punishment of choice is marches. You forget your hankie, speak when someone else is speaking, pinch (or otherwise inflict pain on a fellow school member), or are disrespectful and 2 marches for you! A march is one circuit around the school courtyard. The best time to do a march is during game time as it really bugs the kids when they have to miss fun. I really think that having repercussions for negative behavior is a major positive. In ‘grown-up’ life we can’t get away with the above without suffering for it so why should our schools be any different? Another thing that I appreciate is the prayer that follows each individual child: if they are homesick, disobedient, tattletales etc they get prayed for.
Georgia and Mereshah: you were right! These kids love hugs and cuddles, they also love stroking my arms and how can I be mad at them for calling my arms fat when they say it so lovingly!
Monday to Thursday I am with Leah’s class, the grade 1/2 class. The grade ones are an interesting bunch. All of them are new at the school and just learning the rules and the accepted behavior. Wednesday afternoons, Fridays and Saturdays I spend more time with the Seniors (grade 5-8): swimming lessons, embroidery, rally, reading groups, supervision… Every second Sunday I have a junior sunday school class that can be wild. In my spare time I do marking for teachers, and I have been helping Mr. Ronald with various bulletin boards for his classrooms. (One of which is steps for solving various types of words problems. I always just used common sense and it stood me in good stead but I guess that just doesn’t make it click for some people?!)
Carla- I will have you know that I have not made one single kid cry while trying to explain a deep mathematical secret. Amazing eh?! How many time did you guys cry while I tried ‘teaching’ you!? I also remember running into walls while trying to explain the physics of motion. As of yet, no encounters with walls. I also managed to hold two tables of kids spellbound (sort of) with my explanation of how glasses work. I hope it was right because I kind of made it up on the spot.)
I’ll introduce you to some of the kids with major personality or cuteness factor:
Yahia is one of the new kids in grade one. He is a major discipline problem. You tell him to do or not do something and he just looks at you and then deliberately disobeys. He is also constantly poking, kicking, and hitting other kids. He’s gotten in trouble so much though that the other kids are constantly picking on him and tattling on him. I was supervising playground this morning and I felt like yelling at them all, “mind your own business!” There has been a significant improvement in his behavior over the first two weeks and he has a ton of leadership potential if it can only be channeled into positive directions.
Julius is also new- he’s got the fattest head and the brightest smile. He’s also got a beat inside of him and is constantly drumming things. One look at him and you feel like bursting into song. He also loves giving and receiving hugs (the way to Angelina’s heart!).
Nonde, Chimwemwe, and Kudakwashe are three unrelated little girls who look like triplets (helps that they all have their hair plated the same way). Adorable, especially when they march. God made each of us sooo different.
Jackson is a missionary kid. He’s shy and nervous about being in a new place and he so wants to please everyone. His mom has been schooling him at home during the last year so he got to skip grade one but he’s a bit unsure about this sudden leap. He reminds me of that saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’.
Chijika, Kahalu and Kamiji are sisters whose parents are African missionaries. They sat at my table for the first two weeks and are delightful! The oldest (Kamiji) didn’t start here until grade 5 and she didn’t know any English so the adjustment has been harder on her. The other two have picked up very quickly though. As a rule students are only accepted here if they are in grades 1 to 4. Once the kids hit grade 5 they have established a pretty concrete group of best friends and it is extremely difficult to break through.
There are so many others here that I would love to introduce you to but this is already way too long so I will spare you for now!
PS- I am planning on posting some pictures to fliker asap.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I was on my afternoon off, filling it with some relaxing, mind stretching activity (reading), with periodic forages into the kitchen/pantry for yummy food that may have miraculously appeared. None did, so I decided to attack my vegetable thins yet again. Leah and I had been having a handful a night for some nights and we would just leave the box in various places around the house. The last place of rest for this same box was the floor right beside the couch. This was a particularly convenient location as this put them at an arms length away from my horizontal position on the couch. I took a satisfying crunch of the salty, delectable cracker- and felt a little too much crunch. I reached into my mouth to retrieve this particular tidbit and found, to my horror, a mutilated ant. Peering into the box I found, not one, not two, not three (you get the idea, right?!) but MANY ants. I quickly swallowed all remaining substances in my mouth, bolted off the couch with contaminated box, threw contaminated box out, and brushed my teeth.
