Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I have another bug to introduce you to: It's called Cicada. It looks like a grasshopper on steroids. It's big, fat and supremely ugly. The worst part about it though is that it screeches continually and it actually hurts your ears. Last night it was hard getting to sleep.
I tried teaching a dumbed down version of Ultimate Frisbee to the junior's today. (I know: It's on my list of 'sport's Angelina will not play unless everyone else is as inept as she is'.) However I changed the rules to make it more user friendly to the non-athletic people in the group. (Take note all, it's sure to catch on like wild fire.)
You use a soft rubber ball. The ball is passed by throwing and once it is caught you are not allowed to take any steps. You may drop the ball without turnover occurring. We used a garbage basket at each end of the field and they had to throw the ball at it to score a point. It didn't go off too well because the kids don't understand the concept of man-to-man defense. The only concept they get is, "There's the ball, I want the ball, I will chase the ball and hop up and down in front of the person who has the ball in hopes that they will pass it to me". So picture 20 kids around one ball. The other 10 kids were spaced throughout the field with sticks in hand, crouched low drawing in the sand. Only one got stepped on. Talk about a waterfall of tears. I wasn't very sympathetic, "What do you think is going to happen when your sitting in the middle of a wild game of 'ultimate angelina basket ball'?!?!?"
Speaking of waterfalls .. Last Saturday at noon the seniors had to say from memory 10 verses. They had two weeks to learn them. I have the grade 5 girls for handwork from 10:00am noon. I had five girls desperately trying to memorize all 10 verses while embroidering. By the end of class three of them had burst into tears. You ask why all this passion about overdue memory verses? Only those who had completed the verses were allowed to partake of the homemade ice cream at Sunday lunch. I didn't know whether to split a gut laughing at them or to join in with their tears (the ice cream is super yummy).
Sweet to the furniture Mrs. J! You are reading my journal. I do keep a personal one but it's more my thoughts and contemplations rather than experiences, and I must admit that I'm not really faithful to it.
Carla, do you remember me trying to explain physics to you? Running around the basement and into walls for the sole purpose of demonstrating a physics problem to you? It was hopeless. Thankfully you now have Jody to get you out of ruts. (Hi Jody! Happy 1st engagement anniversary!!)
Krista, they have bamboo bushes here that are as tall as the trees on Rupertsland. Try putting one of them in a vase. Sorry for the roof talk. Couldn't help myself. I had a silly grin on my face the whole while I was typing it. Another occasion for the silly grin was when I had to do an answer key for grade 7/8 math word problems. It was glorious. I forgot how much fun they were.
Some hellos in no particular order: Candace, NEVER just blab for the sake of blabbing. Love ya! Geeeooooorrrrrgggggiiiiiaaaaaa. Hi. Grin. Want to go on a mega bike ride when I get back to Canada? Jessica, oh sweet distance (do you get it? Huh? Huh?!!!!). Ma, when I get home can you make me a chocolate cheesecake? I miss our phone conversations. Love you bundles. Daddy, thanks so much for putting up with having me for a daughter. I admire you. Hugs. Carla, happy 22nd birthday! I was trying to figure out how old you were and I ended up having to do the current year minus my birth year minus 2. Only problem was I couldn't remember the current year. I'm going to be a scary old person. Alice and family, many hugs and lots of love. Krista, thank you for being (almost) solely responsible for our friendship. You're one in a million. Short Shy Shawna Babes, I think you're the cutest person I know. Plus you've got the biggest heart. Gaby, I need to go rollerblading. By the time I get back the park will be almost perfect. Is it a date? Love ya! Rachelle, hiiiiiiii! Email me an update! Here's a big hug. To all of you in Brandon, I miss you guys and am looking forward to my return hugs!
Sorry this is so long. I really must try to change life long habits and become short winded. Believe it or not there is more I had planned on saying but for the sake of those wishing to continue on with life - Adios!
Friday, February 16, 2007
There seems to be much interest in the anthill. These anthills dot the landscape and are of various shapes and sizes. One of these days I'll post a picture of the one by the pool. It's quite large: approximately 20 feet tall and has a substantial base. Steps have been carved into the sides for the viewing pleasure of kids on the sick list and adults who wish to remain far away from the splashing kids. The anthill is made by termites and is inactive at this point (this information is from Leah and she followed up with a, "I think so but I'm not sure"). The soil here is sandy clay and somehow the soil within the anthill has been changed to dense clay. The Africans make bricks out of this clay by either sun drying it or baking it in a kiln.
The structural components of the buildings here are all either this brick or concrete, the brick being cheaper and therefore seen more frequently. There are two types of roofs that I've seen: dried hay supported by wood strapping and wood trusses with steel sheeting (In most cases anchored on with not enough screws so that every gust of wind causes the steel to bang against the trusses. For some unknown reason they also have a leakage problem.)
Congratulations to any of you who made it through the last paragraph. I also plan on taking a picture of the different types of roofs, as I know you are all just itching to see them!
Back to the anthill: They have cut big tractor tires up and they lay the rubber down the anthill and into the pool. They then pump water to the top of the anthill and VOILA! a waterslide! The flying fox is a wire strung between two poles with a handled gizmo that allows you to launch yourself into water from an extreme height. The extreme height being the top of this much talked about anthill. The kids quite enjoyed this exhilaration of the afternoon. Yes you heard right- I had no desire to launch myself off a hill or ride down a hill on my stomach while an audience, including a video camera, watched me. Next half term I may attempt it if I can either sneak down there by my lonesome or there are no recording devices present.
Shawna- Raquel can use my dresser as long as I get it back, I need all the furniture I can get. I love beautiful you too and would return said hug with immense pleasure! On that note, does anyone own kitchen table, chairs, sofas etc that they need to get rid of? Think about it.
