Monday, March 29, 2010

And so exam week starts...

This weekend was once again my weekend off, so I was able to go into Ikelenge for church. It was nice this time as Skyton (a local teacher) was able to translate for Mr. Ronald, so not only did I get to enjoy the singing, but I was able to understand the message as well! On the way home we met Jimmy (one of the kitchen staff) on his moterbike heading towards the clinic with a teenage boy who had cut the top of his foot quite deeply with an axe. Mrs. Ronald bandaged it up (as all he had on it was a filthy rag) and sent them on their way. Hopefully they found someone at the clinic who could stitch it as the road to Kalenge would have been very bad.
After lunch I took a nap, and then started to work on writing exams. I have 3 out of 5 written up now—I just need to do the two math exams. Evening fellowship was at the Fergusons, and we finished watching our video series. Beth and I sat in the back of Ronald’s land cruiser—there is a real skill to ridding on these bumpy roads! You have to brace yourself enough to not fly into the people around you, and at the same time you have to be relaxed enough that you don’t wake up sore the next day.
On Friday Beth and I walked to the Hillwood orphanage to drop off some little dresses for the kids. I put on sunscreen because I was wearing a tank top (it was a very hot day), but on my right shoulder I apparently missed a few spots as you could actually see my finger marks around the sunburn. We took Ceili with us, and while it was a long, hot walk, it was a nice change of pace and some good exercise.
Mr. Wideman is flying to Kalenge today—the air strip has dried off enough for us to use it again. Its starting to be cooler in the mornings, warm up during the day, and then cool off again at night. This is the first time I remember feeling the seasons change in Zambia, and its exciting. Its hard to believe I’ve been here three months now—in some ways it feels like just yesterday I was at work, and sometimes it seems like I’ve been out here forever.
Well, I had better run—lots to catch up on! Report cards are due by Saturday, and I want to get a head start. Have a wonderful week everyone, and a very happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yesterday in music, two of the fourth grade boys were talking and being disruptive as they sat next to each other in the back row. So, I strolled over, looked at them, and said, “You two aren’t going to be a problem are you? You won’t be talking to each other anymore and I won’t have to move you?” Julius was like, “No.” So I said, “So if I look over here and see you two talking again, you’ll know you need to switch places with someone else so you won’t be tempted any more?” I was assured by both Julius and Ngonga that they wouldn’t be a problem—I wouldn’t have to split them up. So, I went on with my lesson and forgot about that particular discipline issue. I looked over a little later and saw that Ngonga had moved to the front row. I was a little surprised, but as he was being quiet and the 3rd and 4th graders are a rowdy bunch, I shrugged it off. After supper I was crashing a bit at the house before staff meeting when I remembered what I had threatened to do. Apparently I had looked over that way at some point and someone had felt guilty! How often does your discipline get carried out even when you forget about it?

Please pray for our road situation—there are starting to be food shortages in Ikelenge because the trucks can’t get up with supplies. We are going to be flying most if not all of the kids out—we’re praying that the airstrip doesn’t get too soggy in the next week and a half. There was money designated to fix the roads, but so far no sign of it. The roads are so bad at this point that we are talking about just making another road as this one is so horrible.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The container goods got through! Despoite the Sakeji canyon, the men were able to get the goods up from Mwunilung yesterday. The trucks were loaded and leaving about 1:30pm, and they arrived about about 11pm and 2am. We are so thankful to have the supplies that that the tractors with their heavy loads were able to get past the terrible mud holes and washouts. More later!

Monday, March 15, 2010

What happens when teachers go on a field trip or

What teachers do when the kids aren't around!


Well, the second half term is over, and there remain just four more weeks to buckle down and finish up the term. Whew—what a ride!

This half term was a lot of fun—I enjoyed myself a lot. On Friday, Beth and I took the silver and gold (two highest levels of swimming) tubing down the river. It had been quite high earlier in the week due to heavy rain, but it had gone down by Friday morning unfortunately. There were a lot of palm trees down which we quickly learned to avoid as they have spinny leaves, and I gashed my foot on the bridge pilings. However, a good time was had by all and no one drowned. After tubing I played with the juniors and red seals in the pool while the gold and silver went down the Flying Fox (a zip line). Beth and I both climbed the anthill, looked down, and decided that we are both chickens. After a wonderful lunch of hamburgers down at the river, I went up to the house to feed Ceili before coming down to supervise the afternoon swim. It started raining, but fortunately cleared up before tea.