So gross. Reminds me of the time I hate hard tack and bugs.
Side note: try explaining the concept of ‘few’ and ‘many’ to a group of grade ones, some of whom are just learning the English language. I think it’s the hardest thing I have ever tried to explain.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Today the character quality was GRATEFULNESS. They use the ATI character training sessions every monday. Brings back many memories, surprisingly all good!! It was cool singing along with "When we all see what we should see...." Of course I still can't remember all the words and the actions were completely beyond me. (Krista- where are you when I need you!) There is SO much that I have to be grateful for though, and in trying to create a list for myself this morning I was overwhelmed with God's grace.
Last night there was prayer meeting with a few from here and a few more from Kalene mission hospital. It was real good.
Krista- hows reading going? HAHA you can respond in an email. Lacy, Mallory (and any of you others from youth) here's the site I was telling you about that Jess told me about:bible. Hi Jess!
Rachelle- thanks for the pictures...awwwwwwwww he/she is completely adorable!
SMS/CAS (WOW wait a minute, it's not CAS anymore eh?! CAW: perfect for when you're an old crow)- are you still alive?? Heard you were sick Carla, feeling better yet? Jody doing all your cooking for you!? Did you pass Chemistry Shawna? (feel free to email the answer if it's too embarresing!)
Any new news from my homes?! Tell all- I'm all ears!
Friday, January 19, 2007
Krista- The darkness has been lessened by some extent now that I have a proper flashlight. I arrived here on the plane before my luggage arrived by road and that's where my flashlight was (Thanks Mr and Mrs Hanna!). Leah's flashlight barely works at all and made walking in the dark kinda harsh. Yesterday I forgot my key's to the house so I climbed in my window. I think that scares me more, how accessible our house is to robbers. So I sleep with it shut (don't worry mom!).
Thanks to you both for your prayers, and to all you others who I know are praying.
My schedule: I teach one grade 1 or 2 math class everyday, one on one math with a grade 5 student (at a grade 2ish level), reading groups, sunday school, swimming lessons, marking, bulletin boards, TA in science, games, and (the most laughable) embroidery lessons for 2 hours every Saturday! I had a quick 10 minute lesson this morning so its going to be really interesting. Leah teaches the grade 1 and 2s so I primarily am her TA but I also help out with Mr. Ronald's class which is grade 5-8.
Suzie- I haven't seen any "African" animals yet, other than ants, chameleons, gekos, more ants, mosquitoes, praying mantas, grasshoppers and yet more ants. You get the idea! Before I started on this trip I made one little rule: No animals allowed on my little ship, especially fat cats and monkeys!!
Mr. T- I have no defense only: prayer conquers all.
Well off to tea time, I'm STARVING!! Plus I get to play field hockey later on today and I need more energy. Oh- and supper tonight?! PIZZA!! I'm sooo pumped *Angelina's eyes get rounder and bigger in anticipation*.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Hey all! It's video night in 5 minutes and I need to go run to my house to get my flashlight (Cand- I'm living with Leah P.). It gets dark here at about 7pm and you can't see ANYTHING. I'm getting over the fear of insects in my pathway etc. (G- I had an encounter with the stinky bugs, one of the girls gave me a lecture about not stepping on them.) Eventually you just realize you need to walk somewhere fast and there isn't exactly stuff lieing in wait to attack Angelina. Amazing eh?!
It rained all morning here, and this is rain like I've never seen it before (Although the tin roofs do amplify it): hard, long and big coupled with the most amazing thunder and lightening show. Beautiful in the afternoon though- went down to the pool and swam and am sitting in my chitangi and sleeveless top.
