Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This past week was the Sakeji board meeting, and even though we see relatively little of the board (as they are closeted in the admin pretty much the whole time), we greatly enjoyed the time we did get to spend with them. I was teaching all day and then holding solo practices after prep, so I was pretty wiped out by the time the staff fellowship/meeting took place that evening. We got updates on CMML’s status as a charitable organization from Mr. Grove that had as all in stitches as he brilliantly narrated his struggles with the Zambian government offices, some wonderful words of encouragement from Mr. Hanna, and Mr. Young read us the story of Gideon with some more words of encouragement for all of us “mighty men of valor.” While I know that I am doing this for the Lord, and that I am laying up treasure in heaven and adding to my starry crown and all, but it is nice to know that our labors are appreciated by our fellow laborers as well. Our board is made of good ol’ fashioned missionaries who are a joy to talk to—they come from all over the world, have a wealth of experience to share, and quite the senses of humor as well! So, a good time was had by all, lots of business was discussed, and the board went home until next term.

Beth and I came home on Thursday to find several men enthusiastically digging up our backyard. Turns out we are getting a new septic system, and Mr. Poidevin had taken the guys over to plan and discuss earlier that day, and they had decided to go ahead and get started! Our water is making some interesting noise, but we are able to use our plumbing so life continues as usual at Valley View. We have been using our fireplace recently—its about 2.5 feet square, and built with a slant at the back wall. When there is a lot of smoke (such as when the bigger wood is thinking about catching properly), this slanted back effectively and neatly funnels most of the smoke out into the room, much to our disgust. This minor inconvenience aside, it has been such a treat to enjoy the sight, smell, sound, and warmth of a fire on the chilly nights. Cement floors get quite cold when you have no heating!

Friday, June 11, 2010

This Wednesday was the Sakeji birthday party, and in a moment of lunacy Beth and I agreed to MC it. The theme was Veggie Tales, so we have been making veggie art, singing veggie songs, watching veggie movies, and generally doing as many veggie things as we could think of. Beth and I made a backdrop that looks like a counter, and designed some clever costumes that made use of red fabric, a green mosquito net, and two mosquito net hoop. We told the kids that their skits had to be one of the “I wills” for creativity, the current character quality we’re emphasizing, and we set up the show to be as like a Veggie Tales episode as we could. There were skits, silly songs, some veggie karaoke, and the teachers got up and sang the very popular, “Teachers who don’t do anything.”

After the party, Beth and I had girls dorm, so there was much tucking in of children, checking to make sure teeth were brushed, and then even some singing of songs to rooms that had settled down and were quiet. It was nice to be involved in a different aspect of the boarding school—I do a lot of getting on kids cases as a teacher/supervisor/activity coordinator—tucking into bed was a welcome break from hounding people about homework or marking papers!

This coming Monday and Tuesday is half term, so the kids will be getting a break from school, the staff will have a little time off, and I will hopefully get fully caught up on my marking. Birthday party took up a lot of my time, so I’ve fallen a little behind where I want to be.

The weather is lovely this time of year—cool (and even cold!) in the mornings and evenings with nice warm afternoons. The skies are clear blue except when they are smudged with smoke, and there a gentle breeze blows most of the day. I don’t know if I can ever go back for a Texas summer again!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Well, I’ve been 24 for a whole week now. Its been a good week on the whole—very busy, but a good week. I gave a math test, have been working on birthday party (Beth and I are nuts and volunteered to plan birthday party) and also on the end of term program. Of course in between papers are marked, cleanup is supervised, I make nshima for my dog, and all the little things of life go marching on. My birthday was a school day so I was busy pretty much the whole day, but I got a lot of cards, kind words, and even a phone call from my family, so it was a wonderful day. This is my weekend off, so I’ll have some time to breath and relax a little. Its kind of cool—this was my 4th birthday in Africa, and it ranks among my best birthdays ever. I hope to celebrate many more out here!

I can’t believe its June already—half the term is almost gone! I need to start planning a science unit... I think that will be a weekend project. Right in there with painting the backdrop for birthday party and getting all my marking done...

I found out on Friday this week that my great-Grandpa Baker finally passed into glory on June 3. While I have been praying for the past two weeks that the Lord would take him quickly as he was really suffering, at the same time its hard to deal with the fact that he’s gone. In a way I’m lucky because when I said goodbye to him in December the day I flew to Zambia, I knew I was saying goodbye for the last time.

This weekend I have been writing down memories of Grandpa and thinking about his life a lot, and one of the things that really stuck out to me was that he was a praying man. He prayed for everyone in his family by name every day, and when his children were little, he prayed that they would all be missionaries. Because of that prayer, all four of his children did spend time as overseas missionaries, and they have all been active in the Lord’s service for their whole lives. Because of that prayer, my mom grew up as a missionary kid, and then later went to the mission field herself with her own family. And because of that prayer, I grew up with the desire to be a missionary and now have the great privilege of serving the Lord in Zambia. The prayers of a righteous man truly availith much!

Note on Monday: I’ve been writing this update off and on for a few days now, and I have another entry I’m working on about what I did this Sunday, so stay tuned!