I have this weekend off so maybe I'll post some pictures. No promises though.
Dad (and anyone else who happens to be a settlers addict)- you need to buy the 'Cities and Knights' addition pack for 'Settlers'. I haven't attempted it yet but it looks seriously fun and super complicated! Anything with lots of directions must be fun right?!
Today I baked this oatmeal fudge layered cookie thing. It was exceptionally yummy. So I ate exceptionally too much. I felt sick. To combat this unexplainable illness I joined the Senior Girls Rally (like Girl Guides) where we played hard core field hockey in the blazing hot humid weather. There were 11 girls on each team. The hard core participation that I referenced was limited to about 6 of us. The rest whined and plodded. (I elbowed one of them in the eye by accident. I tend to get into stick and ball-on-the-ground games.) My level of participation was mostly bellowing at the girls to move, stay on their man, in their position, use the flat side of their stick and randomly calling out anything I deemed missed by the referee. So in summary: I spent the first half of my afternoon eating and reading and the second getting in the way and having a blast.
It was a good day. I can now sleep. Sleep blissful sleep. Goodnight one and all, sleep well. God bless!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
This was one event included on half term. Half term is two days where they go swimming, tubing, sliding on rubber down an ant hill, biking, go carting, eating at the river and most importantly of all: No school! I’ve been quite enjoying the time out of the classroom but it will be nice to get back to schedule.
Friday, February 9, 2007
Onto my main subject: Wee Wee Wednesday’s. There are a number of children here who like to go whenever the need hits and wherever they happen to be standing or sitting. (Last year Nkheke was expelled for doing this and other things in her pants. She is the same one who doesn’t like mashed potatoes.) Chimwemwe has gone on a bean bag, on a stool, at her desk in class, on the rug, on her bed (during the day at rest hour when not sleeping and through all layers of blankets) and on the playground. She has gotten paddled for this but it hasn’t seemed to have deterred her.
For some reason Wednesday is their favourite day for this altercation. It’s swimming lesson and river all afternoon, and the only bathroom facility in the near vicinity is an outhouse. My theory is that they hate the place and so seek to find alternatives. So this last Wednesday I was on river duty and was trying to take a picture of a group of three girls in the sand. Nkheke couldn’t pose properly as she was huddled under her raincoat. So I strongly suggested she toss it. As she moved I noticed what she had been trying to cover: wet shorts. She was not the only one. I took the two culprits up to the dorm to wash up. They had to miss movie night and both wailed at the injustice.
Saturday, February 3, 2007
So Leah and I supervise a table, ensuring that all above rules are followed. We also try to teach proper table manners.
This following of rules, especially the ‘scrape your plate completely clean’ rule, can be difficult to follow and even more so to enforce. Who wants to eat yucky veggies? Or potatoes? Staff has it great because it’s self serve so we can pick and choose which delicacies we wish to avoid. The kids get served by the kitchen staff and therefore have no say. However the portions are tiny so their small tummies should be able to handle it all.
So at lunch today I noticed this one little girl named Nkheke (pronounced Nkaykay) peering down her dress and twitching this way and that. I chastised her for improper gymnastics at the table so she stopped. I mentioned this to Leah in passing a short while ago and she started howling. She had noticed Nkheke’s twitching too. She had also noticed a number of small piles of mashed potatoes surrounding Nkheke’s chair. Nkheke had been stuffing her unwanted potatoes down her dress to hide them.
This is why we have rules!
This was the lesson I had to teach on Friday. As I looked over it beforehand I thought, another simple lesson that we’ll fly through, especially considering that it was the grade 2’s and their grasp of English is quite good. So I stood in front of seven, second graders and saw 6 blank faces, who were listening intently they just couldn’t get it. (Sisters three- you’ve been in this place many times: Listening to Angelina trying to pound a concept into your heads by just saying the same fact repeatedly, with no variation on the method of delivery.)
To exponentially increase my frustrations there was one kid who understood perfectly what I was trying to teach. No blank face. Her name is Beatrice. She reminds me of me. (I know many of you are just now shivering, as you know exactly what this means.) She is a show off.
I had written 7 numbers on the board and was going around the circle asking each of them individually, “How many groups of ten and how many ones left over?” Every time I said those magic words it was like I flipped a switch and I heard Beatrice clearly whisper the answer just loud enough for the entire class to hear her. Then the kid I was actually asking the question to would parrot back Beatrice’s answer.
I flipped. I will try replaying the one-sided conversation for your enjoyment.
“Beatrice, (Angelina pauses for impact and glares across the room) is your name Anne? Is it Joshua? Is it Yowano??? No! It’s not! I am trying to convey a concept to a group of people and not just you! If you keep answering for them how am I going to determine what they know? Also, if I ask someone a question you do not need to jump up and down in your chair and wave your arms in front of my face because I am not going to pick you to answer every single question. Consider this your first warning, if you answer one more question out of turn or wave your arms every two seconds you will have to do marches. (Second pause. The classroom is deathly silent.) OK. (Breath in, breath out. I purpose to not snap again.)”
I am not too sure how much of that dialog they understood, but they did get this: Ms ***** needs a nap and we need to pretend to understand her.
I am reattempting the lesson on Monday. Prayer would be appreciated.
I read a little article on prayer today. I need to do more of it. It works.
To be fair to myself Beatrice’s other teachers have noted this same tendency and applauded my little speech.
Note to any past teachers of mine: I apologize for every single time that I jumped up and down and waved my arms because I knew the answer. I also apologize for every answer I shouted out without thinking about the others who were attempting to learn in my presence.
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Krista and Shawna I bought you a present each in town at the market today!!!!!! Had to go in to get my visa extended another month. Saw some really poor people, they still smile just as big though! Funny how joy isn't linked to posessions at all.