On Saturday I worked on things in my classroom, and then Beth and I went up to the dorm and worked on sewing up skirts with the chetengi we bought last weekend. Yes, there are pictures, but they’re on Beth’s camera so I’ll have to wait and get those. I brought up one of the ancient Singers from the hall where Mrs. P senior was working on them, and found to my dismay that it has a life of its own! It wouldn’t stop running! I unplugged it (at the machine end), and every time we tried to plug it back in, it would take off again! Now I know why my mom hates Singers...

Sunday was a wonderful day. The Ronalds, Beth, Jill, Bethany, Mr. and Mrs. P. senior, and Blesson went into Ikelenge for church. After church we went on a field trip to the Grand Canyon. What? you’re asking? The Grand Canyon isn’t in Zambia! However, we now have our very own Sakeji Grand Canyon right in the middle of the road about half an hour from here. When I say the road is impassible, this is what I mean.


You can see where they tried to put logs down to hold the mud, but its just washed out.


The Canyon was over 6 feet deep in some spots! A land cruiser might be able to just squeeze past, but a big lorry, no way. We are hoping to get a lorry up here this week with container goods and stuff from town (like flour!). There is another way round, but it sounds like that one is impassible as well. This presents a real problem for end of term—we’re discussing options and praying right now. Should be interesting!

After coming back from the Grand Canyon, we drove past the game park on our way home. To my surprise, we actually saw a lot of game! Puku, two Zebras, and a few Sables!

After a wonderful lunch complete with Sakeji ice cream and fudge, Jill, Beth and I went tubing again. Jill had never been, so we decided to fix that! There was an exciting bit where Jill and Beth almost drowned—the current slams you into this tree and it knocked Beth off her tube, and when Jill got off to help she got slammed under and against the tree as well. Luckily they are both good swimmers and were able to get away from the tree and back on their tubes. It didn’t help that we were all laughing hysterically at the time as well—we were having too much fun and it was such a ridiculous situation! We got out at the dam though because a storm was blowing up. Jill then came over for supper, and we had a lovely time before heading over for the Sunday evening gathering.

Today we’re back in class, and I have the afternoon ‘off’ to work on sorting out the next four weeks. I also have some bulletin board stuff to do... Photobucket is being difficult, so I’ll have to put up more pictures later. Happy Ides of March!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Well, Photobucket cooperated today, so here are a few glimpses of life at Sakeji. Of course, it all revolves around the children!



Times on the playground as well as the classroom-

Participating in their favorite sport--football (we had to retrieve a ballf rom the tree this morning...apparently one of my students had quite the kick!)-

And in the breaks from normal routine like birthday party and half term.

These precious children are why we do what we do--how we thank you for your support and prayers.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My box came!

Well, its been a little while!

The big news is that the package my mom sent me with things like my DVD’s, my camera cord, and many of the things that were in my second box that didn’t make it out with me, arrived safely yesterday! It was so much fun to unpack it—almost like Christmas! I also got a letter each from Lucy, Jasper, and our dear friend Elder Fern. Now I just need to reorganize my house a little...

Things continue to be quite busy around here—the midpoint of our term was last week, so there have been a lot of exams, and I’ve switched from my Mexico social studies unit to a weather/earth study science unit. The kids are getting all excited about the second half term next week, and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

This Monday was my afternoon off, and it was a particularly fun one. I went with Jill into Ikelenge to buy some salt and some chetengi (African cloth) to make a skirt. After a brief visit to the market, I went with Jill to a lady’s Bible study. It was so wonderful to sing and read the scriptures with those dear ladies—I even got asked to read a verse in Lunda! Apparently I did a halfway decent job—I guess they got the gist! I bought a Lunda bible yesterday to aid in my language learning efforts. Hopefully during term break Beth and I can really get some good work in—I want so much to be able to communicate with the Zambians in their own words! After the Bible study, Jill and I went to supper at the Fergusons, a family nearby. As always, their home was a quiet oasis of peace and refreshment, and Mrs. Ferguson made a heavenly curry. My mom grew up with both Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson, so it’s nice to extend the friendship another generation.

My puppy is growing and growing—its hard to believe how big Ceili is already!
All the other dogs on the station are little daschounds, so Ceili and her sister Sasha are going to seem like giants! Margie’s little dog, Princess, is really the only one of the older station dogs who will play with Ceili. When Ceili bowls her over Princess balls up, rolls back to her feet and lets Ceili have it! Its nice and relaxing to take a walk down the airstrip with the dogs and other people on the station in the evenings—its a good time to talk and unwind as well as stretching our legs out.

Well, I need to get offline, and photobucket isn't loading any more pictures. Urgh! Hopefully in the next few days... Have a great weekend all, and thanks so much for your prayers and letters!