Back from video- My burn is starting to make itself evident and tomorrow I will use sunscreen. Hopefully everything with this blog is working because I seem to have deleted a bunch of your comments. I've changed the comments so that they automatically appear so I don't delete again. oops. This posting is also having difficulty posting so hopefully things correct themselves soon. (Hi all you Brandon folks!!! Talking about me?!?! HAHA. I’m finally newsworthy- love you guys)
So today was the first full day and the kids got their schedules and rules, and I observed and gave permission for kids to go to the toilet. (There are a couple of words they use here that just reek of the British influence- that being one.) Makes me laugh every time.
Well it's 8:00 and I'm exhausted so it's off to bed! I know you're all shocked that I'm headed off this early but there is something in the air here. Last night I was in bed at 9:30. Had a wee awake session from 2:30am to 4:00am though so that could be why I’m tired. Off!
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Transatlantic Flight: I landed in Toronto at 12:30 and wasn’t able to drop my luggage off until 3:30, all 95 lbs of it, then the plane was delayed for an hour so I didn’t leave until 10:30. 10 hours in an airport is too long. I met this Dr. of Sociology (sp?) who did her thesis on the effects of Christianity (Catholicism being the biggest percentage) on the cast system in southern India. Really interesting stuff. Then on the North Atlantic flight I sat beside a Arab lady who thought I was 16 (!?!) and mothered me the whole time, including tucking an extra blanket around me when she thought I was sleeping. In London Judi picked me up and I was able to catch 4 hours of sleep in a REAL bed, as at this point I was beyond tired. London to Africa: apparently Africans have a different view of what personal space is. I think my body is permanently tilted to the right from leaning away from the man sitting beside me!
The bush flight: I was looking forward to seeing all of this terrain from the air, and the first 15 minutes were beautiful but then I fell asleep and didn’t wake up till we landed. One interesting difference in the landscape: In North America the roads are laid out in a definite grid system, here the roads are trails leading directly to a specific place. From the air this looks like a spider web.
Roads: had my first ‘ride in the back of a truck’. OUCH- talk about developing muscles by hanging on for dear life.
Meeting (Church): The singing is awesome! I will take a video of a sampling at some point because it has to be heard to be believed. Everything was in Lunda though so I didn’t understand much. I was trying to follow along with the singing using the Lunda hymnal and WOW some of the words are atrociously long!!!
Bugs, Snakes and Other Things: Ants are everywhere. No wonder they eat them! There’s this one type of ant that if you step in there marching line they scurrying up you and when they reach your waist they all chomp down on your skin, and they won’t let go. So watch for lines of ants. There are various types of snakes that just can do different wonderfully amazing feats one being (this one scares me) striking a man’s face. So going from completely horizontal on the ground to having 5 feet of it’s length completely vertical. There is this spider called a ‘flatty’ because, yes you guessed it, it’s flat. And big. And ugly. But apparently it’s completely harmless. I’m starting to not mind all the bugs etc. as long as I know they won’t hurt me. As to the mosquitos? Home is way, way worse. The only thing being that the ones here could be malaria carriers. Oh well, I know a lot of you are praying for me so if you’re looking for specifics the above paragraph holds many!!
Work: Kid’s don’t start arriving until Tuesday so everyone is still taking it easy. Tomorrow I think I’m helping Leah with classroom prep, but we’ll find out what tomorrow brings when tomorrow comes!!
Weather and Flora: It’s usually 20 degrees celcius and there are always clouds somewhere in the sky, the air is really heavy with moisture, but ahhh the sun is hot and nice when it decides to shine! There are some mango trees and a banana grove NEAR MY HOUSE! sweet eh?!?! The bananas are weird though- kinda midget bananas.
FYI: the time here is 8 hours ahead of prarie time.
Signing off for now- Angelina
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Sunday, January 7, 2007
There will be a lot less weight on the way back, as much of it is consumable (HA- I know some of you are thinking I mean edible but I really didn't bring THAT much food. Except for some candy that was generously donated. Such a good cause eh?! I also had no room for backed goods!)
Of course there will be any purchases I make......